Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Rotation #5 Block Programming

Future computer engineers! Gold Rush Students are participating in the international event Hour of Code during their 5th STEAM Lab rotation. Unique this year, each student has an individual account created within code.org where they are able to personalize their coding skills. In addition, to digital coding activities, students are collaborating in teams in offline coding activities where they practice following "chains of movements and commands". For example, intermediate students worked with partners to create designs on graph paper and created a code for another group to replicate and recreate their drawing. They are also learning the importance of analyzing and correcting errors in their lines of code as they worked as a team in Debugging Programming Relays. Primary students are collaborating to learn how to give commands that a robot would follow. They began by programming each other to solve for missing diamonds in Move it! Move it!, and then to build stacks of cups in specific ways in my Robot Friend. Our Kindergarten programmers are participating in Hour of Code as well and kicked off their week with the help of a 5th grade buddy. 

As always, to see the daily lesson objectives, click on your student's grade level to the right and then click on the Rotation you would like to learn more about.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Rotations #3 & #4: Thinking Like a Scientist

Gold Rush Scientists have blown Mrs. Bell and I away in the STEAM Lab over the last two rotations! Each day students tackled a new scientific question and utilized the scientific method to hypothesize, experiment, analyze and draw conclusions using Legos. To see examples of the types of scientific questions your child investigated, please click on your student's grade level to the right and click on Rotation #3 and then Rotation #4. 

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 https://www.commonsensemedia.org/.

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