It's OK to not know, but it's NOT OK to not try.
LEQ: How does a Makey Makey work?
Design Cycle Quadrants: Inquiring/Analyzing, Developing Ideas, Creating, and Evaluating
"Thomas Twist": No instructions on how to put it together
Learner Profile: Knowledgeable (about how circuits work) and thinker (how to put together the Makey Makey)
Strength: I had experience with playing retro games and putting together circuits
Weakness: It was challenging to get the Earth wire to stay on
Result: I was able to make a controller to play Flappy Bird, Mario, and play a piano and drum set with the Makey Makey
How can I design a paper airplane to travel the furthest distance? That was our challenge today...
We used the Inquiring, developing, and creating quadrants when working and the evaluating quadrant when testing our planes. The "Thomas Twist" was that were were not able to test or fly our planes during the construction process. We were thinkers, inquirers, and risk-taking today because several of us never folded paper airplanes today and had to research about how to fold. The strengths were using websites, videos, and images to find various designs. Our struggles were that we couldn't test how to throw our planes until the final test. The results were that most of the planes went forward and that planes with "crisp" folds went the furthest distance. Here is a website that has many different styles of planes to fold: www.foldnfly.com
Design Challenge Question: How can you communicate without talking?
Design Cycle Quadrants: Developing Ideas, Creating, Evaluating
"Thomas Twist": Limited 2 minute time frame, No topic announced
Learner Profile: Communication because we had to use alternative forms of communicating rather than verbal communication
Strengths: I had knowledge of all the lists including musical instruments, sports, animals, etc
Struggles: It took me several seconds to identify the topic of the list and wasted some time
Result: My partner and I were able to complete all the lists before the 2 minutes were up!
Website link: Charades in App Store
How can my group put together various types of jigsaw puzzles in the quickest amount of time? We used the create and evaluate quadrants of the design cycle to answer this design challenge question. There were different "Thomas Twists" for each task we took on. The first was no box/picture, the second was no talking with the group, and the third was flipping all pieces to the back side of the puzzle. We used knowledgeable and risk-taker because we had to use our information on maps and Frozen to solve the puzzles and risk-taking because we never completed a flipped puzzle before. The strength was that our group put together the frame first for each task. The struggle was our frustration on the second challenge that there were actually four smaller puzzles to put together. We were able to get half the third task completed. You can find many puzzles at the Dollar Tree stores.
The question we accomplished today was "How can you write a simple story in multiple ways to appeal to various audiences?" We used the developing ideas and creating the solution quadrants of the design cycle. The Thomas twist was we were limited on the number of words and emojis that we could use to write our story. The story had to be 50 words exactly and the emoji story had to be 17 emojis only. The learner profile attributes we used most were thinkers and reflective because we had to constantly reassess our story to make sure it fit the "twist" guidelines. The strength of my group was working as a team with one person typing in word, another doing the emojis on her phone, and I did the storyboard. The weakness was the we had different ideas about what the story should be about and it took a while to write. We were able to finish all the stories within the 25 minute time limit. Storyboardthat.com is a new website I used to create graphical story boards about our 50 word story.
LEQ: How far can you propel an army man forward using a launcher?
Design Cycle Quadrants: Design, Create, and Evaluate
Thomas Twist: Our group could only use $10 at the Challenge Store to buy supplies.
Learner Profile Attributes: Knowledgeable and Thinker because we had to use our knowledge of science and math to keep changing our design to make the launcher go further
Strengths: We were successful in completing the challenge using the least amount of materials
Weakness: Our first design did not work the way that we thought and had to create 3 different designs
Result of Challenge: All of the teams were successful in launching the army man forward! The longest launcher in 8th period went about 27 feet.
Website link: To find out more about catapult designs, visit this science website: https://www.real-world-physics-problems.com/catapult-physics.html
George: What did you do today Ms. T?
Ms. T: We are used unique perspectives to take creative selfies on our photo scavenger hunt.
George: Sounds fun! What quadrants did you used?
Ms. T: I definitely used developing ideas and creating the solution when we were outside taking
selfies. Then I came inside and evaluated.
George: Did you use the learner profile?
Ms. T: Sure did! I was a thinker because I had to creatively find things to photograph.
George: So what was the "twist" ?
Ms. T: Well, we had to find 15 items in only 10 minutes. We had to think fast and work together.
George: So how'd it go?
Ms. T: It was hard to find a few items and I struggled trying to think of unique items. But my
strength was that I was able to take several different tasks and make them into one
picture (something round that water will go through AND hard & green). I worked
smarter, not harder.
George: So were you able to get everything done?
Ms. T: Yup, I found all the items on the list with 2 minutes to spare!
George: So has something like this been done before?
Ms. T: Yes, I've seen this done at camps, events, cruise ships, and holiday parties. Go to
scavenger-hunt.org/20-photo-scavenger-hunt-ideas/ for ideas and different hunts already
George: I wish I could do one too...
Ms. T: Well you better "hop to it" quickly!
How can I be safe online and when using social media? I only used the inquiring and analysing section of the design cycle. I used the learner profile of knowledgeable to learn more facts and data about internet safety.
Some facts I learned were: 16 percent of teens have email or social media accounts their parents are unaware of, more than half of teens have witnessed cyberbullying on social media, bullying over texting is becoming much more common.
There are several videos and articles found on Common Sense Media's page. The image below is from "Footprints in the Sand" from the Polk County Internet Safety lessons in Moodle.
Design Challenge Question:
How can I design and build the tallest free-standing structure?
Design Cycle Quadrants:
We used the developing ideas and create solutions sections of the design cycle.
Our team were divided into roles. One person was the engineer supervisor and gave directions and told the construction crew what to build. The other members were the construction crew and were the only members allowed to manipulate the materials and construct the tower.
Learner Profile Attribute:
We were knowledgeable because we had to take our previous building experience and geometry skills to apply it to the construction of our towers.
Strengths of the Challenge:
The engineer did a remarkable job of leading the group and involving all the team members.
Struggles of the Challenge:
The time to construct was limited and made us rush, not being able to take our time.
Result of the Challenge:
The overall results were an average of 40% success rate for each class in having standing towers at the end of the 15 minutes. The tallest tower stood 27" high!
Website link for further information on the marshmallow challenge:
The Design Challenge Question was "How can I work with my peers to create a cup stacking structure?" We used all 4 quadrants of the Design Cycle: analyze, design, create, and evaluate.
The "Thomas Twist" was we couldn't use any part of your body to move the cups. We could only use a piece of string or a rubber band with strings attached. Later on in task 4, we couldn't verbally communicate. We used the learner profile attributes communicator and risk-taker because we tried something we have never done before and had to work in groups.
The strengths were working together as a team and not giving up. The struggle was figuring out how to use the tools that we had to work with (rubber band and string) to pick up the cups. We were able to get to the 4th task, which was stacking cups of 2 different colors using only a rubber band without being able to talk to our group.
I never knew that cup stacking was a world sport! Here is the link to Speed Stacks, the official cup of the world sport stacking association. See the pictures below of the 8th grade classes in action!
This class uses technology daily, has weekly design challenges, creates websites, process journal is an online blog, utilize FabLab software and equipment, and challenges your entrepreneurial spirit in unit projects.
You will not... have homework, need school supplies, need to raise your hand, have assigned seats.
You will...listen to music, use technology, have flexible seating, go outside, move around the classroom, work with friends, submit work online, keep a weekly blog, have fun, and learn!
Supplies needed: BYOD (cellphone, Tablet, Laptop) and headphones/earbuds
Sign up for Remind:
10 Facts about Ms. Thomas: