Marshmallow Challenge

During opening meetings the faculty and staff took part in a Marshmallow Challenge activity after a presentation about our new makerspace, Spark.  Small groups embraced the difficult task and worked together to turn spaghetti, tape and string into a tall structure strong enough to support a marshmallow at the top.    Nice work everyone!  We look forward to many more collaborative activities in our makerspace in the future.

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Choose Your Own Adventure

Rem167209015_d6830e6099_oember the choose your own adventure books? You can make choose your adventure stories using Google Apps tools like Docs or YouTube.  Click here to see a really cool choose your own adventure YouTube video.  Want to get the nuts and bolts of how to create these stories? The following Google Presentation has directions and examples of how to make and use choose your own adventures stories in your classroom. Here is an example created by a 3rd grade class.

Learn to Code this Summer!

Code.org_logo.svgI hope everyone is taking time this summer to set down their devices and enjoy the outdoors and each other.  You might also be looking for some quite time activities for yourself or your kids.  Edsurge has put together a Teaching Kids to <CODE> guide with lots of great resources around learning to code.   They encourage all ages to learn to code, as they argue it is the new literacy.  Scroll down the page and you will find an excellent write up of 50+ tools to learn to code, many of them free.

Extend the walls of your classroom with Global Projects

eyeworldCollaborating with other classes around the world is a great learning experience for students.  The hardest part is finding projects. Look no further. is a great resource for finding and participating in PreK -6 global projects. There is a wide range of projects both in topic and length. Some projects are 1 day long others are longer term.

Cardboard construction with makedo!

IMG_3864Just got a class set of makedo kits for Pike’s makerspace “Spark”. Makedo is designed for fast simple and sturdy cardboard construction. You can find examples of lesson plans here and a showcase of kid and adult made projects here.

It comes with three tools.

Safe-saw – tool for safely cutting cardboard.

Scru & scrudriver – Use the Scrudriver in conjunction with Scru to easily connect cardboard.

Strap – Reinforce joins or use the living hinge to create moving parts.

Explain Everything 3.0

Explain Everything Alternative LogoExplain Everything will be launching a new version very soon and it comes with 4 new features that I think will be useful here at Pike. See the new version in action with Explain Everything creator Reshan Richards.

1.  Updated User Interface – this is minor for the classroom but they have created an cleaner look.

2.  Improved Export Workflow – one export button. This should make it a bit easier to export your creations.

3. Equation Editor – They’ve added an equation editor for including formulas and graphing. Pretty Cool!

4.  Simple User Interface Option – This is going to be great for the younger grades at Pike.  Takes away many of the buttons and leaves only the most important ones.