Friday, November 18, 2011

Dynamite Dioramas

My two middle daughters have had a busy week full of projects. On Wednesday they each made a diorama of an ecosystem - they chose Under the Sea and an Alaskan Ecosystem. The older daughter (Under the Sea) is creative, but impatient. Her diorama has the different elements, but she lost interest when it came to the details - hence, the animals aren't colored, nothing is labeled, etc. The younger middle daughter (Alaskan Ecosystem), however, is a kid that really follows through. She colored everything, created multiple levels, labeled the different roles in the ecosystem, added elements like a forest that she crafted out of leftover materials, and really did a knock-out job. I think both are cute, but the Alaskan Ecosystem really shines.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Terrific Tees

My middle girls and I discussed the "3 R's" (reduce, reuse, recycle) as part of their unit on interdependence in science. They designed t-shirts to spread the message of the 3 R's. They came up with unique ideas for the pictures on the back - one daughter drew a new purse, which would cost money, and then drew an old pair of jeans being turned into a purse to display the idea of reusing. The other drew examples of appropriate ways to recycle or reuse various items.

While all of this was happening, my youngest decided she, too, wanted to create a t-shirt. She has been enjoying several silly poems out of My Dog Does My Homework, so I suggested she choose one of her favorites and make a poem shirt. She was thrilled. She copied the poem (A Vegetarian Poem) on the back and then drew the different items listed in the poem on the front. They are all very excited to wear their shirts tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Old-Fashioned Poster

Here is how my 8-year-old decided to convey the same information in an old-fashioned paper and maker poster that her sister presented yesterday in a Power Point presentation. I find it interesting to compare the results. I suppose, however, that the younger daughter still used the computer to find pictures of the different types of applied technology, so it's not completely old-fashioned!  I admit, I am still biased towards paper and poster board. However, I am coming around to PP. I see how it can be very useful for sharing information with wider audiences. In addition, you don't have to worry about what you'll do with it when you've finished the unit. That being said, you can't hang a PP presentation on the kitchen wall! ;)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Learning with Power Point

I know - I haven't posted in forever. Things have been extremely busy! Plus we were out of town for a good chunk of October... But I'm back.

Today, my 9-year-old (well, she'll be 10 next week), wanted to create a poster to demonstrate things she has learned about renewable energy. We're big on posters over here - there's something satisfactory about seeing information on a poster that really works. But today, I encouraged her to try making a "poster" using the computer. I am very Power Point illiterate, so she did this by trial-and-error with a few tips from her 11-year-old sister.  I have tried to convert it from Power Point to the Google docs version so some of the elements have changed, but here is (basically) what she came up with (I think it's pretty good for a first try!):

Renewable Energy Presentation

My 8-year-old is currently working on an old-fashioned poster on the same topic. It will be interesting to compare how they turn out.