In 6th grade science class, students used Explore Learning Gizmos and a Google Form to learn about pollination. The form asked students to think about different plants before using the Gizmo to learn about the parts of a flower, their functions, and the steps of plant reproduction. Finally students played a game on plant and species diversity called Who’s The Pest. This activity engaged students in a fun, interactive way.
The 8th grade generation utilized the five iPad minis from the upper school library for a photography unit. The students were taking portraits of one another, applying skills learned about composition. We experimented with low camera angles and how they empower the subject of a portrait. And conversely how a high camera angle will diminish the power of the subject.
Once in front of the lens students were encouraged to let go of their self-consciousness and model expressions and gestures that communicate the essence of middle school life. We discussed the work of the street artist JR and the idea of art changing the world. Could we challenge stereotypes of middle school aged people with our photographic portraits and change viewpoints?
Last, the students cropped and toned their images using an app called Snapseed in preparation for the next step in the unit which is using the photograph as a reference image for a large scale charcoal drawing.
Students in 7th grade are using Google Docs and Word Counter to improve their writing. By pasting their written work in Word Counter, students discover which words they repeat frequently. Then, students return to Google Docs to make improvements in their word choices. The Define tool helps students learn how they are using a word and some options for synonyms.
This year the Upper School library has twelve laptops that students and teachers can check out. Miss Malu's Historia class used the laptops to learn more about important events in México's history and practice paraphrasing and summarizing. Students worked in pairs to search for reliable information and write a summary of the event.
The addition of a temporary wireless hotspot, provided by the tech center, meant that students had a strong connection to the internet. 6th grade students were very excited to work on the laptops in the classroom. They were very motivated and worked well together, taking turns and sharing the responsibility.
Students created prototypes of their solutions to the problems. They presented in class by giving a speech explaining what sucks, how their solution solves the problem, what went well during the design process and what did not go as well. After all of the presentations, students reflected on the assignment to think about their successes and help Miss Natalie improve the project for next year.
Students were very engaged in this project. Their problems and interests guided the process and made it relevant and meaningful. They chose how to present their results using Google Slides, Keynote, and iMovie. Above, you can see Lore and Marifer present and discuss the Perfect Locker solution. Below, you can watch HyunYoung's video about designing an app to help you choose what to wear in the morning.
Grade 8 science students worked with the librarian to learn about how infographics are a form of narrative - they tell a story by using visuals, data and sparse words. After students read a New York Times article, they evaluated three infographics based on the article. The students were then asked to apply their new understanding of infographics (data, design and narrative) by creating one that focuses on 'who they are' using images and data creatively. This lesson focused on the information literacy standards of using, evaluating and creating digital information. The web-based creation tool, Piktochart was used.