Choose Your Own Adventure

Remember the choose your own adventure books? You can make choose your adventure stories using Google Apps tools like Docs or YouTube.  Click here to see a really cool choose your own adventure YouTube video.  Want to get the nuts and bolts of how to create these stories? The following Google Presentation has directions and examples of how to make and use choose your own adventures stories in your classroom. Here is an example created by a 3rd grade class.

Making a Makerspace

Over the last couple of days members of the Innovation Committee have been hard at work putting together Pike’s pilot makerspace called “Spark”. The makerspace now has tools like hammers, drills, and screw drivers as well as electronics like Mindstorms and KIBO robots and other tools like 3D printers, vinyl cutters and button makers. The committee also spent time planning the use of the space so that students and teachers in each division would have an opportunity to come to the makerspace. There is still work to be done before school starts but we are looking forward to all the making coming up this year.


Photo App Smash

We were so happy to see the awesome display of art from the iPad Photo App Smash Elective currently hanging outside the Upper School Music Room.

Here is a description of the elective from Upper School Art Teacher Chris Vivier:

Using their iPad cameras and a variety of apps in various combinations, the students in this elective course have created these amazing images!  The exercises performed in each class are designed to expose students to the excitement of creative exploration and discovery.  With no preconception of what their work “should look like”, each student visually experiments with and manipulates their own images, responding intuitively to each unpredictable twist and turn in its evolution as they continually edit and alter it from one app to the next.  Ultimately, they arrive at a unique and personally determined conclusion with a new creative work of art.

Enjoy a few examples below and if you have a chance make sure that you pause the next time you are walking by and enjoy the entire show in person.

21st Century Poster Board

“What if you could illuminate your ideas? Or hack your poster board project?” That’s just what the students in Ms. Spence’s language arts class did for their Scaredy Cat Project this fall.

Each year, sixth graders create a “Scaredy Cat’s Guide to a Spooky Neighborhood.” Their posters include a map with illustrations and five descriptive paragraphs. Within the writing, they must use vocabulary words they have studied and also identify various parts of grammar covered in English class during the fall, including abstract nouns, action verbs and linking verbs. Combining grammar and writing is a proven way to reinforce grammatical concepts and to improve writing skills.

This year, the project reached new levels of creativity with the addition of electrical circuits. During class, students learned about simple circuits, conductivity, and current flow, then created circuits on their poster board using simple materials like copper tape, surface mount LED lights and batteries. This allowed them to light up their ideas and add emphasis to the scary places on their maps.

As we know, integrating science, design, communication and art has become an important 21st century skill. Assignments like these ask students to think critically and creatively.

Inspire Creativity – Three App Smashing projects from Greg Kulowiec


Looking for new ideas to help students tap into their creative side?  Check out this post by Greg Kulowiec.  App smashing discussed in a a previous post is when “students and teachers use multiple apps to create individual pieces of content that are then merged or smashed together into one culminating product”.  Three App Smashing projects by Greg Kulowiec gives details on how to create ….

  1. Animated paper videos
  2. RSA animate style videos
  3. Video lab reports
  4. Art reflection videos

As always the Pike Tech Department is available to help you get started with these projects.