Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fun With Squishy Circuits

Fun with Science & Squishy Circuits!

Pipestone Area School 3rd Grade students had a blast on Wednesday, Jan 21, 2015 learning about science through Squishy Circuits. I have 5 Squishy Circuit kits and made a Makerspace in the teacher's room. The students were so excited to use the Squishy Circuits even though they didn't know anything about them. 

I briefly told the students a little bit about what we would be doing. I purposely didn't explain how to do everything because I wanted the students to try and try again before asking for help. I found a worksheet on the Internet that I left at each station to assist students in their quest with Squishy Circuits. Once students got the hang of it, science and learning took off!

Below is a video I took with some students while they were trying different things. I tried ask questions that would make them think about the outcome. If something didn't work, I talked to them about what they thought were issues and how we could solve them once the camera was off. 

Squishy Circuits were invented at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. The kit can be purchased online.  The kit includes a recipe card to make your own conductive and insulating dough, 1 motor, 1 Piezoelectric Buzzer, 1 Mechanical Buzzer, 1 battery pack, and 25 LEDs in red, yellow, green, white, and blue. I think the price is very reasonable, especially to incorporate into your classroom ($25.00 per kit). The company does offer a price break the more you purchase. 

I hope you follow our journey as I bringing Squishy Circuits to more schools that I work with. We will also be showing them off at our "This is IT" Technology Conference in March 2015. 

In Education & Tech,
Kara :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Free Leveled Reading Program from Smithsonian

We love the word free in education, especially when it is paired with a great resource. Today, I bring to your attention the Free Leveled Reading Program from Smithsonian for grades PreK-12 and even in Spanish!

Teachers will need a free account from Smithsonian TTribune. Once your free account is set up, the teacher can enter classes and student names. No information is collected from the student.

The TTribune consists of daily news site for kids, tweens, and teens. The articles contain text, photos, and audio/video. The site also contains lessons, with instructional and assessment tools.  The articles are grade-appropriate. Users can also choose their Lexile Level for each article.

Be sure to check out this awesome resource for leveled reading. 

Free Apps Monday 1/12 iPad

All apps were free as of this posting. Only the publisher can determine the length of how long an app will be on sale for free.  If you are interested in one, be sure to grab it right away! 
I do not endorse any of the following apps. Just passing along freebies.

Apps to know about:
  • Evernote Scannable - always free
  • RefME - allows you to scan a book/journal barcodes, search via DOI, URL, ISBN, etc and sync with to create citations, bibliographies and reference lists in a click.