Monday, April 13, 2020

Remote Learning Challenge

Invention Challenge

Click on the link above to find out about this week's Invention Challenge! Mrs. Bell and I can't wait to see how the Inventions evolve as you dive into planning, designing, and testing the movements of your Invention.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Remote Learning Opportunities

All students kindergarten through fifth grade participated in Hour of Code this year. Students can go to their individual Grade Level Fleet, scroll down to Rotation #5, and click on their classroom teacher. From there, it will redirect them to a class list, they then can select their own name. For kindie, first, and second graders, they select their picture. For third, fourth and fifth graders, they were assigned two words. When they insert that "password", they can pick up where they left off in the STEAM Lab. 
* If they don't remember their password, they can simply click on the link and then click on Projects along top left hand side. They can select different projects to complete. If they don't login, their progress will not be saved, but they can still practice their computer programming.

2. Typing Resources
3rd, 4th & 5th Graders: Typing Pal
IF your student doesn't remember their login, please click here Typing Pal Directions)

Kindie, 1st & 2nd Graders: Dance Mat Typing
No login required. Scroll down and click on "Play Level 1". Different animals give tutorials on learning the key placement on a keyboard.

3. Lego Building
User your imagination and let your Legos come to life with these Lego Challenges. Feel free to complete more than one each day!

Rotations #6 & #7 Math Connections

During the next two rotations, students will be diving deeper into Geometry connections using digital tools. First, second, third, fourth, and fifth graders will be using our robot Dash to explore different geometrical shapes and begin to understand perimeter of those shapes. Our kindergartners will be able to see cause and effect relationships as they are learning to program our robots Dot and Dash. Please see the individual grade level Fleet on the side to see what specific math connections your child has been working on in the STEAM Lab.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Rotation #5: Hour of Code

All Gold Rush Elementary Students had an opportunity to participate in Hour of Code activities. Throughout their week in the STEAM Lab, students engaged in both unplugged and plugged computer programming activities. In all grade levels, students analyzed cause and effect and identified how sequencing different coding blocks led to different outcomes. 

Students can continue programming from home using the Hour of Code resources found at They can access their class if they go to their Grade Level Fleet, Scroll to Rotation #5, and then click on their teacher's name. 

Once they do that, it will take them to a screen that they can select their name and then enter their secret picture or words to continue coding where they left off. Many students wrote down their secret codes, but if they have forgotten they can check their name tag in the STEAM Lab, or email me at and I can send them a picture of their login card. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Rotations #3 & #4 Integrating the Scientific Method with Lego Inquiry Builds

During Rotations #3 and #4, students utilized the Scientific Method each day to guide their Lego Inquiry. Students did such an incredible job identifying the inquiry question, making a hypothesis, and conducting experiments to test their hypotheses. For example, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders investigated the questions, what factors make a car go faster. Different grade levels utilized different materials, however they each conducted experiments where they could only change one variable on their car at a time to prove their hypothesis was correct. In addition to thinking like a scientist, students were practicing collaborating and creating with their peers.

To see the investigations that specific grade levels conducted, please click on the grade level Fleet page to the right and you can track our investigations from Rotation #3 and Rotation #4.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Rotation #2: Design Thinking

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 Robot" 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 Robot would want in his hideout space, where the hideout space would be located, and with what it would be made.

Students Navigated their ideas, mapped them out digitally, 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!