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.

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