The votes are tallied for the fifth annual picture book character vote! We read our kindergarten through third grade classes books with Charlie & Lola, Frances, Knuffle Bunny, Skippyjonc Jones, and Dorrie the witch. The winner is...
Skippyjon Jones! His fabulous prize is the chance to spend time with members of the MCDS community. He is eager to explore the world and the Bay Area. Whether you are traveling or staying at home, Skippyjon Jones would love to go on an adventure with you. Take a picture of you reading to Skippyjon Jones, dressing up, or hanging out with your friends and family. It's easy: just print out the picture of Skippyjon Jones below & snap a picture. Or you can download the png and drag and drop him into pictures you take. If you need any help, just let me know. E-mail any pictures you'd like to share to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll put them on display in the dragon room in the fall.
This article by Greg McKeown from the Harvard Business Review gives some examples of how technology companies are giving back and guides readers through looking at their career to determine what makes them happy and what they really want to do to make the world awesome.
A great article on AltSchool from Wired. This Bay Area independent school uses technology to individualize education. They build their own apps and content to teach students and evaluate their progress in a project based learning environment.
Google custom search engines are an excellent way to give students the experience of a Google search without leaving them open to all of the questionable content that can be found online. Think of it as searching with training wheels for those not ready to perform their own critical analysis of websites. You can find credible sites, then create a google search box that will only search within those sites. Check out the tutorial over at Free Technology for Teachers for more information and let us know if you'd like help setting one up.
What do you get when you combine a traditional art with modern technology? New E-Traces shoes can track a dancer's movement and turn it into a stunning visual. Read more here or watch the video below. New advances in science and technology have done a lot to make ordinary pointe shoes more comfortable and practical as well. You can read more about long-standing problems with pointe shoes and how technology has addressed themin this article from Pointe Magazine. Can't get enough ballet and tech? Check out the books below.
What is STEM? At MCDS we have added an A (for arts) to make STEAM A common definition is STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics [and art] in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy. (Tsupros, 2009) How do we introduce this to young students? Here are some picture books to get young minds engaged in STEAM thinking.
A little girl has a wonderful idea. She has imagined The Most Magnificent Thing! She knows how it will look and work. She measures, hammers, adjusts, and tweaks. It just does not seem to work! Aided by her canine companion she tinkers some more and when she is finished it is just what they both wanted. Written and illustrated by Ashley Spires.
The Going Places contest comes with a go-cart kit and Rafael builds his to look like all the other contestants’. But what on earth is Maya doing with her kit? Forget about supposed to and ought to, Maya’s ideas are sky high and Rafael is happy to pitch in and go along for the ride! Going Placesby Peter Reynolds
Rosie Revere, Engineerby Andrea Beaty introduces us to inventor Rosie who creates amazing inventions from everyday objects. When her uncle laughs at her constructions, she begins to keep her dreams to herself. Enter great-great-aunt Rosie who longs to fly. From her little Rosie learns that her first flop is the perfect first try and that the only true failure can come if you quit.
What Do You Do With An Idea by Yobi Yamada. If your idea is different or daring what do you do? Do you hide it or become friends with it? If others say it's weird and no good, do you listen or forge ahead? Can you see big, see bravely? What can happen if you let your idea soar?
Archibald Frisbyby Michael Chesworth. What can a mom do with a kid who has science on the brain and would rather look at the world through a microscope? Lab experiments leave little time for socializing. So mom ships him off to summer camp where many opportunities to investigate science lead to unexpected friendships.
Dreaming up a celebration of buildingby Christy Hale. "If they can dream it, they can build it" Madhu Thangavelu. Pair children building with concrete poetry and add the inspiration of the works of innovative architects and you have a unique creation. From Barcelona, Spain to Luxor, Egypt follow the dreams of children and groundbreaking architects.
How to you take the mind boggling mathematical concept of infinity and make it kid friendly? The author of Infinity and Me, takes this profound idea and transforms it into a race track, a never-ending ice cream cone, a family tree, a circular round of music, the vastness of the night stars snuggled up next to grandma and finally their love for each other. The end note quotes kindergarten children sharing their definition of infinity. "How many ways are there to imagine infinity? An infinite number. Just close the book and begin." author Kate Hosford.
Looking for innovation, mechanical engineering, women in science? Here is the perfect book to share: Violet the Pilot by Steve Breen. At the age of two, Violet can repair any appliance in the house, at eight she is perfecting flying machines. But her fellow students tease her for her mechanical genius until her quick thinking and bravery save the day when a boy scout troupe faces danger.
A 40 year old classic, Andrew Henry's Meadow continues to celebrate the young inventor and engineer. When Henry's parents are less that supportive of his innovations, he runs away to the meadow where he builds an inspired house. Other children in search of creative freedom join him and each has a house built inspired by their passion. Soon the parents come around to appreciate their children's unique houses and free spirits.
In Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse by Torben Kuhlmann, we meet perhaps the last mouse in Germany due to the invention of the mechanical mousetrap from which it seems all mousedom has escaped overseas. Ships are under constant surveillance by ferocious cats. The only salvation is for this small mouse to build an airplane. The sepia toned illustrations are amazing and mouse's design drawings are reminiscent of da Vinci's notebooks. This observant little innovator takes inspiration from bats and found objects continually revising his engineering masterpiece until he is able to soar to freedom in America where his story inspires a boy named Charles. Your own small inventor will pour over the wealth of details on every page of this gorgeous book.
Marisol is an artist who loves to paint and draw. She shares her art with the world creating posters with ideas she believes in and is famous for her unique clothes and her belief that everyone is an artist. Excited by the mural project for the library she volunteers to do the sky. Shocked to find there is no blue paint, she learns to see the sky in a different light. Sky Color by Peter H. Reynolds.
Master builder Iggy Peck has been practicing his craft since he was a babe. However, his second grade teacher traumatized by a sky scrapper snafu as a child, does not appreciate his architectural marvels until the class embarks on a picnic crossing an old trestle to a small island. The bridge collapses and the fainting teacher and the children are trapped. Iggy galvanizes his classmates into action and a suspension bridge is constructed using shoelaces and more. Miss Greer is a convert to building your dreams and Iggy is the tour guide through architectural history. Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty