Monthly Archives: February 2019

Coding Club Winter Update

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In Coding Club students learn to work with everything from circuits to robots and in a variety of ways from rolling over barcodes to programming in block languages like Scratch. Below are photos from last week when we made robots that draw using legos, Edison robots and 3D printed pen holders. Students coded them to move in circles, lines or even make a letter.

6th graders are the best teachers!

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These sixth graders are teaching their classmates about Emperor Qin’s death, and what happened in Ancient China after he died…

These sixth graders are teaching their classmates about how Emperor Qin got rid of any opposition to his rule. They are doing a great job using speaker notes so that their slide show is clear and concise!

8th Grade Manifest Destiny debate!

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The eighth graders got into teams to prepare to debate arguments for and against the idea of ‘Manifest Destiny’…students did a good job of arguing their point and trying to catch each other off guard.  The debate then moved online to google classroom, and each student is getting a chance to post their own opinion of U.S. expansion in the 1800s.

February Update

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6th grade has been learning about genetics, the study of heredity, by focusing on our essential question “How can two yellow labs have brown puppies?” We started with Gregor Mendel, made Punnett squares, and calculated the probability of offspring. Here they are simulating three different crosses using marbles:



7th grade has been exploring the question “Where does most of a plants matter come from?” They conducted research and various investigations such as making a leaf imprint to discover the stomata on the underside of a fern leaf. The also used thin later chromatography to separate the various leaf pigments. Here are a few pictures of their investigation on looking at pigments:



8th grade has been determining “Why do roller coasters usually start with a BIG hill?” through the creation of their own paper roller coaster. In groups, students were tasked to make a roller coaster prototype and film an advertisement for potential investors. Within their video they explain the roller coasters theme, state cost, and explain how they calculated gravitational potential energy and various kinetic energies. To be determined which group gets most of the investors’ money!


Et que ça saute!

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Pour  le French Club nous avons récemment célébré la Chandeleur avec un peu de retard et les 8th graders ont fait des crêpes dans la cafétéria de l’école. Nutella, bananes, fraises et chantilly étaient également au menu. Encore un grand moment !


Engineering Week is Here!

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One of my favorite times in the lab is Engineering Week (Feb 17-22). This is an opportunity to bring engineering to life for students though hands-on and computer activities. We will use BBC Microbits and Edison robots in the upper grades and Bee-Bot/Blue-Bot robots in the lower grades along with online resources. Below are a few photos so far and some resources we are using for engineering.

February Update

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Greetings from Middle School Technology!

We have had an exciting and productive second trimester. Here is what we have been working on:

6th Grade – My Vacation Project: Students have been learning how to leverage technology to help them plan a dream vacation. Each student or pair of students have been given a budget and tasked with planning a vacation to a place they have never been before. Our first step was to create an automated budget calculator using Google Sheets to help students quickly figure out how much of their budget they were planning to spend. Next, students explored flight and hotel aggregation websites and read about travel seasons to figure out when and where they would travel. Students then had to find at least three activities to do at their vacation destination. At least one activity must have cultural or historical relevance that they will have to explain. We then learned how to create a custom Google map with all of our vacation plans laid out to help figure out local transportation options. Finally, students are currently working on putting all of this information together in a multimedia presentation with Google Slides. We’re excited to present our plans in class in the coming weeks!

7th Grade – Multimedia Museum of African American Inventors: In celebration of Black History Month, we are creating a gallery of narrated animations about different African American inventors. Students have been assigned an inventor to research and create an animation-heavy Google Slides presentation about. We will then create narrated screen recording videos of these presentations that we will then turn into augmented reality experiences. Once we’re finished, we will have a class gallery walk to learn more about the important contributions of African American inventors throughout history.

8th GradePersuasive Techniques in Advertising: We began this study of advertising and its impact on our lives by learning about persuasion techniques. Drawing from the work of Aristotle, we looked at examples of ethos, pathos, and logos as they are applied by advertisers in commercials. Students then read about other common persuasion techniques and did an analysis of advertisements they find in their lives in different mediums – TV, streaming, social media, and websites. Our next step is to apply what we have learned about persuasion techniques by creating two advertising campaigns – one political and one commercial. Students choose whether to create print ads with Pixelmator graphic design software or video ads with iMovie. Of course, some students will choose to combine these tools when creating their ads (we love ambition!).

What’s Next?

As we move into the third trimester, here is what we will be looking forward to in Technology classes:

6th Grade: Data Collection and Visualisation with Google Forms

7th Grade: Creating a How-To Screencast Video to help Struggling Students

8th Grade: 3D Modeling with SketchUp