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!