Sew What’s New?

albert einstein creativityThings are about to get really interesting around here!  See how we will be using our new Makerspace and integrating making into our reading!

Crayola DJ App

Screen-Shot-2015-05-27-at-6.25.49-PMCrayola DJ App

Age Scale:  6+

Device:  iPhone, iPod, and iPad (available on Google Play also!)

Quick Line: Look Out Calvin Harris!

What Educators Need to Know:

Our school will soon enter the Maker Movement with the addition and development of a true makerspace in our building.  Exciting!  But not every student will have access to this creative location every day.  What to do?  Combine our Makerspace To Go with some terrific apps on our iPads!

Crayola DJ is a great app to get students started in the creation process.  It is especially appealing to those interested in music.  And while the target age range is 6-10, I would argue that even older students would enjoy mixing tracks. While the options are minimal, it is very easy to create professional-sounding mixes.

Here’s how it works:  

Crayola DJ

First, add a drum track. There are only a few to choose from, but I think this was a good plan.  Too many options for such an important foundation could get confusing.  Second, add looping a sound effect from one of five genres. Repeat this process on the second turntable.  Slide the balance to make one turntable sound louder than the other.  Change the tempo to create some variety.  Add special effects to make your beat unique.  Then produce your song and battle it out on the “stage” by scratching and adding a light show.  Save the song and share it with family and friends!

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You certainly don’t have to keep my basic guide handy when you use this app.  A nice tutorial will lead you through the steps easily and help you produce something slick.

You might be thinking, “But what would I use this for?”  We have done some terrific projects in the past by having students create original songs and/or jingles to advertise fictitious products in Health classes or points of interest in Social Studies.  How awesome would it be for students to create original beats to use alongside these?  The truth is, the students have these ideas in their heads.  Why not allow them to produce something of professional quality!

Price:  $4.99

I received a free copy of this app from Legacy Games, but my review and opinions are my own.

Maker Movement Coming to Our School!

Grace Lani, Canon-McMillan School District director of curriculum and instruction, said the goal will be to eventually…

Posted by Canon-McMillan School District on Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Makerspace-To-Go

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It’s no secret that I absolutely love Pinterest.  With over 9,000 pins on both my personal and  iPod Teacher boards, Pinterest has become a great resource for those of us looking for trending, exciting, and easy DIY projects!

It is also no secret that I love integrating technology into my classroom.  Modern students are intrigued by technology, and I think it is so important to show them how technology can improve their learning!

So, what do you get when you introduce the DIY community to technology?  Maker Education, of course!

I’m excited to announce that Cecil Intermediate School has entered the work of #makered with our new Makerspace-To-Go!  In our portable Sterilite container, you will find duct tape, craft sticks, modeling clay, a rubber band loom, and hot glue.  But you will also find a LittleBits circuit kit, an iPad for stop motion animation, and a Sphero robot.  We are allowing students to tinker, experiment, improvise, and create.  We are saying Yes to the Mess and letting the students use their hands to learn, think, and grow.

Here are some photographs from our recent after-school professional development.  My students loved being able to teach the teachers!

Augmented Reality

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Stop Motion Animation with Lego

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Duct Tape Wallets and Flower Toppers

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LittleBits Circuitsmakerpd1.9

LoopDeeDoo Bracelets

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Let’s not forget about the BOOKS!makerpd1.7

Want to know more?  Check out my Makerspace Board on the iPodTeacher’s Pinterest page

or read this article, “What’s the Maker Movement and Why Should I Care?”

Giving Individuals a Voice with Padlet

Looking for an easy way for students to SHARE their learning?  Padlet is a terrific, FREE tool!

I encourage my students to share what they are reading frequently.  The students are much more likely to accept a recommendation from a peer than me.  Biblionasium has become a staple in our classroom, but I also like the on-the-spot responses that Padlet provides.

The steps to using this terrific, FREE, collaborative tool could not be easier.  First, create a new wall.  You can modify the wall by choosing fun backgrounds like blueprint or chessboard.  Create a title and description.  This is where I usually post my instructions.  Select a layout (freeform, stream, or grid).  I vary this depending on the assignment.  Then you SHARE it with your audience.  I’ve found the easiest way is it use the Padlet generated QR code associated with your wall.  (You can find it under the share icon.)  The students bring their device to the iPad or computer screen, scan the code, and they have instant access!  They can tap anywhere to add their response!  So easy!  They don’t even have to log in!  Best of all, the finished product can be printed as a  .jpg, .pdf, excel or csv document.   It can also be embedded into a blog!

Our DIY Bench/Table/Ottoman

At the beginning of the year, I had my students learn about the brain and how the different parts function.  Then we read a few articles about how people learn.  We continued our study by dissecting some really complex material about what students need to learn BEST.

This lead to a few important focal points:

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Then I asked the students to create a list of things that would enhance our learning space:

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We knew we needed to make some changes.  The students needed somewhere to sit when they were reading and a small table for when they were collaborating on the carpet.  I consulted our guidance counselor, who just happens to be a carpenter on the side, and we came together to make our own seating.  Here are a few pictures!

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Look at these proud, happy faces!  Mr. B. , we could not have done it without you!bench 2.4

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And the final results…

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