I’ve been playing around with the app, Tinkerplay.  I started with my MakerMonday group of students and successfully printed one to the delight of the child who made it!

Then students in our FACES Special Education class designed characters during their Makerspace time.

Finally, I brought in a class of 22 third graders who are reading The Indian and Cupboard.  They designed action figures to place in the cupboard.


From those three trials, here’s what I’ve learned.

  • The smaller the scale, the easier it is for the action figures to break.  I found 75% was perfect.
  • Students can easily be given parameters to keep their figures from getting out of hand.  In the beginning, I had one action figure with 75 pieces!  I limited students on the amount of filament (grams) and the estimated print time.  They had no problem with this.
  • Saving is a bit complicated.  I attached Tinkerplay to our school dropbox account and saved to there.  I found that it automatically named the file with a number based on the time of day it was saved.  That meant, theoretically, if I didn’t clear out the folder before a group began saving the next day, things could get messy.  I also found that it was important to stagger saving so that people didn’t save on top of each other.  One save per minute.  I showed the students how to find the file name after it had saved so they could write it down.  It made it much easier to know whose was whose later.
  • Taking a picture of the finished creation helped students put them together when printing was finished.


Conversations with Characters

Mrs. Barger’s class has been reading Howliday Inn and Blood on the Water.  They designed a 3D model of a character from one of the books, then used the app Chatterpix to animate their characters.  Take a listen below!


Chester from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Harold from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Jill from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Harold from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Harrison from elemitrt on Vimeo.

Chester from elemitrt on Vimeo.

First Grade Pigs and Wolves

First graders in Mrs. Mitchell’s and Mrs. Glowczynski’s classes read the Three Little Pigs. The teachers had students create adorable pigs and wolves. Then, we brought them to life using ChatterPix! The project challenged their Children’s Engineering skills as they created their characters, their writing skills as they wrote their scripts, and their oral language skills as they recorded their writing. Take a listen below!

The Art of Tinkering

I’ve spent Winter Break devouring the book, The Art of Tinkering.  It was created by Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.  The book description is this:

The Art of Tinkering is a celebration of a whole new way to learn by thinking with your hands, working with readily available materials, getting your hands dirty, and, yes, sometimes failing and bouncing back from getting stuck. The Art of Tinkering offers a fascinating portrait of today’s maker scene, as well as beginner activities for you to try on your own. Make circuits out of playdough, film a time-lapse movie, fuse plastics into beautiful fabric, and much, much more.

Even the book itself can be hacked!

I can’t wait to incorporate some of these activities into our Makerspace programs.  If you are interesting in the Making/Tinkering movement, check it out!

3D Printed Ornament Challenge

Fourth Graders at Oak Grove Elementary participated in the White House’s 3D Printed Ornament Challenge.  Check out the description of the contest:

When you’ve got a big house to decorate for the holidays, advanced planning is wise. So naturally, the White House is already thinking about this year’s holiday decor, and we’re going to help them deck their halls. Instructables is excited to partner with the Smithsonian and the White House in this 3D Printed Ornament Challenge. Some of the winners of this challenge will have their work printed and hung in the East Wing of the White House during the holiday season. Additionally, those selected to be displayed at the White House will be featured on the Smithsonian’s state of the art 3D data platform, 3d.si.edu and will join a small collection of White House ornaments in the political history division of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Check out our students’ Instructables and pictures which document the process from start to finish!

Click here to see the USA Holiday Ornament Instructable

Click here to see the O’ America the Beatiful Flag Instructable



Butterfly Life Cycle Books

Students in Mrs. Wiggington and Mrs. Allen’s classes created Butterfly Life Cycle Digital Books after they hatched classroom butterflies.  They used the app Book Creator.  This app allowed them to add text, pictures, and audio to their books.  They really did a very nice job! You can listen to them read their stories here:

Mrs. Allen’s Class

Mrs. Wiggington’s Class

There are two versions of each book: epub and pdf.  The epub can be downloaded and read in iBooks (on an iPad or iPhone/iPod Touch) or any other ebook reader.  The pdf can be downloaded on a computer and printed.  Check them out below!

Mrs. Allen’s Class

Mrs. Wiggington’s Class

Cross posted on the Oak Grove Digital Library.

More Real Student iBook Authors!

More books by Fourth Graders have been published in the iBooks store!  These were written by Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Downey’s classes. Check them out!

Buttercup goes to school

Buttercup Goes to School by IceLordvader 693


Turtles Ice Cream

The Turtle’s Ice Cream by Katelyn


Panda Playing Softball

Panda Playing Softball by Faith


Fluffy the Fearless Dog

Fluffy the Fearless Dog by Watermelon


The Coolest Friend Ever

The Coolest Friend Ever by Aaron


The Purple Guinea Pig

The Purple Guinea Pig by Cheesecake123

Famous American Glogs

Mrs. Bralley’s Third Grade Reading Classes have been learning about Famous People. They’ve read stories, explored interactive iPad apps, researched, made story cubes, and even created their own Glogs on Glogster EDU.

They are very proud of their work. Check out a few of Glogster posters below or check them all out in the class Glog Book.

Anti-Bullying with Sock Puppets

Mrs. Pollock’s Guidance classes in third and fourth grade at Glenvar have been role playing bullying situations by using the app Sock Puppets.  In Third Grade, they practiced different strategies to get out of a bullying situation.  In Fourth Grade, they practiced the importance of bystanders.  Here are a few of their videos below: