Coding with Scratch

Coding is an essential skill for students in our ever-changing digital world.  By learning to code, students are really learning problem solving strategies, how to share and communicate their ideas, and design unique solutions for our modern world.

Are you ready to teach your students coding? Not sure where to begin? Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. Scratch is provided free of charge and has easy step by step tutorials for parents and educators.

The Roughneck Tech Club started Scratch today by animating their name. Students followed the step by step tutorial to create their first program. Scratch provides a series of tutorials to help students learn to navigate the coding program.

As students successfully coded their names with special effects and sounds, they began to learn that coding involves learning precise logical steps, troubleshooting errors, and being creative.

Not only did students learn beginning coding skills, but they learned teamwork. Students who had difficulty with a coding step could rely on their neighbors to give them a helping hand.

Friendship Bracelet Club

I am excited to welcome back all of our students for the new school year. The new sixth-grade class is already making an impact on WOMS. The young ladies pictured above asked if they could come to the library before school to make friendship bracelets. Soon this turned into a full-fledged club ready to make tons of bracelets. Remembering the project Shannon Miller’s students began called Banding Together, I asked the members of the Friendship Bracelet Club if they wanted to connect with students in other parts of the world. They wholeheartedly said, “Yes!” Then, I began a social media campaign to find global connections. The project is still in the development phase, but we already have classes in Egypt, England, Brazil, and New York City that want to connect and share with us. 

 

The members of the club also want to send bracelets to children’s hospitals and members of the armed services. I cannot wait to share the experiences and connections this club will make as they spread their kindness to others.

Summer Reading Club

Ready for some fun summer reading activities? Check out the Longview Public Library!

The Longview Public Library has a wonderful program planned for children and teens this summer. Registration is open for the Summer Reading Club, and a kick off party will be held on June 8th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Weekly prizes will be given for reading along with free programs almost every day during the summer. The best part is the program is absolutely FREE! Signing up for a library card only takes a few minutes for any Texas resident. Children and teens DO NOT have to have a library card to participate in the  Summer Reading Club; however, there are some amazing benefits to getting a card. For starters, check out the Hoopla App, which contains audiobooks, movies, music, comics, ebooks and tv shows. Just download the free app and sign in with your library card.  Sync audiobooks is another free service with your library card.  SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens thirteen and up. They have new audiobooks to choose from each week. In addition to SYNC, try out the Libby app from Overdrive. Libby has thousands of ebooks and audiobooks ready for you to check out! In addition to reading, the library offers many activities such as Family Game Night, Story Times, Movie showings, Crafty Kids Club, and Legos in the Library. Check out the slideshow below for a full calendar of events. Registration is currently open for the Summer Reading Club. Drop by the Longview Public and have some fun this summer!

 

Mystery Skype Selfie Challenge

Join the  Mystery Skype Selfie Challenge during the month of May!

HOW TO PARTICIPATE:  1) Schedule a Skype Call!  Organize a call with a class, guest speaker or a V.I.P. to play a #MysterySkype game.

2) Get Creative!  Think of a fun and clever idea for a selfie of your class either at the beginning, during or the end of your call.

3) Share on Social!  Post your classrooms clever selfie with us @SkypeClassroom using #MysterySkype #sweepstakes and your classroom might be picked to be one of 5 classrooms to participate in a call with a Mystery V.I.P.

4) Tag 3 friends!  Spread the fun by challenging three or more other teachers to play #MysterySkype with their students and share their creative class selfie within 72 hours.

The Roughneck Book Club had a wonderful Skype with Shannon Miller. The students shared their favorite books and asked clues to help them determine Shannon’s location.

 

School Lunch Hero Day 2018

Based on the Lunch Lady graphic novels by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, School Lunch Hero Day is an opportunity to honor all the people around the world who prepare and serve meals to our young people every day. Roughneck Book Club would like to thank our food service workers for all their hard work, compassion, and love they share with the students of White Oak.  The book club purchased School Lunch Hero t-shirts for all the food service workers and presented them in time for the special day. Please take a moment and share your appreciation for food service workers everywhere. Check out our video below of the special day!

Mystery Skype Fun!

Recently, book club participated in a mystery skype. Librarian Lorraine Scaffidi and I met through Twitter and decided to create a mystery skype for our students.  The students had no idea where the other class was located.  We helped our students craft generic questions they could ask each other. We also encouraged our students to share a favorite book. Both classes had a blast and learned that they have much in common. They discovered that they enjoy the same type of books, and our Roughneck Book Club cheered when a student in the other class said his favorite book series was A Series of Unfortunate Events!  By the end of our time together, my White Oak students had determined that the other class lived in New Jersey. Mrs. Scaffidi’s students were pretty quick to guess that we call Texas home. Thank you for a wonderful experience!


WOMS 3D Design Contest

Inspired by the TCEA 3D Design Contest, WOMS students were challenged to create their own 3D inventions.  Every year TCEA holds a 3D Design Contest for students in grades 6-12.  Only one team per school can enter the contest; therefore, the Roughneck Tech Club held a preliminary contest in which all students could enter.  The 2018 prompt was weather-related.

Texas Weather
They say, “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, just wait a minute, and it will change.” Texas is definitely a state of wildly differing weather conditions. Think about some of the problems our weather causes, be it problems with extreme heat, drought, wildfires, flash floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, ice storms, etc. Design something to help meet a need or solve a problem associated with weather. You can design an original product or improve an existing one. Your design can be a scaled-down model of a solution that would be much larger in real-life.

In teams of four, the students created their inventions in Tinkercad. Each group had to use the engineering design process:  research, plan, prototype, document, test, and commercialize.  The teams also kept detailed logbooks showing their engineering design process. At the end of March, all the designs were presented in one minute presentations. All members of the tech club voted for the design they thought was most successful. The winning design will be submitted to the official TCEA 3D Design Contest.  You may view the design below.

Bridge 3D Design Challenge

WOMS tech club students will plan, design, and build a 3D bridge that re-creates a famous existing bridge or they will create a new type of bridge that improves upon current bridge engineering design. Our challenge is based on an actual 3D bridge that was printed over a Dutch canal.

 Students study famous bridge designs to find their inspiration.