4th Grade – What’s Your Sentence?

We are in our 3rd year of our tradition of doing "What's Your Sentence" videos to showcase how the 4th grader students want to be remembered.
They designed their sentences on the computer and then hand-draw their artwork to make it unique. It's pretty amazing to watch and see how they want us to remember them.
As an added bonus, there is a playlist at the bottom of all the videos we have done for this project.  It's pretty crazy to see that some of these students will graduate in the next few years too.

Here is a full playlist of all our videos from the past several years. 

CIS Student News

The Intermediate Building has been working on their own news show this year and they have done a phenomenal job!  Students have worked with their homeroom teachers to write scripts, research facts, practice public speaking, and evaluate themselves to see where they can improve.  The teachers have jumped in once or twice as well and it has been a great learning opportunity for all of us.

I will update the list below each time a new show is published.  The videos are "unlisted" so you can't search on Google or YouTube to find them.  You will have to use some of the links below to watch their playlists.

#DigCitWeek & Upstanders

October 16-22nd was Digital Citizenship Week and we were pretty excited to take part this year!

In the computer lab we learned about how to manage their online reputations, deal with issues such as cyberbullying, and conduct themselves safely online.  We spent the majority of our time on cyberbullying this past week and will continue to talk more as we work our way through the Common Sense Media curriculum.

In class we looked at in-person bullying and cyberbullying and talked about how they are similar and different.  It's pretty easy to see in-person bullying, but cyberbullying is harder to see since we use technology. Most of the time no one sees cyberbullying happen, so it's important to know what to do when it happens.

We also learned how to be an "upstander" instead of a "bystander" when it comes to bullying.  Upstanders stand up to bullies and try to help their friends realize when they are being a bully in a polite manner.

This video is pretty helpful and a great way to start the discussion about cyberbullying.  

Part of what we do is discuss the acronym "STOP" which stands for 

  • Step away from the computer
  • Tell a trusted adult
  • Only use ok sites
  • Pause and think online
It's a great thing to discuss with students and help them learn the ins and outs of cyberbullying from an early age.  

If you want more resources for digital citizenship week, check out Common Sense Media.

What’s Your Sentence?

It's been a few years since we have done this project, but we decided to restart the tradition of doing "What's Your Sentence" videos of how the 4th graders want to be remembered.
They designed their sentences on the computer (and practiced how to download and install fonts) and then hand-draw their artwork to make it unique.  It's pretty amazing to watch and see how they want us to remember them. (Also, I am super thankful that we finally have a good microphone to record with)


If my students have said anything about Bloxels and you are wondering what is going on, you came to the right place.

Bloxels is a new way for anyone to create a video game.  ANYONE!

Bloxels uses the typical assets of an animated story – the characters, environments, and challenges – and combines them into a video game to play, share and collaborate alongside friends.

Student can design directly on the app or use the app in conjunction with a a pixel board.

The bloxels website has a ton of resources available to help anyone create a game and make any character they can imagine. 

"Bloxels helps kids achieve their nearly universal desire to create video games (seriously, just ask any kid), rather than just playing them. By using the unique combination of hands-on toys and their love and understanding of classic video games, we've made video game creation accessible and fun for all ages."

To fully comprehend the simplicity and magic of Bloxels, you must first see it in action. Watch below to learn the basics of creating with Bloxels. 

Bloxels Overview from Pixel Press on Vimeo.

Video Chat with Local Motors

This morning we had a special opportunity to have the students visit with Local Motors in Arizona.  Being able to talk to any car company would have been pretty awesome, but Local Motors isn't your average car company.  Their cars aren't built on huge assembly lines like most other manufacturers.  They specialize in 3D printed electric cars.  They were founded by CEO Jay Rogers in 2007.  You can check out the rest of the team here.

The cars are printed on a very large and very expensive printer in their microfactory.  Our small Makerbot costs around $3,000, but their car printer is closer to $1,000,000.  Their printer is also roughly the size of a one car garage, while ours fits nicely on my desk.  Ours printer also uses PLA plastic that we buy in small 2 pound spools, while theirs prints out of huge vats of plastic pellets that are sucked up a vacuum and melted down. It takes a fork lift to refill their printer which is pretty awesome.  I didn't bother to ask what that costs.

We learned that their cars right now come only in black and are not painted, which allows them to recycle any piece of the car in event of an accident or part that simply needs replaced. If a customer wants to change the color, they wrap the pieces with a vinyl wrap that can be swapped out and repaired at any time.  

A normal automobile has round 40% recyclability while the end goal of a 3D printed car is to be 100 recyclable/reusable.  Imaging being able to drive your car into their shop, tossing the car into a gigantic shredder and then starting work on your next vehicle.  A typical metal car is owned for an average of 10 years while the 3D car process would allow for a person to have a new custom car every few years.

Another crazy part of the process it that an entire car can be built in around 48 hours, which means if someone wanted to order their car, they could potentially watch the car being printed and built over the course of a few days and then hop in and drive it home.

The students had a lot of question such as if the car was flammable.  It's not.  But if the car was heated to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, it would essentially turn into a puddle of goo.  It is printed at a temperature of around 450 degrees Fareinheit. We also found out the original Strati 3D printed car could go around 35 mph and the new car called the Swim could go 75 mph and faster.

Printing the car instead of using traditional methods also means that you could aid in the design of your own car and make the car unique and truly one of a kind.  

There are certain features right now that the car does not have, such as a heater, but as the technology progresses more and more can be added to the design of the cars.

A final thought was shared by a teacher after our video chat and was perhaps the highlight of the entire video call.  At the end I asked what it would take for a student to work for a company like Local Motors.  While many who work there have college degrees and are very text book smart, they told our students it's not just about that.  They have machinists, production managers, marketing directors and a variety of people with experience in several fields.

Many companies of the future need people who have a wide range of skills.  People who can build things, tinker with what exists and get their hands dirty are great candidates for jobs at companies like Local Motors.  There has been a push in education and around the world for Maker Spacers that allow students to explore and learn through hands on activities.  Math and Science are huge avenues for students which fits with the push to incorporate more STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineer, Arts & Math) activities into school.

As of now Local Motors is not taking public orders for the car, but they are hoping to provide a consumer grade version that will available sometime soon.

A huge thank you for them taking their time to chat with us and show us some pretty crazy parts of their world.