Monthly Archives

junho 2015

Families that make together…

By | 21st Century Skills, American Spaces, Sala de Aula | No Comments

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The semester has come to an end and we must prepare our Top Kids students for the end-of-term party, when they show their loved ones what they have learned throughout the semester. We prepare songs, play games and shows the pictures taken during classes. The kids are dying to show off, the teacher is apprehensive and eager to please and the parents are passively waiting to see their money’s worth. What the parents might not expect though, is to have the opportunity to learn themselves something new with their kids. Yet, that was my idea when preparing the following activity.

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Me and the kids had been working on parts of the house, and tired of gluing and coloring, I decided to challenge my students to make a cardboard house with different rooms. Of course, they stepped up to the challenge and it was awesome. So awesome we decided to paint our houses the following class. They loved making a toy of their own, with their own touches and details. Every class they would me if they could they could take it home and I said they had to wait for the glue or the paint to dry, but that was not entirely true.

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Finally, it was the last day of class, they knew they were going to take their houses home, but little did they know I still had plans for them. After the circle time and the presentation of the songs, I asked them to come closer and pick one item from each box: a LED light and a button battery. Surprisingly, most of them knew what they were and their parents knew how to turn on the light just touching the battery. I told them we needed to finish our house with something that was missing and they got it: a lamp! I showed them the materials at hand (paper, masking tape, play doh, popsicle sticks, tin foil and paper clips) and the two prototypes I had previously prepares and I told them they had to make one of their own.

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To my surprise and amusement, not only did the parents help the kids, but they also enjoyed it a lot! They sat on the floor, explored the materials and tinkered until they reached a satisfying result. And the results were many, not one of the lamps was remotely similar to the models. It was just amazing to realize that no matter how old we get, we all have a kid and a maker inside of us, and they like a challenge!

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Helena Galvão

Paper Month

By | 21st Century Skills, American Spaces, Maker Movement, Makerspaces, Sem categoria, Smithsonian | No Comments


May brought a lot of color, excitement and hands-on learning to our ‘Resource Center’. We started the month hosting a local artist called Falk Brito who taught our Resource Center team a bit of origami art. With properly trained staff, our resource centers received students, families and community to create beautiful flowers and cards for dear mothers. The school was very colorful and lively with students interested in learning the ancient art of origami. During the next three weeks, the center offered varied activities that encouraged the exploration of the renowned Smithsonian museums network content, curiosity and collaborative work. The calendar of extracurricular activities was disclosed in our social networks and shared in our schools so that everyone could enjoy the extra-curricular learning opportunities and practice the English language in different contexts. Here’s a short description of some of the activities of  Paper Month.

A Night and A Day at the Museum – Participants were invited to virtually visit  the ‘Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’ and use an Apple kit called Osmo to draw something they found at the museum. This activity was very well received by all who attended and many people were delighted with the designs that they could do using the Masterpiece application (chosen by Time as best invention of 2014).


How Things Fly – Students, families and communities explored some games about flying on The Smithsonian Airspace Museum site and learned about aerodynamics and aviation. To put the knowledge into practice, participants made their own paper airplanes and used the ‘launcher’ to fly high.



Makey Makey (Hip Hop) – With Makey Makey kits, developed at MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, students learned about hip-hop and learned how to close circuits with graphite and paper and make music!

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Paper Month

By | American Spaces, Português | No Comments

Paper-Month-PosterMaio trouxe muita cor, animação  e aprendizado mão na massa para os nossos ‘Resource Centers’. Começamos o paper month com o pé direito recebendo visita do artista Falk Brito que ensinou a nossa equipe um pouco da arte de origami.  Com a equipe devidamente treinada, nossos centros de recursos receberam alunos, famílias e comunidade para criarem flores e cartões lindos para as queridas mães. A escola ficou muito colorida e animada com alunos interessados em aprender a arte milenar do origami para presentear aquelas que são uma das pessoas mais importantes em suas vidas. Durante as três  semanas seguintes, os centro ofereceram atividades diferenciadas que estimulavam a exploração de conteúdos da renomada rede de museus Smithsonian,  a curiosidade e o trabalho colaborativo. O calendário das atividades extra-curriculares foi divulgado em nossas redes sociais e divulgado em nossas escolas para que todos pudessem desfrutar das oportunidades de aprendizado extra-curriculares e praticar a lingua Inglesa em contextos diferentes e estimuladores. Curioso(a)? Aqui vai uma pequena descrição de algumas das atividades do mês do papel.

A Night and A Day at the Museum – Participantes foram convidados a visitar virtualmente o ‘Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’ e usar um kit da Apple chamado Osmo para desenhar algo que encontraram no museu. Essa atividade foi muito bem recebida por todos que participaram e muitos de encantaram com os desenhos que conseguiram fazer usando o aplicativo Masterpiece (escolhido pela Time como melhor invenção de 2014).

How Things Fly – Aluno,  famílias e comunidade puderam explorar alguns jogos do site do museu americano Smithsonian Airspace Museum e aprender sobre aerodinâmica e aviação. Para colocar os conhecimentos em pratica, participantes dobraram seus próprios aviões de papel e usaram o ‘launcher’ pra alcançar voos bem altos.

Makey Makey (Hip Hop) –  Com o kit Makey Makey, desenvolvido no MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, alunos aprenderam sobre hip-hop e aprenderam comi fechar circuito com grafite e papel.