A new year after a nice winter break is a great time to revisit our iPad expectations. Students in first through fourth grades can view the first video below for reminders of Cardinal SOARing behavior with iPads. Fifth grade students take their iPads home, so their video is slightly different and is the second link included below. Both links can also be found on the VVE Student Resources page. Let's have a great semester, VVE Cardinals!
December is filled with lights and music, and our VVE students had plenty to enjoy! From our VVE Cardinal Choir and Percussion concert on campus, to their performance at the Domain, these musicians kept our toes tapping and helped us remember the importance of loving and supporting each other. Then, as a VVE tradition continued, the WHS Madrigals came to lead us in holiday song, helping us laugh and dance along the way. As usual, before our classroom parties, the staff (along with the help of Mr. Z) helped us sing-along to holiday favorites, with a special Fortnight Dance Off at the end. Happy Winter Break to all!
Eanes Ed Techs led a Family Film Funshop today at Forest Trail Elementary for students in grades K - 8th. Students and families were invited to attend a morning in which they attended four mini-classes on storyboarding, stop-motion animation, camera angles, and acting, and then they had about 30 minutes to create their own mini-film. We then all gathered in the library and shared our creations. There was lots of laughter, careful film-crafting, and the results (even in such a short period of time) were stellar. We hope these budding film makers will consider creating a film for our 2nd Annual Festival de Eanes!
VVE fourth and fifth grade students explored with coding using our new Sphero SPRK+ robots. Fifth graders had an opportunity to explore the Sphero EDU app during their library rotations time last week, and then with the help of Science teacher, Ms. Darling, worked on coding and STEAM stations in their Science Google Classroom. Students worked in teams to complete two challenges per lesson, over the course of two weeks -- bowling with Sphero, painting with Sphero, index card building challenge, and water bottle flipping challenge (complete with data collection pages for determining the best size and fill-level for successful tossing). Fourth graders only had one day to explore the STEAM centers (on the day Austin Energy came to share a lesson with students), and they explored 2-3 of four centers -- bowling with Sphero, painting with Sphero, coding Dash to move through a maze, and coding Sphero to move through a maze. Play-based learning opportunities are fun and engaging, and we always look for more opportunities to use/share them!
It was an evening full of coding, creativity, and hands-on STEAM activities for EISD students from Kindergarten though eighth grade. I was happy to work with Fred Benitez to share a family/student session on coding with Scratch Jr. After a few tips on how to use the program, students created their own stories using Scratch Jr as their parents looked on and offered suggestions. We then shared our coding creations with each other on the big screen (thanks to the amazing new Computer Science Design Lab room). Next door, WHS Computer Science teacher Lynn Rosier worked with older students to code more advanced projects using more advanced coding languages. Around the building, students and families explored 3-D printing, and robots...so many robots! We were so grateful for the help and support of many Eanes teachers, Ed Techs, high school students, and volunteers. We cannot wait for the next installment of Family Coding Night!
Two amazing VVE Cardinal moms -- Anita Lakshman and Maile Kono Wells -- have once again put together an amazing VVE International Day. On this third year of the event, students in grades K - 5 watched Irish Dancers, 2nd & 3rd graders listened to and danced with a German Polka band, and Kindergarteners and 1st graders rotated through VVE Parent Volunteer centers. Kindergarteners made a Costa Rican craft, heard a West African folk tale about Anansi, learned about Ireland, and made Indian Rangoli art. First graders learned a Jewish song, participated in a lesson about England (with handwritten cards explaining different British landmarks, learned about Korean culture, and learned about ancient Mayans (from a professor of Mayan history)! VVE is so blessed to have so many creative families who are willing to share their time and talents teaching our Cardinals about our world. We look forward to learning more throughout the year!! (More photos and videos will be added to our VVE International Day blog -- see the link in the navigation bar to the right.)
Beginning November 5, VVE fifth graders will begin taking their iPads home a couple of nights per week to do math and science homework. This is part of a district initiative to help 5th grade students develop skills they will need in middle school, including taking responsibility for homework, and using Google Classroom and other digital tools to practice key concepts. In preparation for this, Dr. Moore met with each homeroom class during their library rotation time, and shared the expectations and parameters for successful iPad use at home. Students reviewed the importance of keeping the iPad in the neoprene case during transport, charging it each night, and using the school iPad ONLY for assigned homework. Students also talked about the importance of healthy habits, including completing iPad homework in a common area where family members can monitor work, only using the device for assigned homework, avoiding screens in the evening, putting the iPad away as soon as homework is completed, and taking plenty of time to relax and play away from screens! Our awesome VVE 5th grade teachers will be working to give meaningful assignments that allow students the opportunity to practice skills as well as invitations to create in multimodal ways whenever possible. Families can see the slideshow shared with students at any time -- just ask your 5th grader to open their Showbie app, tap the class called "5th Grade iPads," and then look for the assignment called "iPads HOME Information."
VVE Tech & Learning
Holly Moore, Educational Technologist, shares student learning here, in our Cardinal Community Blog.