Monday, October 1, 2018

STEAM Lab Rotations

Our first two rotations in the STEAM Lab have been a success! To access the day to day learning targets for each grade level, please click on your child's grade level Fleet to the right, and then you will see links that say Rotation #1 and Rotation #2 etc. Click on those links and you will find the daily learning targets and activities for their week in the STEAM Lab.

Our first rotation was about Digital Citizenship for all Gold Rush students. As students learned about Digital Citizenship, students learned about their roles in different communities including a digital or online community. They talked about their digital footprint and how to use what they know about staying safe offline to keep them safe online. For more information about Digital Citizenship for all ages please check out

Our second rotation was framed around a Design Thinking approach called LAUNCH. Our focus was learning the thinking processes that Inventors use when they invent. Students practiced the LAUNCH framework as they created an invention specific for our Extraordinaire. First students Looked & Listened to Learn. Your student analyzed the picture "The Evil Genius" and searched for hidden picture clues that the author used to communicate more about the character. Then students Asked Questions to better understand their Extraordinaire. After better understanding their Extraordinaire, students Understood the Problem, and were asked to identify what the Evil Genius most needed to Learn and to INVENT the best learning space for him to learn it in. Students Navigated their ideas, mapped them out, and then created a prototype with Legos. After they completed their inventions students Highlighted successes and posed questions for their next invention for our next Extraordinaire. Please take a minute to ask your student about their inventions!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Welcome Back to School!

My name is Megan Fleet and this is my fourth year as the Technology Integration Specialist at Gold Rush. In our STEAM Lab, I draw upon my previous 10 years experience as a classroom teacher to design engaging lessons that are rooted in critical thinking and problem solving.

This year our STEAM Lab has two big announcements:

FIRST, I am so excited to share that the STEAM Lab will be part of the specials rotation. All students will be participating in hands on and minds on STEAM lab activities for one week each month!

SECOND, Cindy Bell and I will be working in tandem to design and guide rich meaningful tasks for students to explore during their classes monthly rotation.

During each STEAM Lab rotation students will be utilizing the Design Thinking framework to think critically and design in multiple modalities. Over the course of the year students will utilize STEAM materials including computer programs, ipad apps, Lego Simple Machines, Lego WeDo 2.0 robots, Lego Mindstorms and our robots Dash & Dot.

Mrs. Bell and I are so excited to learn with and from Gold Rush students in our STEAM Lab!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Kindie Coders

Dot & Dash are back! Our kindie programmers used voice commands to give a sequence of steps for kindie robots to travel from one specific spot to another on a Twister board. To further understand the importance of sequencing and following commands, students explored programming Dot & Dash to make noises, change light sequences, move forward and backward, as well as turning left and right. To complete our week, kindie friends challenged themselves to program Dash to complete the same sequence of events they had on a Twister board. For those that mastered that quickly, kindergarten partners programmed Dash to make shapes on the Twister board and then self selected challenge paths for their partners.

First Grade Historians

To build schema for our Famous Americans and American Symbols unit, first graders learned how to access assigned books within Epic Books about Martin Luther King. Jr. First graders took screenshots of pictures that illustrated important moments in Dr. King’s life. Through Spark Video, they organized their screenshots and recorded their new learning about this American Hero.

Student Sample #1

Second Grade Weather Experts

Second graders researched severe storms using the app, Epic Books, and focused on the important idea of, "in my own words". They used the thinking strategy of determining importance to select and read meaningful digital resources that would provide information matching their reading purpose. In their own words, students synthesized their research about what the storm looks like, how it impacts people, animals, and the environment using Spark Video. As the last slide of their Spark Video presentations, students reflected and self assessed their ability to explain and share important ideas in their own words using a Critical Thinking rubric.

Student sample #1

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Third Graders Tackle Geography Problems

3rd Grade Technology CoTeaching
Geography problems were analyzed and communicated by third grade researchers. Using both digital and paper resources students determined causes, solutions, and implications of their chosen geographical problem. To synthesize individual research, students created an infographic using Piktochart that paired text and graphics to communicate their findings to others. Infographics were then shared digitally so students can learn about other geographical problems and their implications on people and the environment. Please checkout the infographics below. If you click on them they will open in a larger screen.

Student Sample #1

Student Sample #2

Fourth Grade Detectives

4th Grade Technology CoTeaching
Fourth grade nonfiction readers were busy during our week together. Students worked on digital literacy skills while completing a performance task. Each student was given six resources that provided clues to help solve a mystery. Students had to use the various digital resources including, newspaper articles, pictures, maps, and matrixes to determine where a mystery fossil had been discovered. As students discovered clues they recorded them on a digital chart. Once all the clues had been found, students synthesized their findings within an infographic. Most fourth graders are still working on their infographics, but please check out some "work in progress" samples below.

Student Sample #1
Student Sample #2