Thursday, April 12, 2018

Earth Day

Earth Day is fast approaching and second grade created these wonderful posters for our hallway.  We used KidPix for the writing.  Students practiced writing "I can" and "I will" statements.

The students loved creating their handprint Earths.  After painting our planets the second grade teacher had the great idea of adding a little glitter to their projects.  She said, "Everything is better with glitter."  Although I disagree, she was correct in this case. 😀 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Career Day

Our entire lower school participated in Career Day.  Students came to school dressed as a particular career of interest.  We had doctors, builders, pilots, teachers, artists, and so many more.  Teachers even participated. 

We incorporated Career Day in the computer lab by having first graders write about their future careers.  We encouraged students to write and draw with detail. 


I love their imaginations.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

King of Code

Check out this short video on how to incorporate coding into your everyday curriculum.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Dash Flash Mob

The holidays are a time I usually dread in the classroom.  The students are extra excited, and our schedules are often interrupted for parties, assemblies, holiday concerts and travel.  I needed to think of a project that would keep the students engaged during this crazy time of year. 

Dash and Xylo from Wonder Workshop would do the trick. 

Most of my students hadn't use the Xylo app yet so time was given for them to simply explore and create.   No rules, no directions, no limits.  After 15 minutes or so, I asked the students to compose Jingle Bells or Joy to the World.  Students added synchronized movements.

Like every famous musician, the students wanted to take their show on the road.   Our Dash robot flash mob visited our music teacher's classroom, Headmaster's office, and a senior class of digital design students. 

Our students were so proud of their creative coding.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

One School-One Book

All of our students have required summer reading assignments, but never the teachers. But for the first time since I've been teaching in our school (18 years), our faculty had required summer reading and IT. WAS. WONDERFUL!

Our entire faculty was asked to read The Invisible Thread by Laura Schroff.  A young panhandler surviving on the streets meets a young business woman climbing the corporate ladder.  The young woman reaches out to help the young boy, and in return, he teaches her more than she could imagine.

An Invisible Thread shows how one person, Ms. Schroff, puts aside her individual wants, needs, and desires to focus her energy enriching the life of a young boy with no expectation for anything in return.  One small McDonald's meal turned into a lifelong friendship.

This is a story of grace, kindness, and compassionate. These are necessary when working with children in the classroom as well.

As the dust settles on the whirlwind first weeks of school we also need to realize that coworkers, support staff, substitutes, parents, coaches, and bus drivers also deserves our utmost grace, kindness, and compassionate,  We need to put aside our individual wants to focus on the larger picture; our students.

Thank you, Ms Schroff, for sharing your story and inspiring our faculty.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Animal Robots

We just completed our longterm robotics and coding project.  First, the students were introduced to various components (servo motors, LEDs, duo controllers, etc).  We learned how to code each component individually.

Students were asked to build an animal that incorporated movement, sound, and light into their project.  They used GarageBand to record facts about their animals and Snap! for coding.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Talking Devices

After reading Out of My Mind and Rules (both books feature non-verbal characters), the fourth graders were inspired to create their own talking devices.  Students used Makey-Makeys and Scratch to code and construct their communicators. 

Here are some students using their devices to answer questions.  

Students testing their coding

Makey Makeys and Scratch were used for coding and construction.

Students connecting to Scratch.