Stop Motion Science

8Science students collaborated in the creation of a LEGO Stop Motion Video to demonstrate their understanding of substances and different types of Elements. They created a story line that included MONATOMIC ELEMENTS, DIATOMIC COMPOUND and TRIATOMIC COMPOUNDS!

New Blakers!

Welcome Dash and Dot! AfterSchool Coding Club members are test-driving the new robots which will soon be integrated into the Science curriculum.

Digital Learning Day 6th Discussion Panel

Medfield School District held its 3rd annual Digital Learning Day Conference filled with over 60 workshops for K-12 teachers in district and from schools out-of-district. Wellesley 6th Grade teachers joined Blake's 6th teachers and students for a discussion on their initial year of having 1:1 iPads in the classroom.

A Shout Out to Medfield HS/MS Student Volunteers

Our Digital Learning Day Conference wouldn't have been possible without the support of our wonderful Medfield HS Students and Blake MS students. This photo was taken at the beginning of the day, during a briefing with Neal Sonnenbergy (HS Tech Integration Specialist)

Look out for these future App Developers

This group of Blake MS girls are entered into the Global Competition, Technovation to design a mobile app that solves a community/social issue. Wish them Luck! The final pitch is on May 1st @ Microsoft NERD Center!

Took the Show on the Road

Blake MS Principal Nat Vaughn and 8Science Teacher Jason Heim presented about the Blake iPad Initiative at the LearnLaunch Conference, Harvard Business School.

Green Screen App Smashing

At our final EdTechTeacher Workshop, 6th/7th Grade Teachers explored their creative side by layering green screen videos over images for engaging instructional videos. It was total fun!

Convert Smells to Energy = Smellergy!

Nicolina is changing the world one nose at a time! Her entry was clearly on track with dreaming, designing, and delivering an energy-saving idea into the Blake Energy Invention Contest!

Sometimes the Ideas start here

Planning and drawing out a story board before the creation of an Explain Everything project is an essential step in the process!


Journey to the Center of the Earth

Screencasting gives students a tool to demonstrate creativity and collaboration.

8th Grade is filled with some adventurous field trips .. this latest one takes you directly to the Center Center Center of the Earth Earth Earth!

Grab your astrosuit and climb aboard as two 8th graders narrate your journey through the Earth's Crust, Mantle, Outer Core, Sub Layers and  Inner Core. 


Typically, Mr. Heim's students complete a web quest to answer questions as a way to demonstrate their learning.  However, with the iPad, the screen casting app, Explain Everything opens up other possibilities that push students to use creativity in writing a script, in finding images to match their information and in producing an animated movie. This activity also involved a tremendous amount of collaboration through discussion/communication, research, decision-making and the creation process. The end result.. you have students who not only met the learning objectives, but who were able to successfully complete a higher order complex task in an engaging, purposeful way.


Take it to the Amazon Cloud Player!

Smart Device Management Tip #1:  Store your Music from iTunes in the Cloud!

As the district moves towards the 8th grade BYOiPad and 9th grade BYOD (family-owned device) model, trying to balance personal/home-use with school-use requires  smart management of what is actually kept on the iPad or mobile device. Think about how easy it is to accumulate an ever-increasing number of music downloads, photos taken with your iPad or device, download books, etc. Therefore, saving your work, photos, and more "to the cloud" is the best solution.

 This is where Cloud-based storage comes into play...

Click here for a QUICK TUTORIAL

One of the first things students will want to do with a device, whether it's an iPhone, Nexus tablet, or iPad is to download and play their own music on it. This could equate to thousands of songs sitting on that device and taking up space!

When a device is primarily for school-use, this issue could easily become a family battle, which the simplest solution is to decide - no music on the device. However, if there is room for compromise, a cloud-based storage solution is available or as they say, "There is an app for that"!  Amazon recently announced the Amazon Cloud Player as a way to import your music directly from iTunes and/or purchase new music from Amazon and then stream it directly to any computer or device via the Amazon Cloud Player app. All this means is... the songs never sit on your device and are stored & played "in the amazon cloud" with internet access.

Please note: The Amazon Cloud Player allows for free storage of your first 240 songs. Any additional songs would cost $24.99/year.  Also, you'll start by signing up for the Amazon Cloud Player on your home computer (requires credit card information- only charged for songs purchased through Amazon, not imported) and installing the Amazon MP3 installer.  From there, import your songs using the Amazon MP3 installer on your computer, download the app to your iPad and start enjoying your music right from your iPad!

Click here to Get Started!


The Renaissance Comes Alive!

A Formal Invitation to the Renaissance Dinner Party
  in Mrs. McClelland's 8th Social Studies Classroom

In  past years, Mrs. McClelland's students were asked to culminate and apply the information and knowledge they had learned about leading Renaissance figures by writing an essay.  The essay had to describe the seating arrangement and conversations occurring between each figure if they were to attend a Renaissance feast.  Therefore, students were to consider each guests' language, personality, training, and achievements so that everyone has something to talk about with nearby guests at the table. This type of assignment proved to be a challenging task both for students in fully integrating each factor into a written explanation but also, for the teacher in grading each essay.

This year was different!  The timing for our professional development iPad workshop with Greg Kulowiec of EdtechTeacher could not have been better.  The workshop introduced the SAMR model and pushed our thinking to redefine a particular curriculum unit or lesson with technology to create new tasks that were previously inconceivable.

Poof! The redefinition of the Renaissance Feast was born!  
Students were to collaborate in small groups in creating a screen cast using the Explain Everything app. As a group, they were to demonstrate the different possible seating arrangements visually with actual images while recording their explanations. The newly redefined version of the assignment proved to be successful.

Wait, there's more....
The rethinking of how students learned about the leading Renaissance figures did not begin or end here.  In previous years, students read from the textbook and often confused the names of the individuals and facts. The Funny Face Maker app actually brought these figures to life! Students were more engaged to hear from 'a living museum' of characters.

This process involved students working with partners to watch each movie clip and to take notes on a graphic organizer provided on paper.

At the end of their research, students choose a Renaissance figure to debate who was the most influential of that era. Students had the opportunity to create their own ' Living Figure' with the Funny Face Maker app to present the beginning of their argument.

No iPads needed... Learning activities are not designed solely to use the iPad. There are times when hands-on activities are best. The Renaissance lends itself perfectly for that. Of course, Mrs. McClelland incorporated a little artistic experience into the unit to let students 'become Michelangelo" by painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel which of course, looked like this! 

The iPad offered Mrs. McClelland ways to enhance and redefine curriculum that was not possible before. The results were students having success in accessing, learning and demonstrating their new knowledge of the Renaissance Era.


Quick Trouble Shooting Tips

When an app is not responding or not functioning correctly, do not fear! It may be a WI-FI, app, or iPad memory issue. There are several ways to try to resolve it. 

Many apps require a connection to the internet.  
Are you connected to the WI-FI network?
  • Tap on Settings; Wi-Fi
  • Staff Wifi or MSOPEN should be selected
  • Close Settings
  • Tap on Safari. Type in the address bar:
  • The Sonic Wall login screen should popup
  • If you're not logged in, then enter your username/pw
  • Try going to another website, to double check your connection

  • Double tap the home button
  • Find the app and press /hold on it until they all start dancing
  • Tap the red circle with the minus sign
  • Double tap the home button
  • Relaunch the app

Apps frequently have updates to fix issues or make improvements.
 Do you have the latest version?

          To update an app
  • Check the app store icon- a red notification circle indicates the number of apps that have an update available
  • Tap on the app store icon and updates at the bottom of the screen
  • Tap either update by each individual app or UPDATE ALL in the upper left hand corner of your screen.
         To update the iOS
  • Check the Settings icon- a red notification circle indicates an update for the iOS.
  • Tap on Settings> General
  • Tap on Software Updates on the right hand side of the screen
  • Tap on Install Now
* Suggestion: Check in with your teacher before making any updates to the iOS.

  • Find the app on your screen
  • Press and hold it down 
  • Tap the black circle with the white x to delete the app
Deleting the app will also delete all of its data and your work- please be sure to sync or upload your work to dropbox beforehand!
  • To reinstall, go to the app store, find the app
  • Tap the install button next to it and it'll download to your device for free.
  • Relaunch your app to use.

  • Press and hold the power button until the red slider arrow appears
  • Slide to power off
  • Press and hold the power button to turn back on

  • Press and hold the power and home button at the same time 
  • Continue to hold them down until you see the Apple logo appear
  • Slide to unlock the iPad

  • Go to Settings> Mail, Contacts and Calenders
  • Tap on the Account that is not working
  • Re-enter the username and passwords
  • Try the app again. 
  • If it still does not work, it may be best to delete the account and add it again. Before you do, be sure you know the correct settings or information to re-enter.