Friday, August 31, 2012

Logos, Mars and Blogs

Please post your finished class logo design on the inspiration wall. We will decide on a class logo -or maybe another redesign.

After we select a final design for the class logo, I want you to ask yourself "What do I want the Principal, my Teachers, and fellow students to say about me at the end of the year?" Please write this in your Interactive Notebook.

Curiosity landed! Let's watch the NASA video of the work that went in to making sure Curiosity would land successfully. a Great example of using the Design Thinking process of prototyping for success.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Marshmallows to Designing Class Logos

You're probably wondering how this will ever apply to history class. Have no fear, it's all a part of my master plan.
Yesterday you had another shot at the Marshmallow Challenge, most groups had a standing structure. The record was 81cm, currently held by a 7th grade team. If you recall from the discussion before and after the challenge, it's all about the process. Traditionally you take a shot at addressing the challenge/problem, create something and cross your fingers that it works. We found that your traditional methods of problem solving did not help you build a spaghetti tower.

Let's revisit the Design process:
Today we are going to design a class logo.

The challenge/problem: Design an awesome logo that represents our class and what we will be learning. 
Step 1: Grab some post-it notes and something to write with. Write/draw/doodle/scribble as many ideas on post-its as you can (1 idea per post-it please) and stick the notes on the inspiration wall.
Include: colors, words, pictures (drawings), phrases (You Can Do It!), shapes.
Step 2: After the logo ideas are on the inspiration wall everyone will review and evaluate the ideas. Pick the ideas you like, blend the ideas, mix the ideas and add your own flavor.
Step 3: I will put you in small groups of 2-3. Each person will design a class logo.
Step 4: Trade your logo with someone in your group. Each person should draw, write, cross-off, add-to the partners logo. (5min)
Step 5: Discuss what changes were made and why. With the extra time refine your logo sketch.
Step 6: Pin up your logo on the inspiration wall. Be ready to explain your logo to the whole class.
Step 7: Go back to your desks and design a final logo, using your the ideas discussed in class.
Step 8: Pin up final logo, class vote for best logo. We'll digitize and put on our websites.

For Friday:
Please finish your class logo design and bring a list of types of projects you would like to do in History class. For example: plays, movies, animations, physical project (castle)....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Marshmallow Challenge Part 2

Yesterday you gave your best shot at the Marshmallow Challenge and many of your towers collapsed under the weight of the marshmallow. You are going to do the Marshmallow Challenge again today, using the Design Thinking process. Take a look at the image:

Most teams talked about a design, started building and with less than 2 minutes left tried to make the tower hold the marshmallow.

Today, the same rules apply. Consider the problem, discuss the problem, understand the problem before talking about a design and building.

You should try a few different designs to test your structure. The record yesterday was 67cm. I know every team can beat that.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Marshmallow Challenge

Be ready for a fun way to work as a group.
Your task is to construct the tallest tower with the materials supplied. The entire marshmallow must rest on top. We'll do this in small groups of 3-4 people.

The Rules:
  1. Build the Tallest Freestanding Structure: The winning team is the one that has the tallest structure measured from the table top surface to the top of the marshmallow. That means the structure cannot be suspended from a higher structure, like a chair, ceiling or chandelier.
  2. The Entire Marshmallow Must be on Top: The entire marshmallow needs to be on the top of the structure. Cutting or eating part of the marshmallow disqualifies the team. 
  3. Use as Much or as Little of the Kit: The team can use as many or as few of the 20 spaghetti sticks, as much or as little of the string or tape. The team cannot use the paper bag as part of their structure.
  4. Break up the Spaghetti, String or Tape: Teams are free to break the spaghetti, cut up the tape and string to create new structures.
  5. The Challenge Lasts 18 minutes: Teams cannot hold on to the structure when the time runs out. Those touching or supporting the structure at the end of the exercise will be disqualified.

It'll be a blast!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

First Post for 8th Grade. Here We Go

8th Grade. You know we had fun last year. This year we are going to have even more. More movies, more 'breaking-the-tradition' fun. Get ready because here we go....
This year you'll discover the past of our great country.
We'll start with the forming of the colonies (reminding you of what you learned in 5th grade), then off to the Declaration of Independence when we tell Britain "it's not you, it's us, I'm sorry but it's over"
The US Constitution as we explore the current election of our next President.
The birth of political parties
The new American lifestyle
Our early foreign policy
Moving West over the Appalachian Mountains.
The development and explosion of slavery
Lewis and Clark, Texas, Native Americans -- expansion
Abolition or the move to end slavery
The War between the States (The Civil War)
Reconstruction -as we destroyed our own land
New Economy

I can't wait to see what you will create. In the comment section below tell me something you are excited about learning this year.