Students in Grade 2 and 3 used Lego to show their learning about skyscrapers in Tokyo. They cooperatively created a neon-lit street scene in Akihabara. As a group, we used Superimpose App to place our buildings into a Japanese photograph. No green screen required. Here is how we did it:
1. Begin by importing a background from photos using the square icon on the top left.
2. Repeat by importing a foreground from photos, again using the square icon on the top left.
3. Use the Transform icon on the bottom. This will allow you to move and resize the foreground.
4. Use the Mask icon on the bottom. This is the part where you erase parts of the foreground so that the background shows through. The app has a ‘Magic Wand’ icon that will erase all of the contiguous parts of the colour you touch. There is an ‘undo’ button on the top left.
5. Still in Mask, use the Brush icon to remove any bits the Magic Wand missed. You can also use the Eraser, above the Wand, to put back any parts that the Wand has erased that you want to keep.
6. Go back to Home and save to photos. Next time try tinkering with some of the advanced options : )
Students created buttons to show their love of reading. We used colourful pages from discarded picture books and pages of text from old paperbacks to create our People Press pins.
Students in Grade 4 have been learning about different styles of Japanese writing. We chose some powerful words to put on display using old DVD cases. Students chose words such as Kindness, Beauty, Truth and Peace. We used calligraphy brushes purchased at an inexpensive Japanese Dollar store (Daiso in Richmond).
We have been exploring the significance of the lotus in Japanese culture. Students were up for the challenge of using a linear tool to create a circular design.
Students shared the ideas in How to Catch Santa by Jean Reagan. We discussed different kinds of traps that might work and students worked in groups of 2 or 3 to build a mini-machine that would trap Santa. Students had to work cooperatively and were able to give detailed explanations as to how their trap worked.
In a collaborative effort, two Grade 3 classes contributed to the making of a set of trees to decorate the Learning Commons. Given time constraints, I hot glued the pine cones into the small dixie cups in advance. Activity linked to Winter Trees by Carole Gerber.
The first class painted the base and the green tree. This allowed the first coat to dry before the next class added the white paint and glitter.
Rather than each student have to leave the room for clean up, or try to squeeze to use the sink in my office, I put out a shallow container of soapy water and a pile of paper towels.
Update: The class that did the painting decided to gift the creations to the class that did the glitter. Great practice on how to wrap presents.
Students learned about holly (ouch) and painted wooden decorations. We created a fireplace mantle from unused textbooks and picked out some themed books to add to fire place.
We like to keep the literature closely linked to our Maker Education activities. Here’s a link to a useful list of books that can easily be linked to a Maker activity. This week we explored Chris Van Dusen’s If I Built a House and designed our own structures with unique features. We have also done this activity with the companion book If I Built a Car.
Like the character in the book, we used a variety of materials to design our structures including Tinker Toys, Lego and K’nex. We will be linking this to our Japan theme next week and some classes will be exploring traditional Japanese home design.
Students explored building with cardboard shapes made by YOXO. We started with seeing if we could follow instructions for one of the suggested designs. We are looking forward to experimenting with the pieces and seeing what other creations we can come up with.
The slotted shapes are also useful for tracing to make your own cardboard creations. They can be a little tricky to slot together at first but we think they will loosen up the more they are used and the softer the cardboard gets.
We learned about Sadako through pictures, videos and the great book Sadako’s Cranes by Judith Loske. Building on their previous knowledge, students created origami ‘Fortune Tellers’ that were transformed into poppies when added to our wreath. Students who knew how to create the origami, taught others in their table group and had a chance to shine as leaders.