Let me tell you, it takes a village to get iPads configured, set up and issued to students! While our established students simply kept their iPads from last year, our new students (including all of our kindergartners) needed iPads set up for them. Luckily, behind the scenes, we have an amazing team of programming magicians who conjured up remarkable scripts that expedited the iPad enrollment process. From the Hello screen, to testing the Self-Service app and configuring Google accounts, it would have taken me so much longer if it weren't for my amazing 4th and 5th grade helpers who answered configuration questions, typed in usernames and passwords, fixed iPad stands and delivered configured iPads across the school. Thank you, Village!
We have an amazing community at Bridge Point that shares their time, support, and resources with the world. Today, the Andy Roddick Foundation (ARF) presented a certificate of appreciation for Girl Scout Troop 326's Bronze Award project. These hard-working and dedicated young ladies worked over 100 hours with BPE students and staff to collect over 150 boxes of unused school supplies! Imagine all the smiles on the faces of all of the children who will be receiving these supplies! Thank you Evelyn, Linscott, Taylor, Emme, Presley, Krina, and Tatum!
Bloxels' spin on game programming brings us a blast from the past that pays homage to old- school 32 and 64-bit gaming classics like Pac-Man, Frogger and Super Mario Bros. Pixel art was a huge part of the arcade generation's appeal and Bloxels has found a way to combine retro pixel art with new-school programming. In this lesson, the Librarian and Ed Tech teamed up again to invite Ms. Matus' 3rd graders to build, capture, design, and program their own games. After Ms. Ricter introduced the basics of how to use Bloxels, teams of three used sketch grids to plan their game. Each student was initially assigned as a board builder, designer, and play tester, roles that rotated throughout the lesson. After calibrating their boards, teams of students built their beginning platform design on the 13x13 grid with differently colored cubes. After zapping the board with their the free Bloxels' app, students changed the cubes into pixel art that could be programmed as animations, coins, environmental features, and enemies. Watch out arcade enthusiasts, old-school gaming is back and better than ever!
Imagine if you were a pirate with a knack for petsitting who just needed a better designed cooking utensil to make your favorite stew without poking yourself in the eye? Well, in the design-thinking lesson, BPE 3rd-5th graders were asked to work collaboratively in teams of 3-4 to experience a Shark-Tank style design-thinking challenge inspired by a Extraordinaires Design Studio kit. Ms. McLaughlin, our Instructional Coach, Ms. Ricter, our librarian and Ms. Ricketson, our Educational Technology Coach created this lesson to work students through a few of the steps of the design-thinking process. Each group was given a client (evil genius, pirate, fairy, military man, merman, vampire, and more) and an object (cooking utensil, toy, time keeper, container, vehicle, etc.) to design for their client. On the back of each card there were several vignettes of the client's life that invited students to make inferences about their client's life and empathize with their client. Students then worked together to come up with a design and pitched it to another team to illicit feedback. Check out just a few of the amazing creations below from our fantastical designers!
In case you missed Tuesday's delightful performance by the Bobcat Beats drum club and the Bobcat Singers show choir directed by Ms. Jones, here's your chance! Way to go Bobcats!
Locks, hidden messages and invisible clues couldn't stop our third grade escape artists as they worked together by activating their critical thinking skills to save our school from evil doers! Using the Breakout EDU boxes generously donated by Booster Club, each class was given forty five diabolical minutes to solve puzzles that unveiled combinations to a series of locks on their Breakout boxes. These Houdinis watched video clues, decoded secret messages in Morse Code, and even discovered a clue written in invisible ink!
Breakout EDU is an educational twist on an escape room scenario that can be customized to fit curricular material. Our ed tech, Ms. Ricketson, and our librarian, Ms. Ricter, teamed up in April to co-teach a modified BreakoutEDU lesson focused on the important skill of digital citizenship by Nancy Minicozzi.
The ultimate goal was for students to use their new knowledge to save Captain Digital Citizen's (played by Ms. Ricketson) passwords, which had been stolen by evil genius Noncop E. Right (played by Ms. Ricter). All of the third graders demonstrated teamwork, flexibility, and determination as they raced against the clock to help Captain Digital Citizen. They jumped into this new learning opportunity with great enthusiasm and ended up having a blast!
If only walls could talk...and chairs, and basketballs, and clouds, and cupcakes, and dumpsters, and clocks, and doors and so much more! Well, in our third grade, they can! Check out these creative poems written from the point of view of inanimate objects animated with the ChatterPix Kids app!
A few years ago a very empathetic, kind and talented 4th grader named Browning came to me with a problem: He loved playing Minecraft but he hated when kids were mean to each other online. Browning had a plan that he had worked on with his parents and asked for my help. He pitched his idea to our principal at that time, Mr. Wirht, and we were able to convince the district to let us pilot Minecraft EDU in our computer lab at Bridge Point. With Browning's talent and leadership, the Bobcat Minecraft Gaming Club was born.
For the past three years, (he's in 6th grade now and his legend at Bridge Point lives on and has spread to other EISD schools as well!) this club continues to be a student-led time, space and place for kids at Bridge Point to share their love of Minecraft and be mindful of how their actions, decisions, creations, attitude, and choices affect others. These 1st-5th graders have worked together as a community year after year to build, share, make decisions, solve problems, create, and collaborate on a virtual space but understand the real-world implications and need to communicate with each other in real-life. They made the rules and guidelines for the club, I merely acted as the mayor and scribe. They rang a bell and even built a podium to make announcements like: The Library is open! The restaurant in the Bat Cave is now hiring! I built a roller coaster for everyone to ride! Please don't over-spawn animals, they stall the server! The Hotel is now open! The Parkour maze is now open! Come try my Redstone tutorial training ground! The monorail is now open!
Our group encountered catastrophes like the server crashing or a that a ridiculous amount of wool accidentally was dumped over several buildings burying work that had taken weeks to create. But they all learned about how it is to be accountable to others, to wonder about how to solve read-world catastrophes based on experiencing virtual ones, how to solve problems by talking to each other, how to celebrate ideas, how to resolve conflict in a constructive way, and how to learn from each other in a way that brought out the best in each and every student in the group.
The students in this club realize, honor, and acknowledge each other's strengths and have worked together to make the most amazing hotels, mazes, tutorials, roller coasters, squid homes, farms, gardens, grocery stores, armories, rainbow houses, and so much more. So, a BIG THANK YOU to Browning for creating this wonderful club at Bridge Point and to all the incredibly talented Bridge Point Minecrafters, YOU ALL AMAZE ME!
Congratulations to these incredibly creative students whose amazing artwork is hanging in Central Admin for an Art Show. At the Central Admin building, a QR code is displayed near each art piece so that the art piece loads a video created by each student. A sort of talking Art Show! Click on each photo to reveal the student-created Shadow Puppet EDU video telling you a little bit about what they studied and how they were inspired to create. Outstanding work Bobcats!
Ms. Rollins' 4th graders have a new engaging way to practice their science vocabulary collaboratively: Quizlet Live! To get things rolling, Ms. Rollins first created a study set of vocabulary terms on Quizlet and then began the live session. Students used the Safari app to go to quizlet.live and entered a code (similar to Kahoot). Individual students entered their names and Quizlet randomly put students together in teams of three and four based on animal pictures. Then the fun began! Each student has the same question (or definition in this case) pop up on their iPad but the right answer is only on ONE of their teammate's iPads! They have to work together to discover what the correct answer is, and who has it. It is a race against the other teams, but they can't go too fast, because if they miss a question they have to start all over! It is a REALLY fun way to learn vocabulary, the students absolutely beg to play it over and over again! Thanks for sharing this cool tool for learning, Ms. Rollins!
Our generous Booster Club strikes again! Many thanks to our Booster Club who helped to make our computer lab more colorful and comfortable by purchasing four new tables and thirty-two new chairs. Of course all that wonderful furniture had to be put together! I am very thankful to parents and a few of our talented 3rd and 4th graders who gathered hammers and power tools to help put everything together. How lucky we are to be a part of such a generous and caring community!
Words, rhythms and rhymes spilled from the hearts and minds of Ms. Joseph's and Mr. Root's 4th grade LA classes as they performed their original works of poetry outside in the cool breeze during the 4th Grade Poetry Slam. Like in a real Poetry Slam, instead of clapping, there was snapping. Why? Because in the tradition of a Poetry Slam, the audience snaps out their applause to let the poet know that they are not only heard, but felt as well. From the mournful loss of a faithful pet, to the love of stories, dance, and sharks, the words that tumbled out of our 4th graders made us laugh, wonder, and cry. Amazing work, 4th graders!
In the style of the vintage kids' show, The Electric Company, Ms. Skonieczny's kindergartners blended up sounds to create words. Using puzzles that segment words, these clever five and six-year-old kiddos snapped photos of the puzzles before and after they blended sounds together to make words. Using the app, Shadow Puppet EDU, these superstars created word blend videos with dazzling effects. To top it off, these kinders used See Saw to deliver their amazing work to their teachers and families. SH-OW stopper!
The signs of Spring are everywhere in Ms. Hester's classroom! Ms. Hester's kindergartners used their keen senses and powers of observation to write incredibly descriptive science journals chronicling the growth of flowers that they planted. They measured, they smelled, they dug, they photographed, they noticed, and they identified and labeled stems, leaves, buds, and roots. These budding writers wrote all about their learning adventure using the app, Book Creator to create their very own multimedia books! Using See Saw, Ms. Hester's students shared their amazing books with her and their parents! Way to GROW kindergartners!
Nothing is sweeter than starting your day by listening to over 730 tiny voices singing Deep in the Heart of Texas! Special thanks to: 5th grade videographer, Harper, kindergarten bluebonnet photographer, Amelia, our wonderful students and our amazing music teachers for helping us keep a swing in our step all day long! Click on the picture to enjoy our students singing.
Imagine the look on the faces of second graders in Ms. Mills' class when a class set of Osmo Genius and Osmo Pizza Company kits were generously donated by the Jacob family! Ms. Mills' 2nd graders are now actively making change for customers at their virtual pizza store, building tangram animals, and practicing numbers and words with Osmo Learning kits. Check out the Osmo You Tube channel for great kid-friendly tutorials and teachers can sign up for the lesson plan resources on MyOsmo. Teachers can get a class code to make the login process easy for students so they don't have to put in an email address or sign up on their own. The class code also allows teachers to monitor work and create customized word lists. Thank you Jacob family!
This week's hAPPy Friday app snapshot is from VVE's Ed Tech Holly Moore. iPuppet Pals 2 School Edition is an app that allows students to create a animated shorts using their voice, head shots, images, and animated characters. Learn all about how you can use this app in your classroom by reading the App Integration Snapshot handout. Students creative talents will be unleashed with the endless cross-curricular possibilities. Let the show begin!
I'd have to say that our library is louder than ever these days! And one of the reasons for that is our amazingly adventurous and creative new librarian, Kate Ricter. In a 4th grade lesson about a virtual twist on digital storytelling, she explained how virtual reality has transformed certain books. Imagine that! Books that require programming, staging, and loads of creativity beyond writing and illustrating! Using the book, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, an Apple TV, an iPad stand, and the app IMAG-N-O-TRON, Ms. Ricter showcased this award-winning story about people who absolutely love books. As she hovered her iPad over the book, animations magically escaped the printed page to jump about right out at her audience! Check out what else is going on in our library by visiting Ms. Ricter's blog. Thanks for making reading even more magical, Ms. Ricter!
Why it's the sound of fitness! With support from all of the elementary school Booster Clubs at EISD, our amazing PE teachers Ms. Dean, Ms. Rose and Ms. Pate were able to bring our physical education program to yet another level!
Our students are sweating to the beat while they improve their health, confidence, mood, rhythm, and coordination. Using an iPad and a mobile projector, videos prepared by the Drum Fit for Schools program effectively demonstrate all inclusive developmentally appropriate workouts with upbeat music for our students in grades K-5. Our students are lunging, sweating, spinning, laughing, smiling and dancing their way to becoming more physically fit.
Soon these drums, sticks and stands will be transported to another EISD elementary school to drum up fitness around the district. For more information on the Drum Fit program check out this link: www.drum.fit/schools/ Ratta-Tat-Tat, Bridge Point physical fitness is where it's at!
Ms. Hester's kindergarten class grabbed their iPads today and went for a walk to capture the beautiful signs of Spring. After photographing our gorgeous school grounds, they created PicCollages to show off their work. What a wonderful way to SPRING back from our BREAK!
In this student initiated design challenge (similar to the Global Cardboard Challenge invented by the then 9 year-old Caine Monroy of Caine's Arcade challenge) Ms. Osofsky's students constructed a marvelous maze of handmade cardboard arcade games.
After studying classic arcade games, they applied the engineering process and designed, tested, re-tested, tinkered and re-tinkered their ideas in order to construct foosball, pinball, claw games, strategy games, bowling, plinko, whack-a-mole and so much more!
Students had to pitch their games to parents, students and teachers explaining the design process, bumps along the way and how they came up with their ideas. I was lucky enough to receive a golden ticket and play the ball toss game. I even won some hand-drawn prizes! Way to CREATE, COLLABORATE, and LAUNCH your great ideas!
Ms. Wright's kindergartners sure do have the "write stuff!" Ms. McLaughlin, our Instructional Coach, and Ms. Wright teamed-up in Writers' Workshop to study how text and illustrations work together to tell a story. First, they carefully studied and noticed choices that real illustrators make when writing books. Then they created noticing charts to anchor their observations of mentor texts. They learned that real authors and illustrators plan their work and each child created a 4-Square planning sheet to start the writing process. Using the planning sheet, the students began authoring their own books. Ms. Wright and Ms. McLaughlin conferred with each student during Writers' Workshop time. Students added their very own illustrations using techniques from their author and illustrator study. Ms. Ricketson, our Ed Tech, and classroom parent helpers joined the creation process by helping each child photograph and narrate their published work via Shadow Puppet Edu. Above you will find just a few examples of their incredible books!. To celebrate being real authors and illustrators, Ms. Wright invited special Bridge Point guests to showcase their published work. Write on, kindergartners!
Looking to change things up a bit? Need an alternative to Kahoot or Socrative? Then Quizizz is for you! Quizizz is very similar to Kahoot, with a few key differences. Quizizz questions and answers can be projected and are displayed on student devices. Students can work at their own pace or work as a class. There is even a Quizizz's app! Check out this guide for more information. Thanks to Ashley Pampe, Barton Creek's Ed Tech for this week's hAPPy Friday!