Human Body Systems Projects Using iMovie and Augmented Reality

This week we wrapped up our human body unit in science.  Many of my science units involve my students doing their own research/exploration and presenting their findings to the class.  I find that they gain a much deeper understanding of the concepts this way, and I can also hit many Common Core ELA standards using this approach. 

For this project, my 4th graders worked collaboratively in small groups to research and present an iMovie on one of the seven body systems we studied.  Like usual, I pulled some books and posted several kid-friendly links on my classroom website and let them go at it.  They had to determine the main purpose of the system, how it works, and how to care for it.

Once they completed their research independently, they came together with their group to compile their information and determine the sequence of their presentation.  Then they found pictures (mostly from Pixabay) to coordinate with what they wanted to say in their iMovie.

Once the iMovies were completed, they exported and airdropped them to me.  I then used the iMovies as overlays for an augmented reality bulletin board.  (The only app I have used for AR is Aurasma and I really like it.)  The next day they went up to watch the auras and learn from their peers about the various body systems.  

Here's a video of what the board looks like in action.

Here's a video of one of the iMovies.

Martin Luther King QR Code Timeline Activity

This week we’ve been studying the life of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  First, we did an online fact-finding activity using this limited-time freebie from Lovin' Lit.  My students went to this website and filled in the missing information and dates from the timeline. 

Erin has wonderful templates to choose from, but we decided it would be cool to make a large timeline out in the hallway with QR codes that linked to the events.  So we glued the pictures she provided onto index cards and wrote in the dates.  Then the kids typed brief summaries of the significant events into and glued the QR codes on.  Here’s the final product.
Here’s one of my boys checking it out.

Resources and FREEBIES for Introducing Fractions and Filling in the CCSS Gaps

As we continue to transition to the Common Core State Standards, I’m noticing the largest gaps for my students lie in the fractions domain.  Fourth grade is a huge year for fractions and the kids are lacking the conceptual foundations that the CCSS expect them to have at this stage.  Obviously, this is to be expected for the next couple years and we will need to take the necessary time to fill in the gaps.  In the meantime, I’m going to share with you some resources that have helped me get started on fractions. 

I always try to start with a solid foundation in finding factors and multiples as well as identifying prime/composite numbers.  This foundation is crucial when it comes time for comparing/making equivalent fractions as well as simplifying fractions.  We used task cards and a Bump game to practice finding factors and multiples.  Here’s a FREE prime/composite number sort my students also completed during centers.

My kiddos were fairly good at identifying fractions with models, but fractions on a number line was a different story. . So I created this FREE Bump game.

I also created these Surfing on the Number Line with Fractions task cards to practice identifying fractions on a number line as well as generating equivalent fractions using a number line. 

This online game was also a pretty huge hit:

Since this group of kiddos loves to be up and about, I created this Scan the Room pack to review important fraction concepts before break.  My Solve the Room pack is identical—just without QR codes.:)

Here they are practicing identifying fractions in a set using Scan the Room.

Soon after we come back from break, we'll do this FREE simplifying fractions activity I posted about last year.