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.