Thursday, October 29, 2015

Novel Engineering

After attending "Novel Engineering" and "STEAM Teams" through the Northwestern Office of STEM Education Partnership, I left with new ideas to continue to connect science and engineering concepts through out content areas. As an instructional coach this year, I was able to connect with elementary science teacher Lisa-Beth Lovero on a novel engineering project. Mrs. Lovero teaches a science class to all the elementary classes as a special. She is also the school's Accelerated Learning teacher and was looking for a unique project for her accelerated group. Novel engineering fit the bill! As the students worked through the process, they created video reflections using the format I explain in this blog post.

What is Novel Engineering?
In novel engineering, students take a piece of literature and use the NGSS engineering and design standards to design a solution for a problem a character has in the story. The solution must fit the constraints of the text. This process creates an engaging way students blend literacy skills and engineering practices.

The Process 
1. Pick a book- We choose to introduce the principles with the picture book, "Snowy Day."
2. Identify the Problem- As the students read, they record the problems that arise in the text. In this video, you can see the students jump into action to record the problem as they hear it. In this text, the character puts a snowball in his pocket, only to come back to realize it melted.
3. Research- After the students read the text, they determine one problem for which they will design a solution. The students chose to solve how to keep the snowball cold in the coat pocket. The students then develop questions to research a solution. We used KidRex for safe searching. They need to keep the constraints of the story in mind, so the snowball must fit into the pocket. Mrs. Lovero used a baggie to represent the pocket.

4. Design it- Using their research, the students created a blue print draft of their design. This sketch shows the deep thought of this third grade student complete with materials, design, and process.
3rd grade student's design

5. Make the Prototype- Once they have completed their research and design, it is time to gather materials and create the prototype. The students recorded their trail and errors. This student is explaining what they created.

6. Test it- The students put their solution to the test. In this case, they students weighed the ice prior to the test, then drained the water and weighted it again after waiting 15 minutes.

7. Make it better- To follow the engineer and design standards, after test one, the students redesign and test again.

8. Present Solution-As a class, each group shares what they did and their final results. They each uploaded their videos to a media album in Schoology. Here all the students could view the process of each group in the class and comment on each others solutions. This collaboration brought the project up to Modification on the SAMR ladder.

Once the students discussed their solutions, they were prepped for the next project. In the next phase, the students will use a text at their reading level to design a solution for a problem of one of the characters.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

ECET2 Chicago

ECET2 Chicago "Can You Hear Me Know?"
I was given the opportunity to attend ECET2 Chicago, by my wonderful leader Jordan Garrett. I as able to join teacher leaders, other coaches, and administrators for this elite event. By 10am, I was already wowed by this conference themed “Can you Hear Me Now?”  The purpose was to celebrate educators and help them get their voices heard. 

After a wonderful breakfast, Christopher Bronke started as the first keynote. He inspired me to share my voice. He reminded us that blogging is an excellent way to get your words out there because if you have something to say, it is important to say it! He explained that sometimes we have to be bulldozers to lead and sometimes we have to be ballerinas, but teachers are the ones that know teaching best so our voice must be heard.  He left us with one final thought “Passion without action is wasted energy.”  This really made me think about the position I am in as an instructional coach and how I can turn my passion into action with teachers. He inspired me to share, share, share!

My breakout session was “Having Your Change Voice Heard” with Jeff Zoul.  I have followed Jeff on twitter for a little while now and was excited to meet him. He encouraged us again to get our voice heard. The focus was on Twitter and blogging to do this. This really encourage me to stick to my blog and stop making excuses.  So here I am blogging today. He shared great quotes from a few influential educators. All the quotes were inspiring, but Pernille Ripp’s ideas resinated the most with me. 

Share, listen, and encourage others. Thoughts from Penille Ripp at Jeff Zoul's session. 

Another theme of the day, other than sharing, was connecting. We were given ample time to connect. They set the appropriate setting for us to connect. We were encourage to mingle over "mocktails" and I had some great conversations with fellow instructional coaches, admins, and teachers. It was wonderful to meet some people I follow on twitter and make new connections! 

As I reflect on the day, I can summarize it into four major areas.  

  • SHARE- What I have to say does matter.  It will help others, so I want to make sure I am sharing ideas I value through twitter and my blogs. I am part of some amazing things that I am proud of, so I want to share that. 

  • LISTEN- Take the time to listen to what others have to say. Read blogs, follow tweets, and have conversations. Learning about all different perspectives and ideas will help me grow as an educator.

  • CONNECT- See what others are doing. It was great to share and listen to others. With the power of twitter, I can continue to stay in touch with these connections and make new ones!

  • TAKE ACTION-  When you have a  good idea, act on it. Have the grit to bulldoze the obstacles! 

ECET2 Chicago gave me an extra boost of energy and was great to keep me motivated and driven in my role as a coach!

Follow me on Bloglovin!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I have several blog posts that I am working on about some exciting things, but in the meantime, I wanted to share a great resources I recently came across. Bloglovin'! If you're a fan of blogs, you need to sign up for an account.  Once you get started, you can attach all the blogs you follow to your account. Then they appear in one stream so you can go to one site and quickly get caught up on all of your blogs. The blog you want isn't found?  No problem, just add it!  This morning I am scanning through my feed so I can catch up as the kids play and start to get hungry for breakfast.  The Bloglovin' app is just as easy to use as the web version. You can use the link above or the widget to the left to follow me.  Big thanks to Bloglovin' for helping me hear the voice of other educators! I hope you love it as much as I do.

Here is my Bloglovin' feed this morning. I love the sleek, classic look.