Adventures in Google Classroomland: Google Keep and that Big Fat Weather Project

We’re starting the “Big Fat Weather Project” this week! For the next 8 weeks (that’s all that’s left folks!) we’re going to make homemade barometers, and create hurricanes in buckets and tornadoes in bottles.  We’re going to learn how to read a weather map and predict the weather.  We’ll be staring out the window at the clouds, watching the local and national weather reports, learning about weather and how it affects culture in different cities around the world and eventually put together the greatest meteorological presentations known to man.  We’re going to have.a.blast!!

In the past, I’ve created Google Sheets to capture all the weather data we collect daily.  It has worked with mixed results. I’m not that great with Sheets and therefore, not really good at getting the students to be great at Sheets.  I do, however, NEED them to make observations, take notes and record data in this project.  Enter Keep.

I’ve shared another teacher’s thoughts on Google Keep in the past, but never actually gotten around to using it with my students.  I want to use it, because it fits so nicely in the “hidden” curriculum unit of mine on getting organized and putting stuff where you can find it. Using Keep to take notes also covers among other things, NGSS Featured Image -- 1266standards on interpreting data and creating notes for use in report writing.   So, I’ve decided to have the students set up their Keep accounts on their phones and Chromebooks and make daily observations of the weather.  In the daily note, they’ll have to make note of the time, give the temperature at that particular time, add barometric pressure data (via our homemade barometer), and add a picture of the local weather. We’ll learn how to read weather data on Weather.com.  For the over achievers, I’ll have Weather Underground available and they can take a stab at keeping notes and getting images and video on the weather in their assigned city. (THAT should blow their minds!)

This project has evolved from a paper intensive nightmare that frustrated the students as much as it did me, into what should be, this year, a nearly paperless, computer based analysis of weather on the planet.  Scientists – in – training in FULL EFFECT.  Keep, in particular, will help make it all happen.  I can add activities for them to complete using the app and just have them report it all on our blog.  (OH, THE BLOG… doing something new there too!)  I will, naturally, “keep” you posted (see what I did there? *wink*)

Three of the 4 Task menus are ready to go on Classroom, I’ve double checked things on the website… I’m READY!

Ok, let’s end the school year with a bang!  Weather…. ooooooooooooo!

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