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Archives for Science

Makey Makey in Middle School Science

Posted by dhollowa on April 16, 2016

Creating Inquiry with Makey Makey Circuit Boards

For Grade 8 Unit on Electricity and Magnetism the students used Makey Makey circuit boards.  This generated a great deal of excitement as well as questions about open and closed circuits as well as insulators and conductors.  The students used fruit, candy, their friends, pencil graphite, rubber hosing and other objects to test how well the material allowed electricity to flow and complete a circuit.  The students had to translate and analyze their Makey Makey boards to create electrical schematic diagrams. Students interpreted the connection of human to human as a switch, the computer as a battery, and various resistors.
I gave the students a set up chart and a task sheet to complete. This task sheet informed the students on how to set up the Makey Makey as well as which apps worked best for with the app.


Makey Makey Set Up 

Makey Makey Task Sheet

Sharing Ideas and Reflections – Through an “Online Sheet of Paper”

Posted by mvaldez on October 14, 2015

In today’s networked world, sharing ideas is not an option, is a required skill. Students need to get used to be part of a group or teamwork, learn from others and work in a collaborative environment.


Padlet allows students to express their thoughts in any language.

For example, in our Spanish class, whenever is brainstorming time, when introducing new concepts or during reflection time, this “virtual wall” enables our students to leave a “sticky” note with their own thoughts, which then generates classroom discussion.


Seeing others’ work or responses in this “visually organized mode”, inspires and helps students’ thinking. They also learn and develop their spirit of inquiry, encouraging themselves to ask questions.


You can access this application from any device so it is very easy to do it in our classrooms or send it as homework.


Using an online sheet of paper for sharing ideas and reflections, improves students’ learning experience, communication and collaboration.


Going crazy organizing your student pictures in your shared Ipads?

Posted by gtori on September 30, 2015

Why not try EASY CLASS CAM app?  Easy Class Cam is the ultimate camera app for classes or families with shared iPads/iPods. Photos taken by students/children are automatically placed in an album belonging to them, making them super easy to find later on. Folders are easily created. Pictures of your students can even be included on your folders, for those younger kids that still do not know how to read their names. 




Helping to Clear the Murky Waters of Copyright & Fair Use in Education

Posted by ssweeney on September 9, 2015

copyrightIt is our job as educators to not only know about these laws, but to also teach about them in our classrooms.  The idea of copyright is a very good one.  Who wouldn’t want to protect their rights to something they have created?  However as teachers we can’t afford to pay for every item we would like to use for educational purposes, nor can we expect students to pay for everything they would like to implement into a project.  Luckily, fair use was established to help with these situation in the field of education.  Theproblem is that this gift is often a curse, because there is no one clear answer when it come to the rules of fair use in education.

A great place to start building your understanding of what is right and wrong with fair use is to print off the Copyright & Fair Use Guidelines for Teacherswhich is published online by Tech & Learning

Your next stop should be the website Education World which published a series of five articles that do a fabulous job of explaining copyright and fair use in education.   I highly recommend that you take the time to read them, especially Part 4: Applying Fair Use to New Technologies.

The Educator’s Guide to Copyright and Fair Use
Part 1: Copyrights and Copying Wrongs
Part 2: Is Fair Use a License to Steal?
Part 3: Copyright Law and New Technologies
Part 4: Applying Fair Use to New Technologies
Part 5: District Liability and Teaching Responsibility

Finally here are a few resources you and your students can use to avoid breaking copyright.  These are resources that are either classified as public domain or they are royalty free.



This post was originally posted by the same author on

Providing Fast and Efficient Feedback:

Posted by ssweeney on September 23, 2014 is an excellent resource for helping students understand what plagiarism is, but it also has many great resources for providing students with feedback on their writing. includes features like adding audio comments to student writing, creating a comment bank, and setting up peer editing.   To implement fast and effective feedback through, a teacher would need the following skills:

  • Create an assignment
  • Setting up peer editing
  • Creating comment bank
  • Recording Voice Comments
  • Sharing Feedback with students

Providing Fast and Efficient Feedback: Google Docs

Posted by ssweeney on September 22, 2014

Through the use of a Google Document, a teacher is able to provide efficient just-in-time feedback to a student’s writing piece while they are in the process.  Because Google Docs are hosted in the cloud and are shared documents, both students and teachers can have access at the same time.  This means that the writing process doesn’t have to be interrupted to receive important feedback for improved learning.  To utilize Google Docs for providing fast and efficient feedback, teachers will need to have the following skills.