If you don't already know, Donors Choose is a great way to acquire supplies and materials for your classroom. Teachers create a project, then spread the word about their project to family and friends, usually through social media. People, as well as businesses, are able to contribute to your project, showing their support for hard-working teachers everywhere.
Recently, I posted a Donors Choose project for 6 Ozobots, to teach robotics and coding to students in the SmartLab. With donations from family, friends, and the News Corps organization, my project was funded and the Ozobots are now being enjoyed in the SmartLab.
I encourage every teacher to sign up for a project! Start with something small and be amazed at the amount of people who want to give and support classroom teachers!!
Here is my Donors Choose page.
I would like to add a new couple of new robots to the SmartLab at Stuart Mesa, and I need your help! Meet the Ozobot!! This little robot is en excellent introduction to coding and robotics for younger learners, but can also be used by students in upper grades. Students (K-2) can use markers and stickers to write a physical code for Ozobot to follow, or (3-8) create code on a computer or iPad to control Ozobot.
I have created a project on Donors Choose for 6 Ozobots. If students work with a partner, that means that I can have 12 students working and learning with Ozobots at a time. Since I work with multiple grade levels at Stuart Mesa, that means that potentially every student on campus could have an opportunity to write code and learn about robotics from the Ozobots. If you would like to donate to my Donors Choose project, HERE is the link. If you donate before March 10, 2016 and use the code word EMPOWER, your donation will be matched by Donors Choose. So basically a $10 donation will become a $20 donation.
If you would like to learn more about the Ozobots, HERE is a link to the company website.
Fifth grade is in the Lab this week, working on their very first Learning Engagement! I am so impressed with the creativity and critical thinking taking place in the Stuart Mesa SmartLab. Here are the projects that students are working on:
Learners use LEGOs to build a robot, then program their robot using code. This is one of the more visually exciting projects in the lab, and is always a favorite among the students. I was especially impressed with two students who were problem solving ways to modify their robot, and create an original design.
(Check out the two LEGO WeDo robots created in the lab today in the videos below).
Learners working on this project are tasked with completing a circuit to make something happen - a light bulb illuminate, a fan fly into the air, or an alarm sound. Students are encouraged to problem solve and communicate with their partner when their circuit does not work.
The sensors available to fifth grade students include the Temperature sensor, Motion Sensor, and Force Sensor. Learners today tackled the "Best Cup Design Challenge," where they were tasked with creating an insulated cup to keep water warm. They used the Temperature sensor to record their data.
The focus with K'Nex is building simple machines. Many learners are creating levers, pulleys, or wheels/axles.
Coding has become such a popular (and important) activity for students! Learners work on the website code.org, where they have their own account that keeps track of their levels of code completed.