Friday, May 25, 2012

Stagecast and Scratch: Learn how to make your own video games

Some of the kids in my class have played around with Stagecast which allows them to make their own video game. I have the software at school from when I used to teach it, but it is not a free program (except for the demo version). If kids want to use a similar free program they can download Scratch. It was designed for kids at MIT. Scratch allows you to make animations, games, and other multi-media interactive creations. Here are some tutorials for learning how to use Scratch. Why play video games when you can make your own? This may take some work, but you will learn a lot!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Meet Jeremy Reiner

Today, the fourth graders at New Searles Elementary School had weatherman Jeremy Reiner, from WHDH-TV channel 7 in Boston visit to tell us everything there is to know about weather. He usually is on the evening news, but today he will be delivering the weather news from 4:00-6:30.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tangram Puzzles

Today I introduced the class to Tangram puzzles. It was deja vu for me as this was a lesson that I enjoyed doing at the Bondeni School in the Mathare Valley slums of Nairobi, Kenya last summer.

You can play an online Tangram puzzle games here or here. Have fun. It is not that easy!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Strawbery Banke Field Trip

Here is the animoto video of our field trip to Strawbery Banke.

Friday, May 4, 2012

DIscipline at the Little Red Schoolhouse

Last month on our wonderful trip to the Little Red Schoolhouse in Nashua, we learned about how students were disciplined in the old days.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

From Kenya to Nashua: Pentominoes

Today, we extended a lesson on pentominoes that I started over the summer in Kenya and at the beginning of the year with this class. We worked with puzzle pieces called pentominoes. See the lesson in Kenya and explanation of pentominoes here. Today we worked with the pentominoes again to measure perimeter and area. You can go here and play with an interactive set of pentominoes.

Classroom Donors Choose Project

The class has certainly enjoyed the two Brian Selznick books "The Invention of Hugo Cabret" and "Wonderstruck". Since reading the books last fall, different students keep checking out the books to reread them every time we go to the library. I wrote up a Donors Choose project to get 5 classroom copies of each book. You can find the project here. The Nashua Board of paying for one-half of the project. If you would like to donate any sum, through March 19 your donation will be matched by Donors Choose if you include the the match code BLOOM.

• Spread the word! Send friends and family to and ask them to support our classroom.

• Donors must enter BLOOM during check-out where it says "Match or gift code" - and voila! The donation is automatically doubled. See where donors must enter the code.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Deerfield Fair

We saw many farm animals at the Deerfield Fair.

We were entertained by the Flying Wallendas

Everyone loved the dogs and monkey.

Friendship Oaths

During Valentine's week, the class read an old Chinese poem called "Shang Ya". It is an Oath of Friendship written 2000 years ago. We used the poem as an inspiration to write our own oaths of friendship. We also used charcoal, water color paints, and markers to create our own style of Chinese art on which to write our poems. Here is an animoto video of the process and finished results.

The New Hampshire State House

Here is an Animoto video of our visit to the State House in Concord. Unfortunately my class was broken up into two groups so that I only got photos of some of my students.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Laundry Story

So you send your kid to college and hope that he grows up, but then you find out that he still likes playing around with his old toys. Here is a video my son Andrew made for a Gordon College video competition last week. See kids, college isn't all just about studying! Actually, what I think really happened is that he found a clever way to get his roommate to do his laundry for him. Fans of Toy Story will enjoy this.

A Laundry Story from Andrew Hansen on Vimeo.

Andrew enjoys creating things. Here is the song he wrote, recorded, and produced last summer while interning at a music studio in Tennessee.

Lou Gehrig and John Blais

You can a view a post a made a couple of years ago on my blog Simply Teaching about the great baseball player Lou Gehrig and an Ironman triathlete who called himself Blazeman. It gives a lot of background information on this weeks story, "The Luckiest Man" and some embedded videos that we watched parts of in class. I really enjoy these inspiring stories and I hope that you take a look. These stories are even more poignant to me this year as I just learned that one of my high school classmates recently died from ALS.
Here is an updated and edited version of the youtube video we saw in class on John Blais, ALS, and the Ironman triathlon.

Here is one: of John Blais' poems (watch the video on John Blais and you will get it):

Live…more than your neighbors.

Unleash yourself upon the world and go places.

Go now.


Stay out past dark and bark at the moon like the wild dog that you are.

Understand that this is not a dress rehearsal.

This is it…your life.


Take it all in.

Yes, every chance you get…come close.

And, by all means, whatever you do…get it on film.

-Jonathan Blais, aka ALS Warrior Poet

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Partial Quotient Division

Just a reminder that you can find examples of how to do the Everyday Math algorithms online. This week we are reviewing the Partial -Quotient division algoryithm You can find many animations of the Partial Quotients Method here.