Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sensational Week 16

This week the STEM lab hosted: Ms. Bell's Kinder, Ms. Leal's 1st grade, Ms.Mehaffey's 2nd grade, Mr. Briceno's 3rd grade, Ms. Giron's 4th grade, and Ms.Cain's 5th grade. It was a short week for me, but we managed to get a lot done!

Stemlab wk 16 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.
Ms. Bell's Kinder were this week's Eco-School's Green Hero Clean Up Crew and did a fantastic job picking up! Since we only had two work days this week we enjoyed Free Build Days!

Ms. Leal's class was working on everything at once it seemed! They rehearsed for their Winter Program play, painted sets, worked on costumes, and enjoyed Free Build Days in STEM lab.

Ms. Mehaffey's 2nd grade got some excellent work done in Scratch. Three more of the built-in tutorials were completed and then personalized!

Mr. Briceno's 3rd grade got a chance to work in Scratch! Since is not saving regular course progress this week we took a break from Course 2 and started making their own games! They were also introduced to their next G/T project (which is a secret to only be unveiled at the Expo!).

Ms. Giron & Ms. Cain's classes completed their cardboard challenge arcade games! We have all been so impressed at the imagination and creativity students have brought to this challenge! We invited Ms. Allende and Ms. Thormodsgaard's classes to come play. It was hard to say who enjoyed it more!

Wednesday was our 3rd annual Hour of Code! It was an absolutely wonderful event! Over 1100 students participated with K & 1st working in Kodable and 2nd-5th working through the new Disney Moana tutorial in Code,org. It was very challenging, but fun!

I am so indebted to Mr. Contreras for taking on the logistical challenge collecting 160 laptops and chargers, setting them all up in the library, gym, art, and science labs (with all the various extra power strips and extension cords!), putting all the Hours of Code shortcuts on their desktops, and then returning them all to their classrooms!

As always, thanks to the rest of the ancillary team for stepping up and supervising this event! I couldn't possibly run any of these campus-wide events without my amazing team!

So where did I disappear to for two days?

I was extraordinarily fortunate to be selected to attend Picademy in Austin Thursday & Friday! This is an intensive 2-day educator workshop designed to introduce the seemingly infinite possibilities contained withing the credit card sized computer called a Raspberry Pi. It makes a wide range of programming projects - including physical computing - accessible to elementary age students.

The whole program was absolutely thrilling! I met some of my Maker and STEM heroes - people whose work I have admired at MakerFaires, on Twitter, and other online forums. Every second of the two days was crammed with new information, exciting explorations, fantastic failures, and so, so, so much learning!

It will take me a little time to process all information and to organize the thousands of ideas into lesson units for the students, but I plan to get started with one or two things as soon as we get back in January!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Fantastic Week 15

We had a wonderful week in the STEM lab! Ms. Allende's Kinder, Ms. Flores' 1st grade, Ms. Lugo's 2nd grade, Ms. Ancona's 3rd grade, Ms. Welch's 4th grade, and Ms. Purvey's 5th grade were here this week and did a marvelous job!

STEMlab wk 15 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Ms. Allende's students made great strides in their course thanks to the new read-aloud tool! They got so much done we were able to enjoy a Free Build Day on Friday! They were also this week's Eco-Schools' Green Hero Clean-Up Crew and did a fantastic job cleaning up the Rock Garden, the Pumpkin Patch, & the 4th grade salad garden!

Ms. Flores' 1st grade had several students complete enough of Course 1 to move on to programming the Bee Bots on their next visit. The entire class earned a Free Build Day on Friday for their hard work!

Our Monarch Heroes had a special visitor from the Garden Club of Houston. Ms. Pepin toured their habitats and heard about all their activities like the Journey North Symbolic Migration, raising caterpillars, propagating native milkweed, and running the Monarch Money donation campaign.

Ms. Lugo's 2nd grade did a fantastic job with Scratch programming. They completed several of the built-in guided lessons and were able to start adding their own personal elements! This group created their own interactive chatbot program too. Great job, 2nd graders!

Ms. Ancona's 3rd grade made amazing progress in Course 2! The protractor tool and new format for hints are really making a big difference for our younger and English Language Learner students!

Ms. Welch's 4th grade & Ms. Purvey's 5th grade completed their cardboard challenge arcade project! We invited Ms. Pesce's 1st grade & Ms. Allende's Kinder class to a game party and a wonderful time was had by all!

Next week will be a short one for me as I am off to PicademyUSA in Austin for two days of fantastic adventures in physical computing, Raspberry Pi experimenting, and general purpose MakerEd marvelousness! I am so excited about everything that I will be able to bring back for Piney Point next semester!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Fabulous Week 14!

This week was short, but fantastic! The whole ancillary team worked together to support several of our school-wide initiatives, such as NWF Eco-Schools, Marathon Kids, and Fuel Up to Play 60. We only had two days, but we made the most of them!

wk14STEMlab from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.
K ran 1 1/2 miles each day! Our Eco-Schools Green Hero Campus Clean-Up Crew from Ms. Caro's class did a great job! The Eco-Schools Seedling Club was very excited to see flowers in their pumpkin patch - there might be tiny pumpkins starting on the vines when we get back!

1st -5th grades all ran at least 2 miles each day!

Our Eco-Schools Green Heroes Recycling Team from Ms. Keahy, Ms. Mosquera, and Ms. Nelson were out in force Tuesday taking care of business before the break!

 Ms. Nelson's Eco-Schools Green Hero Garden Guardians have finished painting the beds and are keeping a watchful eye on their salad garden!

Ms. Lavergne's 5th grade class invited Ms. Hernandez's Kinder to come visit their cardboard arcade. It was a huge success! We are so Panther Proud of these students' creativity and hard work.

I cannot wait to see what next week in the STEM lab brings!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Lucky Week Thirteen

Week 13 was jam-packed with activity, special events, and testing, but still managed to feature some truly fantastic student work! Kinder and 5th grade took their CogAT test, we had our Thanksgiving luncheon, there was a 1/2 day, we had our second G/T Expo - Mini Science Fair on November 16th from 9-10, and then Mock Spelling Bee from 11:00-11:30!
See an overview of Mini Science Fair projects HERE.

This week the lab hosted: Ms. Caro, Ms. Pesce, Ms. Keahey, Ms. Noell, Mr. Briceno, Ms. Gentry, and Ms. Lavergne.

STEMweek13 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Ms. Caro's Kinder Eco-School Green Heroes worked on PSAs for their education campaign! This class made some impressive gains in their class this week and will be moving on to using the BeeBots in their next visit! They accomplished so much that they earned a Free Build Day!

Ms. Pesce's class has made impressive progress in their class! They love the new hints format and the audio help. These tools are hugely beneficial to early English Language Learners! Several groups are ready to move on to programming the BeeBots! They earned a Free Build Day! Our Monarch Heroes closed out the Monarch $ campaign and took to the Panther airwaves to thank everyone for their support!

Second grade was introduced to Scratch programming. It was a real challenge, but they persevered and by Friday were coding games! 2nd grade Eco-Schools Green Heroes sponsored by Ms. Mosquera & Ms. Keahey have taken over the PK-3rd recycling for the campus. We are all Panther Proud of the leadership and initiative these students are showing!

Ms. Noell & Mr. Briceno's class split the week in STEM lab to participate in the Bebras Challenge! We are excited to see our results on the 23rd! The puzzles were very demanding, but our Panthers love a challenge and gave it their all! I have rarely seen such concentration and absolute engagement for so long at a stretch! 

Ms. Gentry's 4th grade took the Bebras Challenge on Tuesday and then got straight to work in their STEM design journals to brainstorm ideas and draft plans for the Cardboard Arcade. We watched the Caine's Arcade video as inspiration, and they truly were inspired! I cannot wait to see what they make!

Ms. Lavergne's 5th grade spent Monday practicing for the Bebras Challenge in the lab. Next they got straight into their design journals to plot out their projects for the Cardboard Arcade Challenge! They raided the MakerSpace's cardboard stash and got right to work! They completed the games on Friday and have issued an invitation to Ms. Hernandez's Kinder to come play next week!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Week Twelve Wrap-Up

This week was filled with amazing student leadership! Our whole student body took part in the campus election run by our poll judges from the Student Lighthouse team assisted by poll-workers from 4th & 5th grade G/T classes.

STEMlabwk12 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Students demonstrated personal leadership in STEM lab with impressive goals setting, respectful collaboration, and highly productive use of their time. This week the lab hosted Ms. Almanza, Ms. Montoya, Ms. Laws, Mr. Garza, Ms. Nelson, & Mr.Torres' classes.

Ms. Almanza's Kinder Eco-School Green Heroes donated recess time to pick up litter and completed 4 signs for their education campaign! This class made some impressive gains in their class this week and will be moving on to using the BeeBots in their next visit! We can also report that the Pumpkin Patch is thriving!

Ms. Montoya's class has made amazing progress in their class! They love the new hints format and the audio help. These tools are hugely beneficial to early English Language Learners! This class also signed up to join Ms. Leal & Ms. Thormodsgaard's classes as the PSA and education team for our Eco-Schools Green Hero Recycling Team!

Ms. Lugo's class put in their turn as Eco-Schools Green Hero Recycling Team on Wednesday. They enjoyed a free build day in celebration of National STEM Day on Tuesday! Ms. Laws' 2nd grade was introduced to Scratch programming language on Monday and by Friday they were programming their own games!

Mr. Garza's 3rd grade was thrilled to discover the new protractor tool in Course 2. The angles in the Artist stage were a little too challenging sometimes! This has made all the difference for them, and they are tearing through the puzzles now! They also got celebrate National STEM Day with a free build day. This group and Ms. Bailey's 3rd grade participated in the Bebras Challenge as well!

Ms. Giron & Ms. Nelson's 4th grades took the Bebras Challenge on Monday. Ms. Nelson's class also constructed some models to support their Mini Science Fair exhibit next week. They have taken on two Eco-Schools Green Hero leadership roles for the campus - Garden Guardians and Recycling managers for 4th & 5th grade. We are so proud of their initiative and civic spirit!

Mr. Torres' 5th grade spent Monday building up miles for Marathon Kids while Ms. Hatchell's class participated in the Bebras Challenge in the lab. They split their time between Course 3 (where they fell in love with the protractor tool as well!) and the Bebras Challenge. Next rotation will be all about building their cardboard arcade games and then hosting a Kindergarten play day!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Excellent Week Eleven

Another fantastic week! We had Ms. Tran's Kindergarten, Ms. Martinez's 1st grade, Ms.James' 2nd grade, Ms. Mallona's 3rd grade, Ms.Grimaldo's 4th grade, and Ms. Hatchell's 5th grade in the STEM lab this week

stemlab wk11 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Kinder - Ms. Tran's class did a fantastic job as this week's Eco-Schools Green Hero Clean-Up Crew! They set up two more posters to help educate their fellow Panthers about not littering. These Cub Coders are making amazing progress in Course 1 and have really learned to use our NAVIGATOR/ DRIVER collaboration system to synergize!

1st grade - Ms. Martinez has several students who have only 2 or 3 puzzles left to complete before they finish all of Course 1! First grade also finished up the last week of the Monarch Money campaign and now will decide how to best use the funds they raised to improve our campus habitats!

2nd grade - Ms. James' class did some real-world problem solving to address some difficulties the whole grade-level had had as the Eco-Schools Green Hero Recycling Team. To combat the problem of forgetting where to return the bin, they devised a name clip system using old clothespins. To handle the difficulty of finding your recycling assignment when you don't know where all 60 of the rooms are located they created a map from cardboard and scraps from a recycling bin! Great Thinking, Panthers! They have also now completed 2 projects in Scratch!

3rd grade - Ms. Mallona and Mr. Briceno's classes have constructed some truly amazing catapults for Mini Science Fair! Ms. Bailey's class completed the vocabulary display and everyone worked together building the catapults for the visitors to test the difference in class 1, 2 and 3 levers. Ms. Mallona's class has worked through 1/3rd of's Course 2!

4th grade - Ms. Grimaldo's class has made amazing progress in programming their games in Scratch! They are creating their own 2-player game and learning to add obstacles and helpful commentary into their code. This rotation was their first exposure to Scratch and they LOVED it! I cannot wait to see what they make next unit! Ms. Nelson & Ms. Giron's classes sowed salad greens, radishes, and other fast growing fall/winter seeds in their Eco-Schools Green Hero Garden and set up their indoor sprouting stations with micro greens! These two groups also had a brief introduction to the Bebras Challenge for next week's contest!

5th grade - Ms. Hatchell's class is almost 1/2 finished with Course 3! Additionally they and Ms. Purvey's class practiced for the Bebras Challenge and finished constructing their pulleys for the Mini Science Fair!

Our Schlumberger Coding Club finished several 2-player games in Scratch. Every game had to include bonuses, obstacles, built in instructions for play. Next week students will add voice-overs to the instructions, sound effects, timers and scoreboards. To see more about our Panther Programmers, click on the Coding Club tab.

3-5 Name That Book Club got underway this week! Bella finished her first story and recorded our first book review on the story Roller Girl. She did such a great job that the book's author, Victoria Jamieson gave her a shout out on Twitter! To learn more about our Name That Book Club, click on the NTB tab.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Terrific Week Ten

This week the lab hosted: Ms. Hernandez's Kindergarten, Ms. Thormodsgaard's 1st grade, Ms. Massey's 2nd grade, Ms. Noell's 3rd grade, Ms. Aguilera's 4th grade, & Ms. Limon's 5th grade.
We had a week punctuated with special events and outstanding class achievements! Monday we kicked off Red Ribbon Week with the creation of a 26 foot long ribbon made from the individual Drug-Free pledges of every student in the school. The massive ribbon was looped into the traditional symbol and hung from the top level of the main hallway. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade all had field trips and several classes joined to ranks of Marathon Kids Champs by completing their first 26.2 miles!
STEMlab wk10 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Kinder Eco-School Green Heroes did Campus Clean-Up twice this week! I am so impressed with their leadership and commitment to being good campus citizens! Ms. Hernandez's class was able to execute the anti-litter poster designed by Ms. Bell's class from materials picked up outside by Ms. Colmenero's class! SYNERGY in action! In they made tremendous progress with several students getting all the way to Stage 8!
Ms. Thormodsgaard's 1st grade is almost finished with their class! Several students had advanced far enough to begin programming the Bee Bots! The G/T students from this class started research on their topic - ramps! They finished the vocabulary and are going to conduct their experiments early next week.
Ms. Massey's class were the Eco-Schools Recycling Green Heroes this week and can report that the classes do better and better at filling the bins with recyclable material only! They were introduced to Scratch coding language and began working their way through the built-in activities. The had a fantastic trip back to the 1860's at George Ranch mid-week as well!
Ms. Noell's 3rd graders have finished exactly 1/2 of Course 2 at this point! Students who had completed the most lessons took a break to begin learning to program the OZOBOTS. Mr. Briceno's G/T students stopped by to show their progress on their Mini Science Fair projects. I can assure everyone that these are going to be the stars of the show! They have done a fantastic job!
Ms. Aguilera's 4th graders created their Scratch online accounts and started to familiarize themselves with the various blocks and features. They love it! I cannot wait to see what they will create in their next visit to the STEM lab. They are also only a couple of laps from finishing their 1st marathon!
Ms. Limon's class did take a day from their lab time to finish their marathon and have already collected a couple of miles towards Marathon 2! They spent the bulk of their lab time this week working through puzzles in Course 3 and planning their interactive projects for next rotation.
All in all a very productive week! Can't wait to see what the students do next week!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Notable Week Nine

This week the lab hosted: Ms. Colmenero's Kindergarten, Ms. DiPersio's 1st grade, Mr. Arzola's 2nd grade, Ms. Bailey's 3rd grade, Ms. Lee's 4th grade, & Ms. Cain's 5th grade. We had a fantastic time introducing our 2nd cycle units! However, the biggest achievement for the week was the completion of Marathon 1 by TWO of our Kinder classes! Ms. Caro's class finished their 26.2nd mile on Wednesday afternoon and Ms. Colmenero's class finished first thing Thursday! We are all Panther Proud of these Marathon Kids!

STEMlab wk 9 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Kinder started working on Phase 2 of their Eco-School Green Hero Campus Clean-up campaign. They still donate their recess to pick up litter, but they will also be creating anti-littering posters from re-purposed and reused materials to raise awareness about the issue. They continue to develop their coding vocabulary and skills rapidly! They have learned to identify "bugs" and to follow the steps to correct them.
1st grade continues with their Monarch Heroes ad campaign on the announcements daily and they have now created posters for all the hallways. They began picking up the funds raised and giving out recycled paper butterflies to recognize classes that are supporting their efforts! In their coding class they are learning about "loops" or sections of repeated code. This is a very challenging set of lessons, but they are doing very well!
2nd grade put in some great work this week on their Eco-Schools Green Hero recycling days! They are producing more posters to help educate the Piney Point community about the benefits of recycling as well as the "How-To" facts. They are starting to develop more skills in Scratch, and most students have now completed several of the introductory exercises!
3rd grade made a lot of progress in Course 2 this week! They've gotten the hang of working with the angles - thanks to the wonderful new protractor tool! And they are quickly working through the artist exercises!
4th grade set up their personal Scratch accounts and are working through all the introductory lessons. Ms, Nelson's 4th graders got to work on the vegetable garden! They cleared the beds (and cleaned up the Rock Garden as well!), replenished the soil, and did a class discussion about what seeds to start. We are so excited to have another part of our Eco-Schools Sustainable Foods Pathway in place!
5th grade put in some excellent work in Course 3. The new protractor tool was a big hit here also! They were also introduced to their new engineering challenge! They will spend the next two rotations working on their "Cardboard Arcade"projects. This unit was inspired by a short video about a remarkable boy named Caine and the fantastic work his creativity, innovation, and  initiative led him to produce. See the story:

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Abbreviated Week Eight!

This week was a short one, but it was packed full of activity. Tuesday we had a 1/2 day and presented our 1st G/T Expo for the year - Mini Reading Fair! To read all about this wonderful event and see video of the fantastic projects presented click HERE
We celebrated Fall Holiday on Wednesday, so our lab time was down to 3 days! 4th & 5th actually had less as they had their Leadership Jobs and an assembly about Fuel Up to Play 60! We still managed to get some good work done, however. The STEM lab hosted Ms. Bell's Kinder, Ms. Brown's 1st grade, Ms. Mosquera's 2nd grade, Ms. Guzman's 3rd grade, Ms. Giron's 4th grade, & Ms. Purvey's 5th grade. Please enjoy this overview of the week's work!
STEM lab wk8 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Spectacular Week Seven!

Another awesome week in the Piney Point STEM Lab with Ms. Allende's Kinder, Ms. Leal's 1st grade (with visits from Ms. Thormodsgaard's Monarch Heroes!), Ms. Mehaffey's 2nd grade (with G/T students from Ms. Lugo & Ms. James), Mr. Briceno's 3rd grade (with their partners from Ms. Mallona's class and some students from Ms. Noell, Ms. Welch's 4th grade, and Ms. Lavergne's 5th grade!

Stem lab wk7 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.
Kinder Cubs did a fantastic job with their Eco-Schools Green Hero chores! The rock garden and vegetable beds look great! They also quickly mastered the STEM lab procedures, basic computer vocabulary, and got acquainted with Course 1. If that weren't enough they also went to a recycling assembly and spent a day working on extra Marathon Kid miles!

Ms. Leal's 1st grade had their hands full! They worked in, rehearsed their play and worked on their costumes for Mini Reading Fair, brought in empty milk and water jugs to transform into Monarch $ containers for every classroom. They have already started distributing the jugs and collecting donations! They managed this and attended the recycling assembly and put in one day on adding miles to their Marathon Kids tracker!

Ms. Mehaffey's class showed leadership in the recycling assembly - which was good because this was their Eco-Schools Green Hero week! They also dedicated one day to Marathon Kids and earned an extra mile for their class tracker. Would you believe they also found time to learn about the Scratch programming language and began coding their own projects? We also had visits from Ms. James and Ms. Lugo's students who were finishing up their Mini Reading Fair projects!

Mr. Briceno's 3rd grade got started on Course 2 and finished their work on Mini Reading Fair with their partners from Ms. Mallona's class. Their interactive poetry exhibits feature programs written in Scratch and made interactive with Makey Makeys! They also attended the recycling assembly and put in a day adding to their Marathon Kids mile tally!

4th graders from Ms. Welch's class started the week with the recycling assembly and put in two days building their Marathon Kids mile totals! That made their STEM lab projects pretty intense as they also went to their Leader In Me campus jobs! Somehow they crammed 4 days of learning about Scratch into two fast-paced days. They did a great job and really love the creativity and flexibility that Scratch allows them!

Ms. Lavergne's 5th grade was back for their second session in the STEM lab. It was a good thing they made such a strong start last time because they only had 2 days to work on their programming! They also attended the recycling assembly, put in 2 days on Marathon Kids and went to their Leader In Me campus jobs!

Whew! I am worn out just thinking about all the wonderful work our Panthers put in last week! Can't wait to see what adventures, explorations, and bold innovations our students have in store for me next week!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sensational Sixth Week

Another awesome week in STEM lab! This week the lab hosted: Ms. Caro's Kinder, Ms.Flores' 1st grade, Ms. Lugo's 2nd grade, Ms. Ancona's 3rd grade, Ms. Gentry's 4th grade, and Mr. Torres' 5th grade.
STEMlab wk 6 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Ms. Caro's Eco-Schools' Green Heroes did a fantastic job on their Campus Clean-Up days!  In the STEM lab, they mastered the vocabulary: mouse, keyboard, monitor, CPU, icon, program and bug! They made tremendous progress in their course as well!

Ms. Flores' 1st graders were programming powerhouses! Several students completed stages 1-13 in just one week! They also learned about the different parts of a computer and honed their "Navigator/ Driver" skills for collaborative coding.

Ms. Lugo's Eco-Schools' Green Heroes handled their Recycling Team job like pros and began drafting plans for Phase 2 of the awareness and education plan. They began working with Scratch and LOVE it!

Ms. Ancona's students started work on Course 2. It was a big jump from Blockly Pictures to Blockly words, but they did a great job! It was wonderful to see the collaborative problem solving and hear such effective communication as they worked through challenges together!

4th grade worked their way through a ton of material! They set up their personal Scratch accounts, completed the introductory lessons to learn the blocks, and began creating and sharing their own digital projects!

Mr. Torres' 5th graders went to their Leadership jobs, started work in Course 3, and worked on creating a Coding Conundrum Crowd-Sourcing wall.

Thanks to all for a great week of innovation, exploration, collaboration, and outstanding effort!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fantastic Week Five

This week was wildly action-packed, but our Panthers can always pick up the pace and meet any challenge! There were 3 nights of ATPP meetings, a campus visit from Marathon Kids, International Day of Peace and the official start of marathon 1! This week the lab hosted: Ms. Almanza's Kinder, Ms. Pesce's 1st grade, Ms. Keahey's 2nd grade, Ms. Accavallo's 3rd grade, Ms. Nelson's 4th grade and Ms. Hatchell's 5th grade.

STEMLabwk5 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Several special events took place this week! Our No Place For Hate Kick-Off event, "Be a Piece of the Peace" took place on our early dismissal day. Ms. Giron's Leadership team managed this event for the campus and did an excellent job!

Piney Point No Place For Hate 1 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

We also were visited by our good friends and generous sponsors from Marathon Kids and Nike Run Club; our 2nd grade ambassadors represented the school and made us all very proud! Friday we had the school-wide official Kickoff party for Marathon Kids!
This is Piney Point's third year to participate in this phenomenal program and our commitment to it couldn't be stronger! It is a vital part of our Eco-School's Healthy Living Pathway, a key component of our Fuel Up to Play 60 plan, and an outstanding opportunity for our leaders to hone their Leader In Me 7 Habits! Our Panthers proactively seek out chances to work on their goals (putting first things first and beginning with the end in mind!). They track their miles and pump each other up to achieve class and school-wide targets!

Piney Point Marathon Kids Kickoff from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Ms. Almanza's Kinder Eco-School Green Heroes did a fantastic job with their Campus Clean-Up days! They also very quickly mastered the procedures in the STEM lab and are manipulating the mouse and solving Course 1 puzzles like champs!
In first grade, Ms. Pesce's Panthers also made lots of progress in their coding course! Several students completed more than half of all the lessons for Course 1 in just 3 days! Looks like Ms. Boyce is going to have to get the robots ready before Winter Break this year!
Ms. Keahey's 2nd graders handled the recycling like pros! They were introduced to the next part of their Eco-Schools job - and education campaign for the whole school. Several students completed Course 1 and are ready for their next programming challenge! This group was also part of the campus visit from our Marathon Kids sponsors. They made us all Panther Proud!
3rd grade made an impressive start on Course 2! It is amazing what they were able to get done in a short week! Ms. Accavallo's group was very proactive and wasted no time!
Ms. Nelson's 4th grade created their own accounts in Scratch, started working their way through the assigned challenges, and had time for the MakerSpace too! That is extra impressive when you realize they only had three days!
Last, but not least, Ms. Hatchell's 5th graders started Course 3, created their own Scratch accounts, completed their first online Scratch challenges, and did some MakerSpace work also!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fabulous Fourth Week

It is impossible to realize that the first quarter of the year is half over! The students are doing such great work, and we are all so involved, that the time is just flying by! This week the STEM lab hosted: Ms. Tran's Kinder, Ms. Montoya's 1st grade, Ms. Laws' 2nd grade, Mr. Garza's 3rd grade. Ms. Grimaldo's 4th grade, and Ms. Limon's 5th grade.

stemlab4 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

We had an awesome experience with Constitution Day! Ms. Nelson's 4th grade Leader In Me Leadership team took on the responsibility of producing our campus celebration of this important day in our country's history! Ms. Grimaldo and Ms. Nelson's students learned a couple of rap songs and presented those with a digital copy of the constitution for everyone to electronically sign! We were able to celebrate the document that defines America AND maintain our Eco-School's commitment to GREEN Piney Point in any way possible! See clips of their performances here:

4th grade sings Constitution Rap by Smart Songs from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

constitution day from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Ms. Tran's Kinder stepped up for their week as Eco-Schools Green Heroes doing Campus Clean-Up. In the lab they made a fantastic start with their basic computer vocabulary, learning to manipulate the mouse, and collaborating on solving puzzles with the Blockly Picture programming language.

1st grade put in a lot of work on mastering new skills in, such as loops and conditionals. They are masters of collaborative problem solving, and it is amazing to hear them discus and work through the solutions to coding challenges together.

2nd grades Eco-Schools Green Hero Recycling teams were Ms. Laws' and Ms. Lugo's classes this week. They collected the campus bins and continued work on their print awareness campaign. Several of these Panthers have finished Course 1 and were introduced to Course 2 and Scratch this week!

Mr. Garza's 3rd grade made their first visit to the STEM lab, and were introduced to Course 2. They handled the increased difficulty of the challenges splendidly! They really took to the Artist Studio and created some spectacularly complex designs. Their favorites were looped designs that they could set to sun at high speed with lots of random color changes! This group really excelled at collaborative problem solving situations.

4th grade completed their second week at their Leader In Me Campus jobs and their employers are reporting tremendous satisfaction! At Piney Point we truly believe that everyone can be a leader and are delighted that are students are stepping up and proving themselves so equal to the challenge! In the STEM lab, Ms. Grimaldo's group worked in Scratch, Course 2, in the MakerSpace and on a basic engineering challenge.

This week was 5th grade's first opportunity to go to their Leadership jobs, as last week they were away at HISD's amazing outdoor learning facility - Camp Olympia. They really embraced the responsibility and justified our confidence in their abilities! In the STEM lab they were introduced to Course 3, the MakerSpace, and both cardboard and LEGO engineering challenges.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Terrific Third Week

Panthers pulled off another week of problem solving, collaborating, communicating, and all-around awesomeness in STEM lab! This week the lab hosted: Ms. Hernandez's Kinder, Ms. Martinez's 1st grade, Ms. James 2nd grade, Ms. Mallona's 3rd grade, and Ms. Aguilera's 4th grade.
5th graders are away at camp having incredible adventures with our fantastic HISD Outdoor Education Centers' department. We can't wait for them to share all they have learned!

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wk3STEMlab from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Kinder started the week off right, by heading out at recess for their 1st day as campus Green Heroes! Interestingly, Kinder was the first grade to start their campus-wide Eco-School campaign and the first to take on their Leader In Me campus Leadership role! Kinder shows the way again! Go, Kinder Cubs!

First grade got through an enormous amount of puzzles and challenges in a shortened week! They really took to using the Navigators/ Drivers model for pair programming and collaboration. I was so excited to see how proactive these leaders are - every day they came straight in and got immediately to work. They modeled win-win and great synergy behavior at every task!

Second grade started their Eco-Schools Green Hero campaign and Leader In Me campus-wide Leadership role by managing the recycling! They found it was a big job, but they already have lots of plans and projects to make it all run more smoothly in the future! Ms. James' class picked up PK-1st on Tuesday and Ms. Keahey's class collected 2nd-5th grades on Thursday. They created posters and informational labels from reused and recycled materials!

Third grade was introduced to their new course. They found it challenging, but made a lot of progress! They were also introduced to the MakerSpace and were able to get in touch with their inner mad scientist/ creative genius!

Fourth graders also had a big week! They started their Leader In Me campus jobs. Every 4th and 5th grader works at a different location on campus - the library, the nurse's clinic, the main office, and as personal assistant to primary grade teachers. They go to "work" every week, and have made a great first impression on their "bosses" so far! They are excited about their jobs and are having a very positive impact in the classes and offices where they are working!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Second Week Success Stories

It was another amazing week of STEM lab achievements! This week I was visited by: Ms. Kinder, Ms. 1st grade, Ms. 2nd grade, Ms. 3rd grade, Ms. 4th and Ms. 5th grade. They had big shoes to fill after last week's excellent, but they did it!
This week the lab hosted: Ms. Colmenero's Kinder, Ms. Thormodsgaard's 1st grade, Ms.Massey's 2nd grade, Ms. Noell's 3rd grade, Ms. Lee's 4th grade, and Ms. Purvey's 5th grade.

stemwk2 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Kinder learned how to use the mouse and mastered "click and drag" in This was also ms. Colmenero's week to take on their Kinder Leader In Me campus leadership job of Eco-School Clean-Up Crew. Her Panther Cubs did an awesome job donating their recess to pick-up litter and make Piney Point a cleaner and greener school!
1st grade students worked vocabulary, learning to log in to the computers, and on collaboration using our "Navigators and Drivers" protocol. 2nd grade had 5 students graduate from Course 1 and move to Course 2!
2nd graders' Leader in Me Campus Leadership role as the Eco-School Recycling Team kicks off next week and they spent time in the MakerSpace creating the reused material tree and leaf tracking system the classes will use to keep track of their recycling success.
The upper elementary classes started their week setting and recording class and personal goals in a Google form. They are learning to use the Google tools to facilitate collaboration and sharing on their long-term research and team projects.
3rd grade started working on Course 2 and were introduced to the projects they'll be creating for Mini Reading fair with Scratch and Makey Makeys.
4th and 5th grade met their Leader In Me campus leadership job employers! 4th grade starts work next week; 5th grade begins after their return from camp. However, I am lucky enough to have my leaders Adriana and Ezekiel back at work for me! Mr. Huerta is so happy to have his team back in the TV studio and ready to train some 3rd graders to take over!
4th grade almost succeeded in their first BreakoutEDU challenge, but were thwarted by one puzzle! They loved the challenge and have promised revenge next time! 5th grade broke out with 15 minutes to spare! They elected to spend their free time every day in the MakerSpace. They've definitely got the building bug; they whipped through the extender arm design challenge and got creative with their hand models!

Next week will be short on time, but I am betting it will be long on creativity, engagement, and problem solving!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Fantastic First Week!

Panther Proud of the wonderful work in the STEM lab this first week back at school! This week the lab hosted: Ms. Bell's Kinder Cubs, Ms. DiPersio's 1st grade, Mr. Arzola's 2nd grade, Ms. Bailey's 3rd grade, Ms. Giron's 4th grade, and Ms. Lavergne's 5th grade.

stemwk1 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Kinder is learning basic computer vocabulary, how to log in to the computers, and being introduced to Parents will receive student account information on Friday so that students may work at home if they choose.

First grade is also reviewing vocabulary and continuing with the coding course they began in Kinder. They are also learning how to sign in to the computers and getting their first taste of the mini MakerSpace!

Second grade is wrapping up course 1. They are also learning about the use of simple machines in the Marble Run/ Chain Reaction station and solving Fairy Tale design problems such as devising the ultimate wolf-proofed house!

3rd grade is starting work on Course 2. Their Course 1 work was an excellent preparation as proved by how rapidly they are working through the lessons! They are beginning their simple machines and design explorations with LEGO Dacta sets and assisting Folk Tale characters like John Henry solve their engineering problems.

4th and 5th grade learned all about their Leader In Me campus jobs this week! They are eager to me their bosses next week and get to work! In the lab they completed their first Breakout experience with complete success, built a grabber arm, and got to work on Course 3!

I am so pleased and proud of our students for making such a strong start! This is clearly going to be a GREAT year!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

2016-17 STEM Lab Sneak-Peek!

Greetings Panthers and Panther Parents!
I am so excited about the incredible new materials and resources for this year! We will continue to use the courses and Scratch as our foundation, but I am very pleased to announce that Piney Point has been selected by HISD to take part in a new partnership with Tynker. This will be a tremendous boost to our programming curriculum!
Computer Science is becoming a required subject all across the United States and the world. Several studies have shown that introducing the basic concepts and an understanding of the principles of programming has tremendous benefits for elementary age children. It promotes logic and trains the mind to think analytically, it requires that you revise, edit, and pay careful attention to details, and most of all it teaches persistence!
The programs we use allow a great deal of creative expression and tap into the natural human need to explore and invent. They also allow students to learn at their own pace and encourage collaboration and communication.
Students will be thrilled to apply their coding prowess to the physical world with a wide variety of robots. We have LEGO EV-3, WeDo STEM, Bee Bots, Pro Bots, and brand-new this year - Ozobots. Each of these highly engaging devices creates the perfect mix of programming skills, code language, robotic behavior, deductive reasoning and interactive play!
5th grade students completing the core coursework will be introduced to Tinkercad - a student friendly introduction to 2 and 3-D design. Students successfully mastering this tool will have access to our new 3-D printer.
But the STEM Lab isn't all coding! Students will work collaboratively to solve literature-based engineering challenges, construct Rube Goldberg machines and Great Ball Contraptions, and sharpen their teamwork and problem solving skills with Breakout EDU boxes!
It is going to be an amazing year!