Tuesday, September 23, 2008

PBS Kids: Get Ready to Interview the DESIGN SQUAD's Adam and Judy

You will be doing the Moon Walker Challenge (remember to watch the video and follow the project instructions — and to link to these pages). You will also be writing a bio about either Judy or Adam. Review your interview questions, as well.

Adam and Judy have helped with several of the show's episodes, and together, they created several challenges for kids. Click to the PBS Kids site, and play around on the website. 

Read the ABOUT page, and write a story about what the DESIGN SQUAD website is trying to do. In your article, you should introduce who Adam and Judy are. Include the information that they will be coming to Hillwood either in person or by iChat to be interviewed. 

If you finish early:
  • Make an Animota video highlighting your DESIGN SQUAD work.
  • Or make a Halloween picture using Picnik. (See image of Clinton, the albino cat, above.)
  • Use the website Flower Power to make an illustration, or image, for The Herald

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Review Baloonimals iPhone and iPad App

Student: Zach

Play around with the Balloonimals app on both Ms. Moorhead's iPhone and the iPad. Then read how the app was made on the ToyLab website. Consider what thought and engineering went into developing this app. Also, read this review on Wired.com's GeekDad website.

For your assignment, explain what Balloonimals is, how it was made, what Toy Lab had to consider in developing it, and what do you think of it. How do you think Hillwood's kindergarteners might respond to it?

Saturday Is Coastal Cleanup Day

Student: Anya

Join SF Environment for Coastal Clean Up Day on Saturday September 25th. Do your part to keep San Francisco's coastal and bay waterfronts clean. Read the California government's page on what students can do to help. Also, read this general page with information and include information about volunteering to help clean up in your post. You can include more information from the video from the Marine Research Institute (below).

According to SF Environment, in 2009 more than 80,600 volunteers worked together to collect more than 1,300,000 pounds of trash and recyclables from our beaches, lakes, and waterways. How can the Hillwood community help this year?

Remember to include images, embed code for the video, and links to your article. Also, do not forget to include labels in your post.

San Franciscans Top List of Nationwide Recyclers and Composters

Student: Camryn

Mayor Gavin Newsom says congratulations to San Francisco for having the highest recycling and composting rate in the nation at 77 percent. Watch the video below, then write a news story about it.

Include information about the city's goal of zero waste by 2020. What does such a goal mean? The mayor is asking for all of our help. What more can we do? Link to these handy flyers for the blue and green bins as resources to help Hillwood's neighbors and friends become recycling pros!

Dead Whale on Ocean Beach

Student: Clara

Read this article on SFGate, the local paper's website, about the dead whale that washed up on Ocean Beach this past week.

Write a news story about the event. Remember to include the five W's of a good news story — who, what, when, where, and why — or, in this case — how. Consult Wikipedi to discuss what type of whale was killed.

Remember to include links to any source you use, photos, and labels.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Fun Example of Stop Animation

Student: Jay

What is stop-animation video? Watch Pac-Man Stop Animation, a super-geeky Web video and an homage to the yellow man, for a quick example. The movie employs a movie theater and about a hundred gamers in monochrome T-shirts. By planning well and sitting very still, they’ve been able to replicate a full Pac-Man game, complete with a maze, ghosts, fruit and a hilarious a cappella soundtrack. On one level the movie looks a lot like people in colorful shirts sitting in a movie theater, yet it’s amazing how this performance also deftly captures the feel of 1980s graphics. It turns out that stop animation is an apt analogy for video-game animation, except here the students replace pixels, and the theater your favorite tube television.

Your article is really about stop animation — what is it and how does it work? Include the video below and up to four images as an example of how it works.

Source: VSL

Does Exercise Make You Smarter?

Student: Rubina

Read this article on The New York Times website. Does exercise make young students smarter? Write a news story that explains how exercise can affect a student's mind.

If you have time, make a Wordle that describes your article. Use a picture of Hillwood students exercising or playing to also illustrate your story. You can look at images on the Hillwood website.

Consider the Timeline of Technology in Schools

Student: Faryn

First off, make sure you are on a Macintosh for this assignment. Then, take a look at the timeline of technology in a classroom on The New York Times website. Click through the timeline, and take notes — either in paper or on in your actual blog post — and collect screen grabs about what you see and read. (Ms. Moorhead can show you how to take a "screen grab.")

Once you finish with your report, write a visual news story about the evolution of technology in the classroom. What was the first so-called technology? What are the most surprising elements in the time line?

You will need to write at least one paragraph introduction to your story — what are you setting out to do with your story? Then, move into the five W's of your story.

Include at least five images, and do not forget to list sources and labels.