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!