Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Hour of Code in Kinder at Bluebonnet Elementary

The most popular trend in educational technology is coding and introducing students to the world of computer science. Last year, Code.org launched its site in the hopes of inspiring students to try coding for one hour during computer science week. This year, their goal was to reach 100 million students worldwide.

Bluebonnet Elementary students participated in an hour of code in several classrooms. Kinder students from Mrs. Hernandez's class used an app called The Foos on the iPads. The app which is intended for young students allows them to create a set of instructions for the character to follow. This is done using command blocks with pictures (see example below). The blocks tell the character to move in a certain direction, to jump, to throw objects, and/or repeat a set of commands.

Most of these puzzles require deep thinking and problem solving because they gradually become more difficult as the students advance in the levels. Also, students quickly discovered that they had different ways of solving the puzzle - some used more steps to reach the goal. 

Mrs. Hernandez class using the iPads to learn about coding

Friday, December 5, 2014

Hangout with Reporter from Washington D.C.

Students who are part of the New Beginnings club had an opportunity to participate in a video conference with Erika Gonzalez, a consumer reporter/anchor at NBC4, Washington D. C., using Google Hangouts. Originally from Texas, Ms. Gonzalez explained how her Hispanic heritage influenced her choices and how she overcame challenges that she encountered on her journey to pursue and attain the career she had dreamed about her whole life. Students were excited and intrigued the entire time.

Ms. Gonzalez emphasized the value of being bilingual and mentioned growing up in a household where Spanish was spoken at home and English was spoken at school. This helped her become dominant in two languages which opened more opportunities for her as a journalist.
Students raise their hands to show they are bilingual.
Part of the students' involvement in the club requires that they speak to professionals and ask questions regarding certain careers for the purpose of finding a career they would like to pursue in the future. This club focuses on learning about different careers and college choices. They will be researching information about universities in the weeks to come.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Number Lines on the Promethean Board

Ms. Livesay's second graders get to use the Promethean board to work some problems from our math adoption. On this particular day, they were working on finding the missing parts of the number lines. Students were engaged and were quick to volunteer to solve the problem at the front of the room. They had to analyze the information and estimate what the intervals on the number line would be. For example, they were given a number marked with 0 and 40. Students had to evenly divide the number line into sections and determine the number at each mark.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

What's Happening in the NGDC Classroom and Library?

Ms. Treviño is our NGDC (Next Generation Digital Classroom) teacher this year. She is a 2nd grade teacher, and her class is part of the pilot for iPad devices. Her classroom also received an interactive projector which turns any surface into an interactive white board. Students can write and click on an object on the screen using a stylus.

Student using a stylus to wrtie on the interactive white board
Students took pictures of themselves and set up their picture as their lock screen so that each student would know whose iPad was assigned to whom as soon as the device is powered on. Ms. Treviño's students have been using an app called Puffin Academy to access Book Flix for independent reading. Additionally, students used the i-nigma app for reading QR codes where they were able to check their work. She has more lessons planned this school year.

QR Codes for vocabulary
Additionally, Bluebonnet's library was one of the libraries selected for piloting the NGDC. Our librarian, Charity Seals, received an interactive panel which is a touch screen panel that is interactive with the touch of a finger or a stylus. Students are also able to use iPads in the library for research and other lessons. Mrs. Seals has been teaching students the proper way to handle their iPads, how to log in, how to access the Bluebonnet Library page, and how to log out and store the iPads back into the cart.
Mrs. Seals using Kahoot! on the interactive panel

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

2nd Graders Learn about Databases for Research

As 2nd grade students in Mrs. Sanz's class were preparing for a research project, the librarian, Mrs. Seals, showed them where they could find information using different resources. By having students rotate through learning centers, the librarian introduced databases and then had the students investigate these databases.

The assignment was to explore each database collaboratively and write down their observations on chart paper. The 6 databases that students learned about were the following: PebbleGo, EBSCO Searchasaurus, SIRS Discover, Gale Kids Info Bits, World Book Kids, and IPL2.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Colleting Data with Google Forms

This week third graders filled out an anonymous survey using a Google Form created by their teachers. The purpose of this activity was to collect data to use for graphing later. Below is screenshot of the form they completed and the results from that survey.


The teacher asked the students to look at the table, and they were able to make the connection between the survey they completed and the results in the table. Students were then directed to create tally sheets and bar graphs to show the data in a different format. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Technology in the Art Classroom

Recently, our art teacher, Mr. Derrick Wilson, assigned a photography project to all 5th grade students. After providing a brief history of photography as well as an explanation of the basics of shooting photos (angles, zooming, focusing, etc.), he put a camera in their hands and let their creativity flow. Additionally, he went the extra step by incorporating PicMonkey, a photo-editing website (which does not require creating an account). After demonstrating how to use the site, students were able to add effects, text, apply filters, and much more to their photos. It was a fun learning experience for these 5th graders!