Thursday, June 29, 2017

Top 10 for 2016-2017

Well that school year flew right by...
I decided to maybe do a Top 10 of my absolute favorite STEM activities from the year, after all I have like 9,000 photos saved on my phone. Yes, you read that correctly 9,000 photos. New plan Top 10 for the last 10 months and we start with September. So take a wild ride these next few weeks as I catch you up on the BEST year ever...being the STEM Special Area teacher for Cypress Creek Elementary.

After talking about being a digital citizen and getting to know one another the first few weeks the 1st challenge was posed to the intermediate students.  They had to make a crayon organizer out of available materials.  We needed to have a common definition of organized and what better way that Kahoot!  It was so much fun showing various pictures and hearing the oh my! and what? when the kids saw them and had to decide is it organized or not.  After that students were given  list of available materials and the planning started.
How big was the organizer going to be?  How would it organize the crayons? What about color pencils?  How would you decorate? maybe label? oh the possibilities were endless.
Since we only have 35 minutes it took a few sessions but the results were amazing!  More to come on that.  One of the materials was toilet tubes and from he donations received my trusty assistant made sure they were all cleaned up for the students.  Isn't she just the best ever!  The kids love having her volunteer every Wednesday and she absolutely has the BEST time with the kindergarten kiddos.
The primary students took part in  #globalcardboardchallenge  One of my favorite teachers, Amy Spies introduced me to Caine's Arcade.  Caine is an exceptional young man that used problem solving, creativity and perseverance to make the world a better place.  If you have a moment watch:

The challenge was to make something, anything out of cardboard and the wheels were turning from the word go.  Ethan was on a mission.  He wanted 26 pieces of cardboard and Ahma was on duty to help cut those pieces of cardboard.
Finished product: a set of alphabet cards and he was so proud of them.  Ethan is a kindergartener with a little sister and I know those cards were put to good use.  I was so impressed with his will and determination through the whole process.  It was going to be an amazing year.
Cypress Creek has PLC weekly for teachers to meet, learn, and collaborate which gives special are an extra 20 minutes with each grade level.  I had a buddy that let me borrow a set of Build to Express kits and I am telling you it turned out the be the BEST thing ever!  The kids loved building, creating, talking, sharing, and groaned when it was time for "diassemble and clean-up." 
Seriously this smile is worth a million LEGOS right?
Caleb loves our custodial staff.  He is the most helpful young man and created a scene of custodians.  I couldn't wait to share it with Mr. Gerry and Ms. Lori.  You never know the impression you leave with a young one.  
Back to the crayon organizers and cardboard challenge, it was a workshop of materials, movement, and you could feel the energy.  The students were impressive with their thinking, their willingness to help one another, and their creativity.  Cameron wanted to create an arcade game to score points by throwing a ball.  Aha got in on the action and it was so cute.
Cameron's next steps are to add point labels and he has some work to do.  One thing I learned quickly was storage! Where was I going to store crayon organizers and cardboard projects for all these students.  Just a glimpse into the storage room.
The T is STEM is for technology so where is the technology?  Up comes Goformative and it is a game changer.  I need to do a whole write up to give it justice. So make sure to check back.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Spring Break 2017

 Who knows better than anyone what the day is like when Spring Break starts at 2:05? A teacher of course.  However we need to use every minute given to us to share and teach our students.  It just so happens to be a challenge for teachers to find something so engaging the students can't help but learn and then walks in  An online whiteboard where you can write, share, collaborate and send in or post your whiteboard images. A special thanks to Cassandra Stewart for sharing the possibilities during a DLTL meeting.
Our 3-5th graders will be taking the state test on the computers and I have planned several lessons on technology to get them familiar with the computer and mouse.  I used a math picture puzzle from @mathmashup to have them solve using the math principals they know.  They received a link for a clean whiteboard from me through Seesaw.  
Their next task was to solve and then download their image to Seesaw so I could see their progress.  It was amazing!
 Do you even see a friend helping another get to use the features ofAwwapp and then posting to Seesaw?
As far as our kindergartener friends and 1st graders, I thought it would be fun to get the green screen out and let them tell you their plans.
Check out the video here: 
Our leaders Dr. L and Becky P. are amazing and every year they put on a staff wide picnic thanks to Christ the King Church which uses our school for their facilities.  We have such  great time laughing and celebrating the end to another successful nine weeks.
Mrs. Nuzzo led us in a prayer to thank Christ the King for their time and dedication for this wonderful lunch.
Church members cooked and fed us all.

There were various games on the tables and we enjoyed a little time to let our hair down.
Did I mention the church also gave out gift cards to 3 lucky winners?  
We enjoyed a yummy treat from Ritter's Frozen Custard after the picnic.
Richard is our hard working Principal Secretary but oh so much more! I know I learned my first few years to make sure to friend the office staff, custodians and cafeteria workers. Richard has the pulse of the school at any given time. There are so many behind the scenes for which none knows he puts it all together and without the gratitude we should have for him. He is our district 2016 Superintendent's Outstanding Achievement Award winner and we are so very blessed to have him with us. I made a promise to myself I would catch this blog up over Spring Break so the first one is the hardest step right? Stay tuned...

Monday, February 6, 2017

Red Ribbon Week 2016

Last year our Guidance Counselor retired and we were blessed to hire Rachel Jeffreis.  She is amazing! A guidance counselor spends hours planning Red Ribbon Week and it can influence a child between making bad choices and better ones.  I was so excited to get around all week and take come of the cutest pictures of our otters and even some of their parents as we celebrated.

Monday was I’m “RED”y to be me
Wearing red has always been a staple of the week but it was a sea of red and made a heart proud!  Don’t get me wrong I do love the uniforms but there is something about all the kids coming together for a cause. 

Tuesday was Good Character is my SuperPower
There were super heroes galore. Here I am with my teacher BFF Mrs. Mussard.  We make a great super hero pair!  

I had to take Wonder Women selfies especially with the cutie kinders.

  I have to say Kindergarten students and families go all out.  Is it because it is there 1st year at school and everything is new.  Are parents on top of every occasion?  Maybe but there were plenty of super heroes throughout the school to show their good character. 

Wednesday is Pair Up and Increase Confidence
Twins Day was a 1st for our school in 10 years.  Yes, this is year 10 for Cypress Creek Elementary. Cuteness x2 was a treat.  How cute are these teachers Mrs. Nuzzo & Mrs. Walker.  There aren't words for how appreciative we are for our Business Partners and these bestie dressing up as Kona Ice workers was adorable.  
  So this is one of my all time favorite people, Coach Glover.  I have bus duty with him in the afternoon and asked about the George Clooney stapled to his shirt pocket.  Just as serious as he could be, "It is twin day."  Oh my! he had me laughing out loud and smiling from ear to ear.  What a sense of humor Coach has! It is so great to be surrounded by such amazing people!

Thursday was Decades and Decades of Good Choices
You know you have school spirit when the parents dress up to participate right?  We have the best parents at CCE.  Kids are learning by watching us right?  We were modeling decades of good choices for sure. 
Here are some highlights from around the school.

Friday was Team Up to spread Kindness
Team Jersey day is always a favorite and of course it is the school wide walk-a-thon as well.  There were too many cuties to not share so sorry if this is overload.