Saturday, January 9, 2016

Collaboration Across Levels: Bigs and Littles Learning Together!

I recently posted about finalizing our Defined STEM sound project. As if that wasn't enough of a final culminating activity, Angela and I collaborated with the infamous Michael Mohammad and his incredible AP Physics students for a fun filled morning of learning! We had been talking about bringing our students together for quite some time, and after some impromptu conversations after the Convening conference, we were finally able to make it happen! Mike's students had been learning about sound...our students had been learning about sound...what an amazing opportunity for both sets of students to share their knowledge with a real audience! 

The Thursday before the holiday break, Mike brought over about 50 AP Physics students from Brookfield Central High School. His students were divided into five groups and shared their knowledge with our ENTIRE grade level. All of our 4th graders spent the morning rotating through different stations. The groups focused on the following concepts: 
  1. Sound waves and tuning forks
  2. Doppler Effect and Sonic Booms
  3. Sound Uncovered using the app for iPads
  4. Using Makey Makeys and Little Bits to create circuits that make music
  5. Resonance
When I look at that list, it's hard for me to believe that our 4th graders would even be able to comprehend some of these difficult concepts. Mike's students blew us out of the water! They brought the information to life and, through the use of PearDeck, made presentations interactive and highly engaging! From the Sound Uncovered app to the Doppler Rocket, dancing tuning forks to Star Wars sounds...these high schoolers used a wide range of technology tools that made for a morning of fun. Learning about resonance with Little Bits and creating animals sounds with Makey Makeys, our kids (and teachers) had a blast! To learn more about the high school content, check out Mike's blog post about our morning together! 

All in all, the morning of collaboration was incredible! Not only did the high school students share their knowledge of sound with our kiddos, our 4th graders had the opportunity to present their sound instruments AND their iMovies to a real audience! The learning was engaging and authentic! 

A HUGE thank you to Mike and his students! You WOWED us and can't wait for our next opportunity to collaborate with you! Go-Carts are next...let's do this! 

~ Kate


  1. Amazing! Maybe one day I will get there... Sounds like a rich learning opportunity for all!

  2. It really was one of those magical days that you just sit back in wonder. The kids (both bigs and littles) did such an amazing job. You'll get there! Baby steps and failing forward!