I want to share the link to the STEM Lab’s SeeSaw blog. It is a tool that allows the students to submit photos and videos to share with their community. I just starting using it in the classroom. The kids seem to like it. Check it out
I wanted to give everyone a little update on what’s been going on in the STEM Lab lately.
The primary grades have been working on coding and partner work. It is very important that students of all ages learn how to work well with others. It’s one of the main reasons that I make most of my activities a partner project or group project. Children need to be able to talk to each other, share ideas, criticize constructively and compliment each other for a good job. I encourage this every day in my classroom. Students have worked in pairs on laptops and with our Code and Go Mice that the Kincaid Foundation has funded. Both of these activities involve sharing and taking turns. I love watching students work well together. I posted several photos of these things on my Twitter feed. If you don’t follow, you should look it up @kincaidstemlab .
The intermediate grades are finishing up their STEM Expo projects. I know it seems like we’ve been working on them for months on end…that’s because we have. Just remember that I only see each class once every 6 days and we have had some days that were 30 minute classes for early releases and other events. So really I have only seen each class 5 or 6 times for these projects. Then you have to take into account that sometimes a group member is absent or something like that. I’m very proud of what these students have accomplished in the amount of time they have had.
The STEM Expo will be held on the morning of Friday, February 15th. You should receive more information from our Foundation about specific times for your students. I highly recommend you try to stop by and see what the students have accomplished. It’s pretty cool. Also, if you get a chance, stop by the media center and watch the annual egg drop. It really is fun to watch.
As we begin the new year I am taking a new look at how I organize my classroom and my lessons. I want to step it up a bit. Here’s what we have going on in the STEM Lab this month.
K-2 will be coding on code.org. This is a wonderful website setup by the founders of different tech companies. It focuses on teaching young students (anyone of any age really) to code. Students will partner program this month. This means they will work with a partner to solve coding challenges. Code.org is free for anyone to use. Your students can access from the the Student Sites link on Kincaid’s website.
3rd-5th will be finishing up their STEM Expo projects. 3rd grade is designing houses in Minecraft for our Empathy Village. They will finish up their houses and we will start working on how we are going to showcase these for parents and guests in February. 4th grade has been working on programming some Lego EV3 rovers to do a specific task. This month we begin to move our programs to one iPad per classroom and one rover per classroom. They will finish up their projects and begin practicing their presentations. 5th grade will start designing and building their egg drop cases. They will have a budget and work with their group to “purchase” supplies from the STEM store and build a case that will protect a raw egg from a 6 foot drop.
Our STEM Club will begin meeting this month as well. It didn’t take long for the 30 student limit to be reached. Ms. Smith and I are very excited about starting this club. In January our STEM club students will be working with Ozobots. They will study how cities handle traffic flow. Then they will design a city map with traffic codes for the ozobots that will control speed, direction and movement so that we minimize the possibilities of an accident.
Make sure to subscribe to this blog for update notifications. If you want more frequent updates about what is happening in the STEM Lab/STEM Club then make sure you follow me on Instagram and Twitter @kincaidstemlab
I’m trying something new. FlipGrid. I know I don’t post too often (I do post on Twitter though…almost daily) but I wanted to see how this looks on the blog. FlipGrid gives students a chance to share their own thoughts in a safe manner. I have it set so I have to approve videos and no one can post a reply video (I think, still learning). I like giving the students a voice. I’ll continue to work on this and find ways to implement into the STEM Lab.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter: @kincaidstemlab
I know…it’s been a while. I’ve been actively posting on our Twitter account though. Follow the STEM Lab on Twitter @kincaidstemlab to stay up to date and see some cool videos and photos.
Right now we have lots going on. Our kindergartners have been studying motion and force with roller coasters and paper helicopters. They are learning to be listeners and how to work safely in the lab. They have been recording their data as well.
My first graders have been studying shadows and light. We made some shadow puppets out of paper and Popsicle sticks to use in our puppet theater. We watched some videos by shadowographers and puppeteers on how to use your hands to make shadow puppets and then tried that out as well.
My second graders have been doing lots of things as we study pushes and pulls as a force of motion. We made some Zoomballs, we tested roller coaster hills and loops as well as doing experiments with magnets.
My third graders are making me so proud right now. I decided to let them be the first grade to use Minecraft EDU in the STEM Lab. They are working on a project that will take several weeks to complete. The project uses a pre-designed world called Empathy Village. They are designing home makeovers for minecraft families in need. It’s been fun watching them work through the Engineering Design Process as they make floor plans for their families.
Fourth grade is starting to program their EV3 rovers to use accessories to read and do different things. I’m learning with them as I have never used these robotic kits before. This week we are learning how to use the color/light sensor. We’ve already used the touch sensor. We will begin planning our challenges for the STEM Expo soon and start working towards that goal.
Fifth grade just finished a special project for Red Ribbon Week. They planted a promise to their future self along with a red tulip bulb. The tulips will bloom in the spring. It was an awesome project led by the counselors during STEM Lab. They will now do a couple projects on classifying animals and genetic traits. We will start some game making programs after that.