Saturday, February 17, 2018

Apple and a Book Day

It truly fills up my tank to see so many families enjoying a book and an apple together! Bridgewater was filled with the sweet sounds of chatter as families filled the media center to enjoy an apple while reading together.



Friday, January 26, 2018

Choo Choo Full STEAM Ahead!

The school year certainly has picked up STEAM! The media center is buzzing with activity from small groups, book groups, testing groups, and more upon our return from two back to back snow days this week!


I had to bundle Macee up for a "first blizzard" picture in our backyard!


In media classes we are in our second week of learning to code. Kindergarten is learning to code using Kodable while first through fifth grade is using the curriculum from code.org. The engagement and enthusiasm that I am seeing from students with this unit is phenomenal.




Fourth and fifth grade students created code for different cup stacking formations.



We received our first shipment of new stools for the media center classroom! More stools and tables are on the way and we couldn't be more excited! Our long-term goal is to update all the furniture in the media center to more flexible and moveable pieces. The media center space is shared with all the learners in the school and it is important that each learner feels comfortable and welcomed in their learning space. The benefits of flexible seating include: choice, movement, comfort, collaboration and fun!

Adjustable Oodle stools
















Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Winter Break

Greetings! We are a little over the halfway mark of winter break! I hope you are finding time to relax, read, and rejuvenate. I wanted to share with you some of our family photos. See you soon!

Remember: When we come back from winter break it is the collaborative dance unit in the gym. Get your dance moves warmed up!







Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Mobile Makerspaces

We have six mobile makerspace carts at Bridgewater that are packed full of hands-on manipulatives for our students to tinker, explore and create with! The six carts include: legos, fiber arts, spheros, robotic mice, stop motion/play doh, and LittleBits/Makey Makey. In addition to the carts we have three sets of KAPLA blocks, two magnetic walls in each wing of the school, and a mobile and stationary green screen in the media classroom. New to Bridgewater, arriving after winter break, will be a variety of marble runs, snap circuits and an outdoor cart equipped with snow molds. In addition, we will be updating the media center furniture with more flexible seating and learning arrangements. The rearrangement of the media center will encourage more active and hands-on learning. The media center will more appropriately reflect an environment that facilitates organic learning interactions and problem solving. More pictures and details to come! Full STEAM ahead! Choo choo!



Banner in our front commons area 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Coding

After winter break we will begin our coding units in grades K-5. We will mainly use Kodable and Code.org for our curriculum resources; however, I have a page of other amazing coding programs for kids to explore on their own. As stated from their website, Code.org is making a difference:


  • 25% of US students have accounts on Code.org
  • 10M of the students are female
  • 700K teachers are using Code.org
  • 10% of the world's students have tried the Hour of Code
  • 20 states changed policy to support computer science


This is incredible! Coding is becoming one of the most important job skills of the future. The mission of the media program is to prepare future-ready learners. Coding also can improve skills such as problem-solving and perseverance. According to Resnick (2013), students also learn:


  • Math concepts such as variables and conditions
  • Logic such as sequencing as well as cause and effect
  • Techniques for solving problems
  • Project design such as the importance of breaking down big ideas to specific tasks
  • Benefits of collaboration and techniques for communicating ideas
  • Ability to take criticism as well as identify and fix errors
  • Perseverance in the face of difficulty 

We can't wait to begin coding at Bridgewater!


References:
Resnick, M. (2013). Learn to code, code to learn. EdSurge, May 2013. Retrieved from, https://www.edusurge.com/news/2013-05-08-learn-to-code-code-to-learn



Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Digital Citizenship

Last week third, fourth, and fifth graders answered digital citizenship questions in Schoology. Kindergartners and first graders watched a short video while second graders participated in a collaborative Google Slide. We will continue conversations about various topics of digital citizenship until winter break.

Topics we will cover in grades K-2:

  • Going places safely
  • ABC searching
  • Keeping private information private
  • Giving credit to creative works
  • Sending email

Topics we will cover in grades 3-5:

  • Communication 
  • Online privacy
  • Cyberbullying
  • Search techniques
  • Creative credit 

In grades K-2 we have been talking about three rules as it relates to traveling safely on the Internet:

  1. Always ask for permission
  2. Only go to sites that are just right for you
  3. Never talk to strangers

In grades K-2 we just wrapped up our topic on going places safely. We discussed how we can use the Internet to travel to far- away places. We pretended to board an airplane and fly to San Diego, California to visit the San Diego Zoo! We checked in on all the animals; but, a favorite was the sleepy Polar Bear! We also checked in on the EagleCam from the Minnesota DNR. In kindergarten we will extensively research the Bald Eagle in our research unit after winter break.
EagleCam

Sleepy Polar Bear

Our first Thanksgiving with Macee had us feeling extra grateful!



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Using Google Drive in Second Grade

Second graders are learning their new Google Drive usernames and passwords. They always amaze me at how well they do this. It starts off chaotic; but, after a few days practice they are up and running. Here they are working on a collaborative slideshow answering questions about internet safety. It is so fun to see their astonishment as they watch their classmates type in the same slideshow they are working in! This is just the beginning of some really fun and transformative lessons we have in store for second grade in media this year! Can't wait!



This gorgeous sunrise was a perfect start to a wonderful day today! 



Apple and a Book Day

It truly fills up my tank to see so many families enjoying a book and an apple together! Bridgewater was filled with the sweet sounds of cha...