Monthly Archives: August 2014
Over the years, our schools have purchased many FOSS kits. Today, I want to share a tutorial with you on how to access the digital content that comes with your FOSS kit.
The tutorial includes information on:
your class page
|flickr: Brent Moore cc|
Our Navajo County Fair has a lot to offer. Blue ribbon bunnies. Tractor races. Cotton candy. Ferris wheel. STEM showcase.
You’ve seen the exhibit halls. Mom’s canned peaches. Grandma’s quilt. Grandpa’s model railroad. But, what about our STEM projects? Absolutely!
The Navajo County Fair offers a wonderful opportunity for students to submit their projects. The exhibit halls have categories for agriculture (STREAM Garden!), crafts, rockets, Legos, most creative use of duct tape (!), and trash to treasure recyclable art. One exhibit category allows for free choice from schools. Why not use the county fair as a way to showcase our students’ projects?!
Entries are due by Friday, September 5th, but the entry application is due in the Navajo County Fair Office by Friday, August 29th. Please contact Susan Rodriguez at SRodriguez@wusd.us if you are interested in entering a STEM project from your class.
Our county fair has all the information available here:
In our last segment on Infographics for STEM, we looked at:
- what infographics are,
- why they are so popular now,
- and what they look like in a classroom.
In this segment, we will look at:
What does an infographic look like in a classroom?
What is an interactive infographic?
- Take a moment to look around the infographic. It helps if you look in a clockwise motion, starting with the top left corner. What information will this infographic give you?
- Scan your eyes to the top right corner. What is pictured there?
- Continue to the bottom right corner. What picture is there? What information will be there?
- Follow this pattern to the bottom left corner. What can you expect to see there?
- Finally, direct your eyes to the middle of the infographic. What does it say to do next?
- What happened when you clicked one of the circles?
How do I teach my students to “read” infographics?
Students don’t have to “read” infographics on a computer. You can print them. In fact, by printing them and placing them in a page protector, your students can interact with the infographic even more. I LOVE the ideas presented in this article on IdeasForEducators.com.
As students become more adept at reading infographics, you can prompt to respond to 6 common questions in a journal or online text:
Where can I learn more about this?
Infographics might just be a perfect link between all the subjects in STREAM.
Science: Many infographics focus on science concepts.
Technology: Most infographics are found online. A growing number of infographics are interactive.
Reading: The “reading” of multimedia is encouraged in Common Core Standards.
Art: Infographics are visually appealing and have a great deal of design built into them.
Math: Most infographics have some form of graph or math concept represented.
What is an infographic?
Before we go any further, you may be wondering, “what is an infographic?” An infographic is information presented visually (info + graph). Another way to say it is that infographics are a visual representation of data.
This slideshare does a great job of explaining infographics:
Why are infographics so popular now?
Common Core State Standards have perhaps created a perfect opportunity for teachers to bring infographics into the classroom. “Analyzing text structures is a major theme of the common core literacy standards. It’s more than just reading in science, it’s looking at data, charts and information presented as pictures.” (Biology Corner)
To be ready for college, workforce training, and life in a technological society, students need the ability to gather, comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information and ideas, to conduct original research in order to answer questions or solve problems, and to analyze and create a high volume and extensive range of print and non-print texts in media forms old and new. (Common Core State Standards)
Despite the arguments of Common Core detractors, what students are “expected to learn” are not facts so much as argumentation, logic and how to vet and interpret information. The goal of the system is to help students distill the most important pieces of information from any given text and form a conclusion. Allison McCartney
What does this look like in a classroom?
Instead of telling you what infographics look like in a classroom, let’s look at an example!
In this screenshot, you can see that we are in the infographic lesson for the Wind Energy Unit of our Energy Resources STEM project. Just as good readers make predictions before they read novels, good readers of infographics scan the text and make predictions. Since we want to make students aware of their metacognition, we ask them questions about what clues they used.
Since most infographics include data, writing Math questions is a perfect fit for Math in STEM. Common Core and the new digital assessments (PARCC and Smarter Balanced) prompt students for more justification of their answers. Build that in to your use of infographics with prompts such as “why did…?” and “what strategies did you use?”.
Infographics typically use multiple types of graphs/charts within the same infographic. It’s a great opportunity to spiral back to prior learning.
This particular infographic included seven (count them, seven!) different graphs/charts. Analyzing this one infographic could taken an entire class period. Instead of using worksheets with naked equations, you can use an infographic! The added benefit is that using an infographic in Math, also uses literacy skills to read about science content by using technology. (Imagine the possibilities once students begin to create their OWN infographics based on research!)