Unit of Study Updates
How to Train Your Robot
This quarter the students were able to use creative thinking and problem solving. The students had their first design challenge which they had to identify a problem that the robot could solve or an action it could take. They then had to describe the problem or actions the robot needed to make and then write the program. Each student was able to test their program. If the program failed, the student evaluated the failure and took time to try to improve their design.
The students were also introduced to the concept of obstacle detection and artificial intelligence – students programmed the robot to make decisions (artificial intelligence) in response to obstacles in the robot’s environment. They also learned about basic robot sensing and control similar to that used in advanced automated factories and cars.
Young Architect Studio
In our study of Victorian architecture, students investigated common elements in Victorian design and analyzed the symmetry and asymmetry in structures. Then they applied their learning to create their own Victorian home designs! We studied architectural scale, and students drew scaled building plans. Finally, they matched form to function as they designed floor plans for the structures and analyzed their designs for the effective use of entrances, windows, rooms, furniture, appliances, and traffic flow within the building.
This quarter students learned some guidelines for creating a company name such as using alliteration, foreign languages, being catchy or descriptive. They also learned logos need to be clean and scalable. They were exposed to the design process and created a poster for their journal. We discussed why we use the design process to keep us focused and moving forward. But we also understand we can move back and forth between steps as they learn more. They researched and started to design their products they will “sell”. We have learned a lot about size and measurements while creating some prototypes.
Light it Up
Fourth grade worked on progressing in several areas of language learning during second quarter. In addition to clothing vocabulary and simple sentences starting with “I am” or “I have”, we were focusing on how to be a language learner. It can be frustrating for students to not know more than a few dozen words in Spanish. We worked on using circumlocution (finding another way to say something when we don’t have the exact vocabulary word in our memory), and making inferences when reading sentences in which we knew most, but not all of the words. Lots of problem solving and creative thinking were involved!