Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Farm Challenge

After missing two sessions for other activities, the students in this class were assigned mini-islands where they found the materials for The Farm Challenge. Each student had 4 boxed projects including a barn, cow, sheep, and chicken. They have been having problems seeing the big picture and completing projects of their own choosing, so this was a way to access their skill level. They had to buy each box and find the project folder in their inventories. Then they would drag the pieces to the ground and align them into a finished object. It was so fun to watch and the barns went up quickly. It was more difficult to align the wings and legs of the animals, but the ones that got that far did a great job. One student raised his cow in the air in order to attach the hooves and it was just like a mechanic putting your car up on a rack to get under it! I loved it. (See videos below)

Edison Student Work on Vehicles and House Continues

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Newbies Begin House Challenge

Today some newbies began the floor plan project on the island. They were apprehensive but I assured them that they were up for the challenge. I want to empower more of our female students when it comes to honing their building skills. (See videos below)

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Vehicle Challenge

Although today was supposed to be the Vehicle or Animal Challenge, no one wanted to build an animal. Go figure. I'll see how tomorrow's Farm Challenge at a different school goes. We had some nonsense happen today which resulted in two students losing their Second Life privileges. I'm always sad when that happens because these students so seldom get to use computers to help support their ability to think in three dimensions. Four girls from this group will be moved to the island where they can work on building from the house floor plan. I really want to encourage the girls to think of possible careers in architecture, design, or engineering. (See video below)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Edison Rookies work on Connecting Prims

Unfortunately, the machine I was using in the Edison Computer Lab ran out of virtual memory less than 2 min. into capturing the newest kids working up on the building platform.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Various Social Studies Projects

In the past week or so, 8th graders at Lowell have been working on approved curricular projects. Our main focus is building so we asked students to come up with something related to another class that could be translated into a building project on the island. We have the beginnings of a Native American Village, the Mayflower, a forest, another ecosystem focused on aquatic creatures, Westward movement, and the Plymouth Settlement. Some are more successful than others but everyone is getting building experience. It would be great to be directly working with the classroom teachers but so far that hasn't happened. (See video below)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

4th Graders 1st Prim Practice

I absolutely have to thank Chris Hart for being with us yesterday when we finally got a chance to experience the real wonder of the Reaction Grid; the building! You can't imagine the excitement in a room of about 28 4th graders who are creating prims. It was awesome! Thanks also to Kyle and Felix for their work on the RG. Your team is great!! Mr. Ross and I taught the kids how to take snapshots and save them to their inventories, so I was able to go and retrieve them later. Here is a taste of our first venture with prims. (See video below)

Friday, January 8, 2010

More Work on Hooverville

With the shacks looking fairly authentic with walls that are not perfectly aligned and mismatched materials, today the students added barrels that could have fires in them. (See video below)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The 4th Grade on the RG

It was chaotic, it was exciting, it was fantastic! 4th graders at Lowell School had their first experience with the Reaction Grid today. We went through a lot of basic procedures today such as assigning computers, setting up partners because the class is more than twice the number of computers available, finding the software, and logging in. The classroom teacher, Mr. Ross, and I let the kids have this class period for basic exploration. We wanted to see what they would discover on their own and by the end of the period, they had learned to add friends, chat with each other, fly and walk. This class will be studying the solar system and associated topics. To help, they will have a 3D model of the planets and a virtual moon that goes through the phases. Their first building activity will be to create their own planet. I'm very grateful to Mr. Ross for not only lending me his class, but also for learning very quickly how to take snapshots of the students so we can document as much of this as possible. (See video below)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back to Work on PESD Island TSL

Although I'm doing prep work for PESD Island RG, today my Edison students continued working on their Social Studies connection and are getting closer to having a Hooverville on PESD Island TSL. Here's a little video of them working.