• Our Plastic is On It's Way!!

    Posted by Alison Ruoff on 9/22/2016

    Our new cartridges are finally on their way!  We will start will designing our own #D objects using our cubify app on our iTouch devices.  Stay tuned!  

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  • Out of Plastic - Oh No!

    Posted by Alison Ruoff on 3/10/2016

    We are awaiting our new cartridges.  We have run out of filament.  THe cartridges that I have left I have finally given up on trying to fix.  The need to be purged so often and are just causing problems so I will wait on our new ones.  I enjoyed taking the cartridges apart at first and fixing them.  It felt good to get things working again but now I just want things to work as the fixes take so much time.  

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  • 3Doodler disaster?

    Posted by Alison Ruoff on 3/10/2016

    I currently have all the pens at home with me now.  Like anything that extrudes hot plastic, they will jam.  However, they jam all. the. time.  I am waiting to here back from the distributor as to what is going to be done.  Stay tuned.  

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  • Have Pens, Will Doodle

    Posted by Alison Ruoff on 10/30/2015

    Our packages arrived this week!  We received our eight 3Doodler pens and filament, which is the plastic we create with.




    3Doodler pens


    Of course we started using them right away.  The first steps for me and the kiddos is to find out what works best for teaching and learning and how to use and create with our 3D pens.  We did a group safety session about how we handle the pens and what parts are ok to touch, and what parts will always be off limits.  Each pen needs to be plugged in.  I would like to eventually get the "Jet Pack" for each pen, which would allow us to use the pen anywhere as it is a portable battery pack.  The pens are very lightweight and so I used our two long laptop table and some bully hooks to mount each pen from a hook on our whiteboard and have them plugged in with the cords being concealed in the cord compartment in the back of the table with plenty of room on the tables in front.

    We have had many highs and lows since our pens arrived just a few days ago.  I changed our math centers in the afternoon to have each group rotate to me to use the pens and get their hands on them.  Some students seemed to have a natural ability to move and use the pen right out of the gate.  Other students had more trouble with using the pen.  i decided setting it to continuos flow, as opposed to have them try and hold down the button was better for all students.  

    Just like i found out with our 3D printer last year, the filament can jam.  The inside of the pen has gears which feeds the sticks of filament through the heated nozzle and the plastic will stop flowing or not flow as well.  This seemed to happen more with students who would leave the pen flat and straight up and down when they were using it or students who didn't "go with the flow" as I started saying about not moving the pen too fast on the paper.  This little guy was one who took to the pen right away and created this flower independently for his mom.

    flower in 3D  

    I can't wait to start using these every day and have the students develop their skills.  We are focusing on basic shapes and functionality of the pens right now.  I used my tools and unjammed my first pen yesterday!  I do feel like a genius when I can fix stuff.  I also started to just make quick little rings for the kids to wear so I can get a feel for our new tools.  My creations look pretty rough at this point, but the students think they are amazing.  Stay tuned for more on this amazing journey in our Kindergarten universe.  

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  • Working with our Skype friends in Kentucky

    Posted by Alison Ruoff on 10/22/2015

    Through Skype in the Classroom, I made a connection with a wonderful Kindergarten teacher and her class in Louisville, KY.  We have been doing regular Skype meetings with them on Mondays.  We sing songs to each other and are learning about how we are the same and different.  Our Kindergarten friends in KY wear uniforms to school for instance and we go to public school etc.  This connection with our friends in KY is so special for the class.

    Mrs. A's class uses technology tools like we do and we have been sharing our 3D creations with them in our meetings.  I thought it would be a fun collaborative project to have our friends in KY share in our experience and create some of their own 3D simple drawings using their iPads and Cubify Draw.  I was so please to receive a file from each one of them in my inbox.  I can't wait to show them what we have printed for them in our next meeting.  Once they are all complete we will send them off with some pictures and writings from our class about Idaho and give them a little feedback on their creations.


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  • Our Robot Project has Begun!

    Posted by Alison Ruoff on 10/16/2015

    We have started our Robot project for the 2015 school year.  We have started with the design phase and learning the functionality of our Tinkerplay app.  




    We have printed off four robots so far.  I have had various technical difficulties from clogged cartridges to parts coming unglued from the print plate.  The robot above had been printing for 3 hours today and then the cartirdge stopped working.  These failures are all part of the process.  




    We have a few missing claws and hands but we will reprint our broken parts later when we add revisions to our robots.  I am hoping that we will be able to have a school wide Robot Showcase again like we did last year.  Estimated time frame would be end of November/beginning of December.  I love doing this project with my students.  We both learn so much.  We get excited about what's coming next and who's robot is printing.  One of my little guys said "Look at my robot Ms. Ruoff!!  Don't you think it is so cool?!?  I think it is cool."  Please check out our 3D printer photo albums for more Kindergarten awesomeness.


    robot pride




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  • Our first weeks with Charlie the 3D Printer

    Posted by Alison Ruoff on 9/13/2015

    We received out 3D printer "Charlie" in January of 2015, so this was the first school year I was able to start with 3D printer in the classroom.  The first thing I decided to print was a jumping frog game complete with lilly pad so the kiddos could see the printer in action.

    lilly pad

    We also watched a Brainpop.com video about 3D printing.  It is worth a watch if you are unfamilar with 3D printing and what it is all about.  Once we were comfortable with our center rotations and had some time to learn the functionality of iTouch devices we started using our Cubify Draw app.

     Using this app each child was able to draw a simple shape and email it to me (I helped with the email part).  This is a great way for my Kindergarten kids to see that they can draw something and then watch it be created in front of them.  They each get to take their object home.  I tell them that they will have to keep it in an extra special place and keep it forever.  I tell them that when they are a grown up like Ms. Ruoff that everyone will have a 3D printer in their home and make lots of things that use everyday.

    On Fridays, we have started to have our "3D Talk Time".  This is where we focus on how 3D printing is making the world a better place.  This past Friday, we talked about Derby the Dog and a boy who has a 3D printed hand.  

    I can't wait to see what we do this year with our 3D printer.  Please check out our 3D printer photo album for pictures of our creations.   


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  • Our Robot Showcase

    Posted by Alison Ruoff on 4/14/2015

    Showcase brochure showcase brochure

    Our Robot Showcase, which was held on March 20th was a huge success. Almost the whole school came to see all of our work.  The above images are from the brochure that was handed out to the students.  We also had iPads available for the classes to check out the Tinkerplay app.  I am still working on a video of the showcase and that will be posted here when complete.  This 5 week project will definitely be something I will repeat with my Kindergarten kiddos next year.  I am so proud of their hard work and all that they have accomplished. 
    Robot Showcase  
    Please check out our 3D Printer photo album for more pics!   


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  • Robots and Superheroes

    Posted by Alison Ruoff on 2/14/2015 1:00:00 PM
    So I came across Modio The 3D Printing App and our classroom has taken on a new project called Robots and Superheroes.  The interface was easy enough for all of my students to easily create their own characters.  This is a creativity app and we love it.  I decided to incorporate this project into our Writer's Workshop and Kidwriting.   
    Once they created their character, I printed it out three times in color.  One to take home, one for our Robot Project folder, and one for our wall.  The one for their folder I can also make black and white copies of for more activities.  The first step was to name our creations in Kidwriting and I displayed this writing on the wall.   
    robots on project wall  
    The 3D printer is running from the time I walk in the door until I leave at night.  Currently we have five student robots completely printed.  My goal is to try and print one a day, but that can be challenging.  They are printed piece by piece as the pieces are all interchangeable and move.  Some print jobs are taking up to 3-4 hours.  Which is ok if everything goes as planned.  Sometimes the print comes off of the print plate half way through and I have to start over.  
    We are collecting all of our project work in our folders.  Some things you can find in our folders are the planets that our robots are from, labeling, and descriptive writing activities.  Some students choose to write about their robots everyday in Kidwriting.  I gave all of the students the option to add more things to their robots to try and improve on their first design.  We have also printed these out and have hung them by our robots on our project wall.
    Windbot the Incredible  
    Excitement for this project has remained high.  One little guy went back in and modified his first robot.  Once it was printed out it looked pretty good.  This was a big source of pride as the whole class wanted to see it and pass it around.  He named his new robot "Boulder the Bad Guy" because "he looks like a bad guy Miss Ruoff!"  And just in case you were curious these boulders are magnetic and when they shoot off of his hands they come back kind of like a boomerang (from the creator).   
    Boulder the Bad Guy  
    More to come as this project develops.  P.S.  We love school. 
    Please visit our 3D Printer Photo Album for more awesome pics of our robots and creations.  
    Boulder the Bad Guy  
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  • Supports and Rafts

    Posted by Alison Ruoff on 1/23/2015 12:00:00 PM

    The past week was all about trial, error, failure and eventual success.  I had to learn through trial and error about supports and rafts in 3D printing.  I also have had to experiment with the glue and having our objects adhere properly to the plate.

    As the newness of the 3D printer is wearing off, I am able to focus more on the process of learning and creating with the students vs. just the end product or 3D printer. 

    Moby the Robot from our beloved www.brainpopjr.com was created in class.  The kids love him and he was a great product to accompany our lesson about what 3D printers can/can't do.

    We also printed out a ring (with many failed prior weekend attempts) with success! 
    I continue to experiment with apps for our iOS devices that are kid friendly and conducive to our Kindergarten environment.  Morphi and Modio are two apps that look very promising so stayed tuned for projects involving those.   We had lots of success with Cubify Draw and having the students create a simple shape so they could have an object to take home. 
    3D letters   
    The letters K and S for their names!   
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