Sunday, October 13, 2019

2019-20 STEAM Lab week 7

Another short, but sweet week!

We were off Wednesday for Fall Holiday and I was out Thursday to accompany 3rd grade to the Houston Ballet Studio Series and then attend a couple of meetings, but the students accomplished great things during our three days together!
STEAM lab welcomed a new set of K-4th grade classes this week and introduced them to their new classes, Wonderopolis, and the class expectations and procedures. They all made great strides in Peer Programming and collaborative problem solving. Ms, Tran has several groups who are almost 1/2 way through the course already! Such fine work earned everyone a Free Build Friday!

5th grade started a new rotation and really embraced the new project, Illuminated Art. They selected Van Gogh and did some introductory reading on Wonderopolis.  They cycled through the collage and sketching stations every day in addition to work in their course. Their Free Build Friday was all about circuits – they watched the BrainPOP video, build circuits with breadboards to light up LEDs, worked with Snap Circuits and Little Bits to create their own circuit contraptions. Finally, they created a circuit to light up the church tower.

Arts Partners: 3rd grade had their field trip to the Houston Ballet Center for Dance to attend the Studio Series performance. This year’s program was a celebration of Houston Ballet's 50th anniversary.

 It was a beautiful retrospective the history of Houston intertwined with the history of the company. Students saw excepts from ballet highlights across all 50 of those years. It was a fantastic show! WE wrapped up by singing Happy Birthday to the ballet! We are so delighted to be an Arts Connect Creative Campus! 

Eco-Schools USA: Weather got in the way of Ms. Tran’s Green Heroes earning their capes, but they will hopefully be outside next week! Monarch Heroes had a HUGE week! They prepped their ambassador butterflies for the Symbolic Migration to Mexico and designated class artists created gorgeous folders to hold the butterflies and class fact sheets. 

They also decorated 1250 envelopes for the Monarch Money campaign this year! 
The Recycling Team continued their work after a schedule change due to a new city recycling pick-up day. They are already planning their next steps - the reused material poster campaign and the morning announcement educational videos.

Our Healthy Living pathway has a new partner this year in Brighter Bites. This awesome organization brings engaging lesson about nutrition into the classrooms and for 8 weeks in the fall and 8 more in the spring sends bags full of fresh fruit and vegetables with recipes home to our families. Our teachers love the program and the entire Piney Point community benefits from healthier eating!

Our students do such fantastic work - I can’t wait to see what next week holds!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

2019-20 STEAM Lab week 6

So much amazing happened at Piney Point this week!

I kicked off the week with the first meeting of the new Name That Book Teams,

followed 30 minute later by Ms. Ballentine’s 3rd graders presenting their work with Houston Ballet Master Teacher, Mr. Paul in the Dance to Learn program to the administration team.

Both groups did an amazing job!

Another set of classes got started on their new courses, were introduced to Wonderopolis, and explored the maker materials.

Houston Grand Opera’s Storybook Opera was on campus for four days presenting to all 28 of our PK-2nd grade classes. They LOVED the performances of The Dog Who Sang at The Opera! We are so grateful to be an Arts Connect campus and have such incredible Arts Partners!

Speaking of incredible Arts Partners, Thursday was Ms. Ballentine’s 3rd graders last session of Dance to Learn and they presented their science ballets on the outdoor stage. They created their own choreography (under Mr. Paul’s supervision!) to explain magnetism, polarization, attraction, repulsion, and other concepts related to forces. Again, we are extremely grateful for our partnership with Houston Ballet and treasure these opportunities to let our students learn from their artists.

Our Eco-Schools USA heroes were busy as well! Ms. Caro’s Green Heroes did a campus clean-up, Ms. Pham’s Monarch Heroes finished their wings, all 8 Monarch Hero classes made their ambassador butterflies and class folders for the Symbolic Migration to Mexico, the Recycling Team was out collecting, and Ms. Ballentine’s Water Wardens had new plants to tend to thanks to a generous donation from Joshua’s Native Plants!

Plant donation from Joshua's Native Plants collected by Ms. Ballentine (cat not included!)

We wrapped up with Free Build Friday!