Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Forces with Dr. Bob!

We had the privilege of having Dr. Bob come to our school again to lead a lesson on forces with the kids.  We have been studying the vocabulary words about forces (push, pull, gravity, friction) and learning hand signals to remember them as well.  When Dr. Bob came, we were able to put this learning into action!  The students were able to try out all the forces on ramps with marbles.  Here are some photos of the process.  Thanks to Dr. Bob for coming to our school and sharing his enthusiasm and knowledge!!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Stop Motion Animation with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade

Stop Motion animation is a process where students can make short movies in which objects appear to move themselves!  We explored where we see stop motion animation in the world around us -- movies like the Lego Movie, Wallace and Grommit, and more.  Little Longhorns then got into groups, brainstormed short movie ideas, and drew out their plans.  After all this was approved and agreed upon, they started building their sets.  They then learned the basics of how to film and got to work.  Their finished projects were uploaded to YouTube and we watched them all during a film party to celebrate.  I think they turned out really great!  Here is the link if you would like to watch them.  My YouTube channel

Monday, February 13, 2017

Circuit Valentines

Pre-K, Kinder, 1st and 2nd graders learned how circuits work and we explored places where we see circuits everyday.  Then we decided to make one of our own!  We used copper tape, LED lights, and a battery.  "You light up my life" was our Valentine's Day theme.  Look for those to come home today if you haven't gotten yours yet.  Each student made it for someone special in his or her family.  Here are some photos of the process!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Mechanical Engineering and Kinder

Kindergarten has just completed their Mechanical Engineering unit.  In this unit, we studied wind energy and discovered the best way to "catch" wind.  They formed hypotheses, tested materials, tested shapes, and drew conclusions as to the best way to "catch" the wind so that it could be used for energy.  In the end, they built windmills out of milk cartons.  These windmills spin in the wind and wind up to lift a cup.  We then brainstormed ways that we could use this in the real world.  They are so creative!  Look for their Mechanical Engineering books to come home soon with all of their work and notes included.  Here are some pictures of the process.

Monday, February 6, 2017

WeDo Robotics and 2nd grade!

Second graders are facing challenges, learning, and growing in STEAM class!  This time they are using Lego WeDo robotics to achieve this.  They are building complicated robots from an instruction book.  This process is tedious, specific, and challenging.  Many times, their robots aren't built right the first time.  They have to go back and find out where they made the error, fix it, and rebuild.  As you can imagine this takes tenacity and patience.  To add to it all, they are working with a partner on all of this.  They are learning the fine art of compromise and collaboration.  After their robots are built, they turn into programmers trying to make their robots do certain challenges.  These challenges are fun and creative.  They have to put together a series of commands that are in logical order.  They are using the skills they learned during Hour of Code to help with this process.  I'm super proud of them!  Here are some pictures of the process.  As always, thank you for sharing your children with me.  
~Ms. Adams

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Hour(s) of Code!

This is our 4th year to participate in the Hour of Code at UTES.  And we ALL participate!  From Pre-K through 5th grade, each student learns some coding.  Why?  Because coding teaches logical sequential thinking and problem solving that is useful for any field.  Also, learning to code is essential to many career fields now.  More immediately, many middle schools and high schools are teaching coding and our Little Longhorns will have a advantage already knowing the basics. Here's more.  We use Kodable and code.org.  I have sent out all of the links on dojo for each class specifically.  If you do not have the links for your class, please email me and I can send them again.  It's a great activity for your kids to do online when you are looking for some down time during the holidays.  You will be amazed at what they are able to understand and do!  I know I am always so inspired by them.  If your older child is interested in doing more to learn coding I recommend code academy or Khan Academy to continue learning.  These are both free and very good.  If your child prefers either of these, let me know and they can log on to them in class.  Happy coding!!!  
PS- I play Star Wars theme songs in the back ground to keep them inspired :)

Scratch programming

Both 4th and 5th grade learned and grew in their learning of Scratch programming!  Some chose to work with partners and others created solo projects.  They were challenged with trying something new that they did not know how to do... yet!  They all learned a new skill with Scratch.  Ask your child to log on to their account (they all know their usernames/passwords) and show you their projects.  If you need help with the log on process, just send me an email and I can help.  You will see several of these during our STEAM showcase in January.