Aug. 16-Aug. 20

3rd Grade

Third graders will understand the procedures for entering the computer lab, signing in to Google Classroom to complete the assignment, how to spend their free time, and leaving the computer lab.  Students will log in to Google Classroom and add the technology class.  They will then complete an example lesson and turn it in.  As always, students may have free time by engaging with any designated website on the TechNeckSites slideshow.

4th-5th Grade

Students will complete and assignment in Google Classroom called Photo Flashcards.  This google slideshow was created by Eric Curts.  To get your own copy of the template, click here.  Each student has their designated slide with their name on it.  They edit the slide by telling me one thing they want me to know about them and one thing that annoys them.  They add a photo of themselves by following the directions on the slide.  Eric has the transitions set to where the photo pops up first with a pause before the name appears.  I will use it as flashcards to help me learn the names of my 325+ students.

Aiming for a Super Sonic Year!

I am approaching close to 20 years as the technology teacher at White Oak Intermediate School.  There is a temptation to ride the wave of complacency and let the procedures put in place in prior years carry me through the year without much effort on my part.  I discovered years ago a fascination with super sonic jets.  I think it was at an air show at the Gregg County Airport where I witnessed a fighter jet zoom by the crowd in total silence, and then moments later the amazing sound blasted through the air, so when the video below appeared in my youtube feed, I just had to watch it. Something the creator of the video said near the end stuck with me. He said,
“This is what I learned flying with the Air Force Thunderbirds.  Sometimes in life I get overconfident, and I’m probably not the only one that does this, but maybe I’m overconfident because of something I’ve learned in a book, or overconfident because of a life experience I’ve already had that’s similar to this one, or maybe even because of a past success I had. Here’s where I’m at right now, though. If I don’t approach each new experience with an appropriate balance between confidence and humility, there’s a good chance I’m going to be humbled by force. So moving forward, whether it’s a physical challenge or a discussion with a friend, I’m going to try to maintain that balance between confidence and humility.” (Quote by Destin from SmarterEveryDay)
To see the entire incredible episode, click below.

Maker Monday Projects

These are images from student creations during our Maker Monday series.  Students turned in the images through a Google Classroom assignment.  I love to see their creativity and individualization of these projects!

Maker Monday – iPhone Speaker

Today’s project is a quick and easy way to create a speaker for your device. The video tutorial shows an iphone speaker using a toilet paper tube. You can just as easily create a speaker for an ipad or tablet by using a paper towel tube. If you create one, I would love for you to share it with me by posting a picture in the comments or turning the image in to me in Google Classroom under the assignment with this title.


Maker Monday – Pinwheel

Today’s project is creating a pinwheel from paper and pencil.  I love pinwheels.  They are easy to make and very entertaining to watch.  The video below shows you one method for making a pinwheel.  If there are objects used that you do not have access to, try to think of things you might substitute in order to make your creation.  If you do not have push pins, what might you use instead?  Here is a method posted on Instructables using a brad instead of a pushpin:  Here is another tutorial using a straight pin instead of a pushpin:



Maker Monday-Kazoo


Today’s project comes to you from Science Buddies. The video below will show you the supplies you need and how to create your own kazoo.  You can experiment with different materials to place at the end of your kazoo:  plastic bag, wax paper, aluminum foil, paper towel, or you can even grab something from outside, like a large leaf.  You can even make a scientific chart to record your observations when you change out the material.  How did the sound of your voice change when you spoke in the tube with each different material.  Try placing a finger or two over the end of the tube when you speak in it.  What do you observe?  To make more observations, what happens when you have more than one hole in the tube?  What happens when you change the length of the tube?  Be sure to record your observations!


Maker Monday-Paper Plane Launcher

I have another maker project for you on this Happy Monday. These ideas are coming from Science Buddies. I have also posted this tutorial in Google Classroom with a couple of links to paper airplane tutorials.  If you make this launcher, please take a picture to turn in to me in Google Classroom and share on your blog. Happy Making!

Maker Monday-Cotton Ball Launcher

Happy Monday, students! Are you missing MakerSpace in the computer lab as much as I am? Here is a quick tutorial for making a launcher out of materials you may have at home. If you make one, please snap a picture and post to your blog. If possible, also email the picture to me at [email protected] I will collect them and post in a slideshow on this blog at a later date. Happy Making!


Student Created Emojis

Before the shutdown, 4th grade students were learning to create using shapes in google slides per Tony Vincent’s Shapegram instructions. In this assignment, students were creating an emoji. This tutorial video was posted in google classroom for them to follow:


Students were given the freedom to create whatever emoji they wanted. From google classroom, I screen captured some of the more creative ones. I opened them in Preview mode on my desktop to remove the background. I then went to Slides Carnival  and downloaded the Dumaine template.  After adding an emoji per slide, I used the slide right and cube transitions between slides.  I used QuickTime on my macbook to screen capture the presentation.  After loading the QuickTime video in iMovie, I edited out the beginning and ending of the presentation and added music before uploading to Youtube.  Enjoy my students’ creativity!


Staying At Home

As of now per our governor, Gregg Abbot, we are staying at home for at least four more weeks.  I know this is not what any of us even imagined our “after spring break” classrooms would look like. I have posted assignments for all third through fifth graders in Google Classroom.  The assignments are voluntary and are using Tony Vincent’s Shapegrams to teach students how to use Google Draw.  I am checking Google Classroom daily for submitted assignments and have really enjoyed the creativity of my students.  I will make a slideshow of some of their drawings in the next week or two.  In addition to specific assignments, I  also added  a page to the TechNeck Site webmix that includes a link to a site to make your own merge cube and print out coloring pages that come alive when scanning with the Quivervision app.


Another announcements I added to Google Classroom is a link to a website that includes 25 Makerspace Project Ideas.  I have encouraged students to take picture of what they build and post to their blog.