For the past year and a half, I have been opening students and teachers up to perler beads. The story began in late 2015, when I was looking into a new hobby as I worked towards finishing up my dissertation proposal. Just after New Year’s 2016, I bought a set of grids and a large mixed bucket of perler beads that was being sold at a swap meet and away I went. A few days later, I was working on a project with two of my friend’s children and they were coming up with crazy designs using graph paper and were bringing them to life with the perler beads. I realized this was a great way to teach students about pixel art and doing 3D printing on a more manageable budget. The idea took off with my students and I started sharing out classroom ideas and STEAM lessons on my social networks and have refined the lessons to a more digital format thanks to both Alice Keeler and Christine Pinto over the last year. In the last few months, I was able to learn how to use Bloxels to create 13-bit video games. As a result, I decided to merge them both into an amazing lesson that promotes group work, digital citizenship and STREAM
A few weeks ago, I was on my Perler Bead Facebook Groups and our latest challenge was creating Fidget Spinners. The Fidget Spinner has been around for a while, the spinner works on a simple premise where you have to put it on one finger then use your other hand to keep it going. It also works perfectly for killing time when you’re bored waiting for someone, or chilling out for something to happen. They have become the norm in schools to the point they can also create a unique oppurtunity for STEM and STEAM lessons and projects. Continue reading “STEAM with Fidget Spinners”
A few days ago, I was on my Perler Beads Facebook and a member, Juan Diaz came up with this fantastic idea of making a Link from The Legend of Zelda raising a heart with mini perler beads and then place them in a jar for display. So many of us just loved the idea, and of course I knew I had to come up with a great way to use this idea in the classroom.
Using time lapse Perler Beads, I created this tribute to Carrie Fisher using CC Star Wars music. May the Force be with You, Carrie Fisher. Continue reading Carrie Fisher Tribute Video
Greetings from a Galaxy, Far, Far Away. First of all, a major thank you to all the donors who helped my school get their 3D printer filled up with filament and Perler Beads for our students. This will go such a long way in really transforming their learning and for my teachers to have amazing creativity with their lessons. While the Force is strong with our school right now, a great set of lessons came to me while watching Rogue One the other day that you can use with coding and everything from Ozobots to LEGO We Do 2.0.
It’s December and you know what that means, Hour of Code. Hour of Code is a campaign which has engaged 10% of all students in the world, and provides the leading curriculum for K-12 computer science in the largest school districts in the United States. This year it is December 5-10. I was very happy last year for my school to participate in Hour of Code and this year we are doing it by storm during my STEAM enrichment classes and unleashing our new LEGOs, Ozobots, 3D printer and using Tickle coding App this year. Here are some great ways to have your students get into Hour of Coding and even win some prizes for your school.
Image from http://www.tech-fairy.com
Last week, I had such an amazing thing happen. Both my Donors Choose projects were fully funded. Bringing Ozobots, LEGOs and a 3D Printer (still waiting on it) to be brought to my students for STEAM. In the last couple of days, I have seen my students come to life with our new tools and having them bring new innovation to their learning and understanding. Well, I was working with my Kinders and something very interesting happened. They had a problem with coding with their Spheros and Ozobots. Not because of the ability to code, but due to the size. That’s when I had to jump into action to bring coding and robotics to my Kinders with their new LEGOs.
I know, you are probably reading the headline and saying: “Don’t you mean Christmas Wish List”? Kind of, but for the last few years, I have always seen great sales for items I would love to have for my students and classroom and eventually, they find themselves to my students (sadly not by Christmas). So, being the #STEAM teacher and trying to transition my students to STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, art and mathematics). I came up with a great wish list this year.
Found out today my first donors choose is officially on the Red Clock. That means there are less than 45 Days left to get funded. My Ozobot and 3D Printer Donors Choose for my students is only 25% funded. I received over 200 votes for the Limeades for Learning for Sonic’s and I’m still have not had any backers in almost three months. Caring Classrooms will not feature my project since there is more than $500 remaining. Please, help my Donors Choose get funded. My students are ready to have more with their STEAM and coding and it’s a great … Continue reading The Red Clock has started on my Donors Choose
The last few days, I have been working with my various students to create Pixel Art Game cards. So many of my students, especially my Middle Schoolers love creating pixel art with Google Sheets. I based the project from Alice Keeler’s post a while ago on using Google Sheets for Pixel Art. You can read all about it, including getting the template here. Originally, during my STEAM enrichment class, we were using the pixel creation and then shifted it to creating 3D prints. Allowing my students to create in digital form and then transfer and scaffold with their designs into … Continue reading Pixel Art Game Cards