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!