First graders in all classes revisted Scratch Jr this week. Scratch Jr is a block-based simple coding program designed by researchers at Tufts University, MIT Lifelong Kindergarten program and the Playful Invention Company. In kindergarten, students explored with the blocks to create open-ended programs. In first grade, we have added some challenges! After a lesson reviewing all the tools in Scratch Jr., Dr. Moore came back for another visit in two classrooms to share coding challenges. Challenge #1 invites a coder to make a car drive across the city. Our first graders didn't stop at that! They decided to even add some of their fall words, and even created codes in which the car driver gave a shout-out to other friends in the classroom! We can't wait to see what these creative coders come up with next!
In library rotations last week, Ms. Anderson and Ms. Grossman had 5th graders design paper quilt squares with icons, drawings, and words that represented their interests and hobbies. This week, Dr. Moore extended that lesson and shared a way to do a similar thing using Pic Collage. Together they talked about identity maps (where a creator places themselves at the center and then moves items around the outside to represent multiple aspects of their identity , including hobbies, interests, family roles, background (religion, culture, hometown, place of birth, etc.). Students' identity maps were filled with creativity! They submitted their finished products to Showbie. We were excited to learn more about one another and practice using multiple tools to express ourselves!
At our first Laugh & Learn, Dr. Moore shared with teachers a review on how to use See Saw Learning Journal in the classroom. One of the newer tools is the Activity tab which allows teachers to select from other teacher-created assignments, or create some of their own. We already have a couple of teachers trying it in their classrooms -- way to go, SeeSaw Ambassadors!
During library rotations today, our fifth graders worked on the concepts of perseverance and teamwork as they worked on a tower challenge. Dr. Moore gave them a challenge to build the tallest tower they could using only 20 pieces of spaghetti, 1 large marshmallow, one foot of tape, and one foot of string. We had some successes, some failures, and opportunities to experience a beautiful oops. Through it all, fifth graders planned, shared ideas, tried different strategies, and worked together.
Author Sheila Turnage came to speak to VVE and FTE fifth graders today. She shared with us the process of writing, and how an author moves from an idea to a finished book, and included information on all the people it takes to make that dream come true! She reminded us that writing takes a lot of work, but when you have an idea that won't let go, it is worth the effort. Keep writing, Cardinals!
We had a blast laughing and learning today with Mr. Hooker! We had a great turn out and are so grateful to Booster Club for hosting this event. Special thanks to Mr. Hooker, Director of Digital Innovation in Eanes ISD, for chatting with us about parenting strategies to best support our 21st century learners!
VVE Tech & Learning
Holly Moore, Educational Technologist, shares student learning here, in our Cardinal Community Blog.