Friday, December 18, 2015

1st grade and Chemical Engineering

For this unit 1st graders explored the properties of different materials and how those properties might change when the materials are mixed together.  We read a book about a hockey team in Canada that was trying to make play doh for a fund raiser.  We experimented with different processes for making play doh and took notes on what worked and what didn't.  We also talked about selling something you have made and how to best prepare a label for that item.  We talked about gathering product research first as we prepare to make our play dough.  We learned about surveys and using graphs to communicate that data. All in all, most days were pretty messy, but everyday was super fun!  I hope you enjoyed the play dough that the students brought home last week.
As always, thank you for sharing your children with me!
Ms. Adams

Friday, December 11, 2015

Little Longhorns and the Hour of Code

For the second year in a row, we participated school-wide in the Hour of Code. So Pre-K through 5th grade learned how to code using age-appropriate apps and websites.  We used the Tynker app and as well.  Those students who expressed an interest in continuing learning "real coding languages" were set up with an account on  I'm so impressed with our Little Longhorns for taking on this challenge and pushing themselves to try things that were just a little bit harder than what they thought they could do.  Even students who cannot yet read, can code!  Amazing!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Kinder and simple machines

Kindergarten worked hard learning about Simple Machines and building in this pre-robotics unit.  They were paired up and given a build card that they had to follow.  They used their spacial reasoning skills to build according to the picture instructions.  After they built it correctly, they had time to play and experiment with each project.  As you can imagine, they weren't always able to build it right on the first try.  Their tenacity was amazing to watch.  It was also so wonderful to see them encourage each other to keep trying.  Once they were successful, their faces lit up with such a sense of accomplishment!  I encourage them to try something that is just slightly harder than what they think they can do and I believe they are doing just that!  I'm so impressed with them!
As usual, thank you for sharing your children with me.
Ms. Adams

4th graders make robots!

Fourth grade built and programmed using Lego Mindstorm kits for their Robotics unit.  They were paired up for this project and worked together really well despite several technical obstacles.  We ran into issues with robot brains not working, with software needing a patch, with wifi problems, and with log on server issues.  They definitely win the tenacity award!  Together (students, teacher, IT department and volunteer) we found solutions to the problems we encountered.  Our final real challenge was to program the robots to navigate a maze.  A few groups were able to final reach the finish line and several others got very close.  Everyone learned the basics of programming in robotics!  I continue to be amazed by this group of students and what they are able to achieve even when things aren't perfect (and in real life are they really ever perfect??).  Here are some photos of the whole process.  
As usual, thank you for sharing your children with me.
Ms. Adams