Tuesday, December 15, 2015

AR: Book Reviews with Aurasma

AR. No, it's not a reading program, or an acronym for your favorite candy. AR, or augmented reality, is just one of the ways we are using technology in our classroom.

Have you ever stood in the library, searching for your next great read? Want to know what other students are reading, and hear reviews from people who have read the book you are interested in reading? And, best of all, have the review be from someone your own age?
Students work together to embed their videos into Aurasma

Augmented Reality is allowing us here at Pier 112 do just that. And, lucky for us, the show Reading Rainbow is making a comeback. Before Thanksgiving break, we kicked off this fun activity with a few quick videos (yes I even threw in an old one) of the Reading Rainbow book reviews. Students evaluated the reviews for content, quality, and engagement. Over the break, they read a book and wrote a short, one minute or less book review. When we came back, they went to work.
Students worked together to capture their trigger images and test each others' "auras"

What a great opportunity to embed so many concepts into one lesson. Collaboration? Students troubleshot technology issues with Aurasma, the augmented reality iPad application of choice. Assess writing skills? Students submitted a copy of their script before recording their videos. Practice fluency skills? Students practiced reading their script before filming their videos.

Now, hanging in our library are several pictures of books the students can choose from to see a review.

Interested in using Aurasma for your next project? Watch this short how-to video and find out how.

It's All About the Ocean

That's true this week at Pier 112, where our class is docked. This week marks the beginning of our venture into the sea, where we will explore underwater food webs, underwater research with ROVs, the interaction between land, water and air, and most importantly: Why people should care about the ocean.

Giuliana on Skype
We kicked off our next PBL, or problem-based learning unit, with a Skype session with one of NOAA's scientist, modeler and oceanographer Giuliana Turi. She talked to our 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students about her love of the ocean, Swiss chocolate and cheese, and her studies in ocean acidification. She was amazing! Keeping 90 students engaged for half an hour is quite a feat. We are excited to continue to work with her through this unit.
3rd, 4th and 5th graders at CSA tune in to the Skype with NOAA scientist Giuliana Turi

Monday, October 19, 2015

Welcome Aboard, 5th Graders!

I can't believe the new school year has already started, as it was just yesterday we were 3D printing ocean organisms and building underwater ROVs. It has been a great first couple of days with a mixture of old and new faces, and we are ready to hit the ground running with a STEMtastic year!

Click here to read my NOAA Teacher at Sea Blog.
I recently returned from a summer adventure in Alaska. I was selected as a NOAA Teacher at Sea (for the second time!) in the spring, and spent 3 weeks in Kodiak, Alaska helping scientists conduct the yearly walleye pollock survey. This experience gave me new insight into teaching, and I am committed to embedding my learning into everything we do this school year (and hopefully for years to come).

With that thought in mind, I decided to go with a nautical theme for my classroom this year. I have never been one for themes, but this one seemed fitting, and as I thought about it more, there are many connections to the atmosphere I am trying to create in our room. Here are a few pictures to help show our nautical connections.

Our job board complete with a nautical chart of Kodiak

"Sail Away With a Book"- The classroom library

Just a few photos outside the door attached to some fishing net from the ship

Entering Pier 112, our classroom

A reminder to the students: We are all members of the crew
It is going to be a great, nautical themed year!