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.

Simple Machines

Pre-K, Kinder, 1st and 2nd grades all learned about Simple Machines.  We studied what each simple machine was; we looked around the school to find them; we learned hand signals to describe them; we watched BrainPop videos about them; and then we built them out of our Simple Machine Lego kits!  These kits are pre-robotics kits that use the basics of simple machines to also teach how to build from directions working machines.  This will help them when they enter 2nd and 3rd grade and begin building robots with the Lego WeDo kits.  Here are some pictures of the process.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Chemical Engineering and 1st grade

For this unit we studied properties of different materials and how properties can change when mixed together.  We made predictions, tested, and recorded our results.  Then we tried to figure out the best process for making play doh with these materials.  Finally, the big day was making and playing with our play doh!  The students even designed their own labels for their play doh!  It was gooey fun!

Monday, November 28, 2016

WeDo Robotics and 3rd grade!

Third grade worked hard first building their robots and then programming them to achieve challenges.  They learned that programming takes time and patience.  They also learned how to collaborate on projects and find someone who could help them "debug" their program when it didn't work.  After some practice, they built soccer kickers, goalies, and cheerleaders.  Then we had a soccer match!  Here are some photos of the process and the videos at the end of part of the match for each class.  It was really fun!

Monday, November 7, 2016


By now your child has already brought home their latest project from STEAM class -- Goo!!!  It's a halloween tradition in my class.  We learn about the states of matter and we make a prediction about what we are making.  In the end we get messy; we are amazed; and we learn about Non-Newtonian Liquids.  The mess is great, but the smiles and looks of astonishment as the goo forms are worth any and all effort.  Here are some of the photos from the two days.