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Pinterest Classroom Inspiration Roundup

Holy Smokes. It has been a CRAZY couple of weeks.  Don’t let anyone tell you that starting a school is an insane amount of work; that is a piece of cake compared to ending your first school year!  Blogging has obviously taken a back seat.  It feels strange not to blog every day after making that a habit over the last 4 years. Today is dedicated to Pinterest.  I find so many fantastic things that spark ideas for must-dos at Anastasis. I’m sharing a few of  them here. I hope they spark some ideas for your classrooms!                 This year we did some composting, this was followed by planting seedlings in newspaper just like this.  Each student made a newspaper “pot” for their seeds. We love that it is biodegradable!               We are ending the year at Anastasis with a Storyline Expo. This is a showcase of student work throughout the year. We wanted to show a progression of learning and a timeline seemed like a great way to do it.             We are making preparations for our first field day.  Water noodle target practice looked like a great activity.  What are we most excited about? A food truck for lunch.  We are cool like that.                 We have spent a good majority of the year sharing wishes and dreams. For our storyline expo, we are creating silhouettes of students sharing what they love about our school.             We have done SO many hands on experiments throughout the year.  This one was particularly neat to visualize weather in a cup.                 We took pictures of all the kids “holding-on” to rope like this.  They made great bookmarks for our first ever read-in!                     Every student created a poster with this quote on it. It so perfectly summarizes what we believe about students and learning.           This is SUCH a great way to practice equations and algebra. Each number on the clock is represented by an equation. Our students made some unique “geeky” clocks this year.               We really wanted students to find freedom in their learning this year.  Creating unique thumbprints with information and thoughts from each student was a great way to kick this thought process off.  They turned out great!                   Words we live by daily!     To see the originals of these images (and many more), visit my Pinterest Classroom Inspiration page. Pinterest is my guilty pleasure, I add to it even when I don’t have time to blog!   If you haven’t joined Pinterest yet, I highly recommend it.  Fair warning: it is addicting!                                                                                                              

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Maxwell for Google SketchUp

Posted by admin | Posted in Apply, Art, Create, Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Software | Posted on 21-11-2011

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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What it is:  If you aren’t familiar with Google SketchUp-you should probably start here and here.   SketchUp is an incredibly powerful, FREE 3D modeling software that lets your students create impressive 3D models.  Maxwell takes SketchUp to a WHOLE new level.  Maxwell for Google SketchUp brings students advanced rendering in an easy-to-use package for free.  The best part: Maxwell is fully integrated so that you don’t have to export or use an external application to render an image. Rendering happens in “real-time” so as your students are adjusting their SketchUp models, they can see the changes in Maxwell.  Maxwell is compatible with Windows and OSX!  With Maxwell students can create materials, set lights and cameras and render 3D scenes.  These are incredibly powerful tools…I cannot believe that they are free (I’m a little nervous to say that too loud in case they decide to change their minds!).

How to integrate Maxwell for Google SketchUp into the classroom: Maxwell takes student work in Google SketchUp and polishes it up to a professional level.  Truly, the results are akin to what the professionals turn out!  The SketchUp/Maxwell combination are wonderful for graphic art classes, math and geometry modeling, advertising lessons, engineering classes, architecture, science models, etc.

Don’t let the impressive results fool you, I’ve had 3rd grade students who made some amazing models using SketchUp.  I look forward to introducing them to the Maxwell plugin so that students can see their work come to life in ways that they couldn’t do before.

At Anastasis Academy, we have several students from 2nd through 8th grade who are extremely interested and passionate about architecture.  Google SketchUp is where I send them!  Students can plan, create and build.  Maxwell will allow them to visualize their creations in totally new ways.

I don’t understand why more schools don’t put these types of tools in the hands of students more often.  Exposing students to tools like this, gives them the opportunity to explore their passions and interests.  The tools are getting easier and easier to use and the number of tutorials is astonishing.  You (the teacher) don’t have to know how to use these tools inside and out, your job is to let your students know they exist, and help them find the resources to use them.  No excuses!

Tips: Using rendering tools teaches students about materials, light sources, shadows, etc.  Use Maxwell to teach students these science concepts!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Maxwell for Google SketchUp in  your classroom!

Comments (1)

Totally agree, Kelly. I hope more and more teachers embrace the role of guide on the side, as parents make it clear to the policy makers this is what they want for their kids. Maxwell sounds fascinating!

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