K-1 Coding Club (2019-2020)
This project would purchase 10 Dash Robot Program Kits, Storage Cases, iPads & iPad cases so we could start a K-2 Coding Club at Amelia Earhart Elementary School. We are an elementary school in Desert Sands Unified School District. We have many programs to enrich the learning experiences for 2nd-5th graders but nothing for our K-1 students. We would like to offer a FREE club for K-1 students next year to learn how to code. This would be an ongoing club that we would be able to offer year after year. Students would be able to stay after school 1-2 days a week and learn how to code, program the robots, collaborate, problem solve and work together towards a common goal. I am a first grade teacher and it would be myself and another kindergarten teacher working together (for free, no extra compensation for this club). We would take a total of 25 students each year. It would be a club that we would offer year after year, allowing more students to have an opportunity. Dash is a robotics programming system for students 5+. It starts to show K-1 students the basics of coding and programming. The iPads would also allow us to use another program which is free on iPads, Scratch Jr. Having this project would allow K-1 students to truly learn how to code, program robots, create stories with coding and so much more. The possibilities are literally endless!
Collaborative Seating Environment (2018-2019)
We want to get rid of the traditional desks and chairs and give students the opportunity to have a more collaborative and flexible seating type of classroom. This project would enable students to have flexible seating groups, engage in learning using dry erase table tops, move around the room with lap desks and so much more! Students would no longer be limited to desks and be able to move around to work in an environment that works best for them. Furthermore, they can literally write all over the tables to collaborate and engage in learning. When solving math problems, students could be working and solving problems in multiple ways. In writing, they could work together to create a more independent shared writing example. The different heights of the tables would also allow students to actually use our stools, ball chairs, beach chairs and etc. This project would also support technology. We are currently 1:1 with tablets, but limited with Chromebooks and zero iPads. Many apps and programs are not available on our Android Tablets. By purchasing 2 iPad Mini’s we would be able to use different apps to really let students explore and create. Our students are learning how to read, write and develop basic math skills. However, they need to have this learning be relevant and really prepare for college and careers. Having access to more technology, flexible seating and collaboration will truly allow students to be ready for the college and/or career of their choice!
Robotics Wonder Workshop (2016-2017)
The Robotics Club at Earhart Elementary School is in its successful second year with limited access to outdated loaned equipment. Students arrive early each Tuesday with anticipation and excitement to see what new challenge they can overcome in the Robotics Club. As technology has progressed, the accessibility to robotics has also improved. Problem solving strategies are crucial, as it is difficult to construct a working robot unless the participants have a grasp of what it is that they are supposed to do and how they can go about accomplishing it. The design process used by engineers begins with understanding the capabilities and limitations of their tools and equipment, researching and understanding the problem at hand, conceptualizing a solution to that problem, constructing that solution, testing it to see how well it works, and revising their solution based on its performance. These steps are by no means restricted to engineering. They form the basis for sound problem solving across the board and can be transferred into any number of contexts. Studying robotics has the potential to make computer programming a less abstract endeavor, engage youth who would otherwise not be interested in technology or engineering, and bring high-technology down to the practical, everyday level.
This sustainable program provides reusable equipment, software, standards-aligned curriculum, and professional development opportunities to enable elementary students to write code and cover engineering design standards, thus exposing them to 21st century career ready skills as deemed necessary by President Obama and as outlined in the school district's Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).
"In the coming years, we should build on that progress, by ... offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one." - President Obama in his 2016 State of the Union Address