Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Terrific Week 20

Terrific Week 20
We had a really productive week in The STEM lab despite the early dismissal day cutting us down to just four days. I have been so impressed by the way the students have been able to adjust their plans and productivity around short or disrupted weeks! They take work home, decide to split tasks with partners, or seek out extra time in the lab to make sure they complete projects and accomplish their goals! They are really taking ownership of their STEM lab learning!

This week the lab hosted: Ms. Caro’s Kindergarten, Ms. Montoya’s 1st grade, Ms. Laws’ 2nd grade, Mr. Garza’s 3rd grade, Ms. Gentry’s 4th grade, and Ms. Purvey’s 5th grade.
Kinder is making excellent progress with their Course! They are learning to write more efficient algorithms by using “repeat” blocks.
Several of Ms. Montoya’s students are just a few challenges away from completing the entire Course 1 program in!
Kinder & 1st grade students were excited to move to the next level of their robotics course. They created challenge courses for each other using the BeeBots and were excited to transfer their coding skills from the digital to the physical world!
2nd grade put in a lot of work in Scratch this week and I am really delighted at their increasing skill! They are getting more and more comfortable with the various types of blocks and really enjoy exploring! At this point they have worked their way through more than half of the guided lessons in the offline version!
3rd grade took a break from their course to get acquainted with Scratch this week. They particularly enjoyed making their own “Catch” games and animating their own names using as many different visual and motion effects as possible!
4th grade’s week was shortened even more by students’ Leader In Me campus jobs on Monday. Every 4th grader has a job working in a classroom, office assistant, nurse’s office, or library once a week. This has been a great program that lets older students mentor, take on meaningful responsibilities, and learn important organizational and social skills. In the STEM lab they continued work in Scratch.
5th grade spent Monday and Tuesday putting the finishing touches on their projects for the Digital Mini Fair and being introduced to cardboard and paper automata. Students designed and constructed their own models.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Week 19 Wrap-Up

This week was a wild one! The district was closed in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Tuesday wasn't feeling up to the challenge of starting off a work week apparently! The flooding and storm conditions meant that Kinder and 1st grade missed an extra day of STEM lab, but they worked twice as hard to get through everything! This week's talented engineers, programmers, and makers came from Ms. Almanza's Kinder, Ms. Martinez's 1st grade, Ms. James' 2nd grade, Ms. Mallona's 3rd grade, Ms. Nelson's 4th grade, and Ms. Purvey's 5th grade.

stem19 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Kinder and 1st grade are making fantastic progress in's Course 1! They began programming the BeeBots this week and were quick to point out that it was exactly like programming the bee puzzles in the coding course! Both of these classes earned Free Build Friday!

1st grade G/T students have been hard at work on a series of mini video clip they have filmed as part of the digital tour of our habitats they are presenting at the Digital Mini Fair next week.

Our Eco-Schools Monarch Heroes were showcased in a NWF webinar this week! They have been filming clips for their G/T Expo Digital Mini Fair presentation and are looking forward to a lot of planting in the spring. Our habitats took a big hit during the freeze, but we are ready to work hard and bring them back better than ever!

2nd grade has been working through all the tips lessons in Scratch and making great strides in using the programming language. Many of the class are working on interactive digital MadLibs for the G/T Expo. These projects look great and they are excited to share them with the rest of the school!

3rd grade was very busy programming randomizers in Scratch. These are also for the upcoming Digital Mini Fair. They made physical models of their randomizer (things like dice, color wheels, magic 8 balls, and so on) from reused and recycled materials. Getting the programs to work properly and be truly interactive has been a little challenging, but everyone did very well!

4th grade powered through a huge amount of work! They worked in teams designing and programming their own video games in Scratch for the G/T Expo. They were also busy in the MakerSpace creating game controllers to use with the MakeyMakeys AND completing their cardboard challenge arcade games! They invited Ms. DiPersio's 1st grade class to come for a play day. They were perfect guests and everyone had a wonderful time.

5th grade worked on their Digital Mini Fair projects as well. They wrote "choose your own adventure" style stories and then wrote interactive programs based on them in Scratch. This was a lot of work! Students really saw the design process at work as they had to plan, draft, code, run, review for and correct errors time after time to get everything going smoothly.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Week 18

STEM lab classes were suspended for the administration of the Iowa/ Logramos tests this week. Check back for week 19!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Super Week 17

What a wonderful welcome back to school we had in STEM lab this week! It was short, but full of excellent student imagination, creation, and fun. We hosted Ms. Hernandez's Kinder, Ms. DiPersio's 1st grade, Ms. Lugo's 2nd grade, Ms. Bailey's 3rd grade, Ms. Giron's 4th Grade, and Ms. Hatchell's 5th grade. Lots of excitement was in the air as we set personal theme's for 2017 with the #MyOneWord project!

stemwk17 from Kimberly Boyce-Quentin on Vimeo.

Kinder got right back in the Green Hero saddle with their Wrigley's/ Eco-Schools Litter Less Ambassador jobs. They did their usual campus clean-up, but also began work on a  commercial to be aired during the morning announcements!

They split their coding time between and getting to know the Bee Bots.

1st grade Monarch Heroes are going to start organizing things for the next set of plantings that will begin after Spring Break. In the STEM lab they split their time between and creating course challenges for each other with Bee Bots.

2nd grade worked very hard on their projects for the next G/T Expo Digital Mini Fair. They are coding interactive MadLibs in Scratch! It is very challenging, but they are doing a wonderful job!

3rd grade continued working through Course 2 in They are very excited to start working through the introductory exercises for the OZOBOTS! G/T students worked on creating digital randomizers in Scratch. They are creating physical versions of the object (dice, coin, color wheel, Magic 8 Ball) to connect to a MakeyMakey to trigger their program when a visitor stops by their table.

4th grade began creating video games in Scratch for the G/T Digital Mini Fair. Their were mazes, Flappy-style games, target games, and many more! Everywhere I looked, Scratch cat was flying, jumping, racing, and shooting rainbow lightning bolts! These games will also be connected to MakeyMakeys and visitors will be able to play them with student designed controllers!

5th grade somehow managed to program their Choose Your Own Adventure story in Scratch AND complete the Cardboard Challenge! They designed unique and entertaining arcade games from entirely recycled/ upcycled materials and invited Ms. Montoya's class to come play!

That was some three days! 2017 is shaping up to be a thrill-ride of making, programming, and creativity!