Tuesday, November 8, 2011

3rd Grade Students Discover Simple Machines

Cactus Ranch 3rd grade students learned about six simple machines including the pulley, wheel and axle, screw, inclined plane, wedge, and lever. Each student created their own simple machine project and presented to their class a demonstration of how their simple machine worked. Harley from Ms. Jenkins class demonstrated her knowledge about levers by creating a Prezi presentation.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kindergarten Class Visits Stanford University

Half of Mrs.Conley's class wants to be a scientist after skyping with Dr.N.R. Conley in Palo Alto, California.  Dr. Conley took the class on a virtual tour of his lab at Stanford University showing them lab mice and cancer cells through a very high power microscope . The kids also got to see a whole lab of fruit flies and their freezer, along with other tools a scientist would uses. He also showed them nutrients used to feed cells for experiments and they got to meet other scientist in the lab. He did a kindergarten experiment for the kids with the egg going into the bottle when heated. Dr. Conley answered lots of five year old questions. The class loved it and talked about it for several days afterward. It really was a lasting science lesson to be remembered.They ask frequently "when can we skype Dr.Conley again?"

4th Graders Skype with Author Tom Angleberger

On September 20, the 4th graders got to skype with Tom Angleberger, author of The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back. The students were able to ask Tom Angleberger questions about writing and his books, and then they got to make their own origami yodas. Want to make your own origami yoda or other cool origami characters? You can find instructions at origamiyoda.wordpress.com!

Teacher and Student Meet via Skype

Second grader, Lucy, was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit the country of France this summer with her family.  Although she was so excited to see the beautiful sights of France and to visit relatives, she found herself disappointed that she would be missing “Welcome Walk” and the first week of 2nd grade.  Lucy’s mom contacted Cactus Ranch to see if it would be possible to have Lucy “meet” her teacher on the day of Welcome Walk via “skype”.  Mrs. Crain, thought this was a wonderful idea and shared the idea with both Mr. Heard and Lucy’s new 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Hawkins.  Mrs. Hawkins was a little nervous about this idea because she had never done this type of thing before, but with help from Mr. Heard she was eager to learn how to do it.  On the morning of Welcome Walk, Mrs. Hawkins and Lucy’s family had planned to “skype” at 10 am Texas time which would be in the afternoon in France.  Lucy was ready to meet Mrs. Hawkins and shared with her new teacher some of the fun things she had been doing in France.  Mrs. Hawkins was so happy to be able to talk and see Lucy even though she was so far away.  When Lucy returned from her trip and joined the class, she was excited to share her experience of meeting her teacher through the computer.  Mrs. Hawkins really enjoyed using this technology to meet her new student.  She said it was so much better than just talking on the phone or emailing.