Wednesday, April 30, 2014

FInal Reflection

Class Monday night was fun!  I enjoyed watching all the presentations.  I thought everyone did a great job. 

Chris, I love your idea to use a book as a platform for creating your STEM lesson.  Do you think you will take it to the level we did with the Hunger Games Book 1?  I tried to watch the videos you and the kids created; I couldn't get the first one to load at all.  The second one, Kate's movie, just wouldn't load for me.  I have a very slow internet connection here so that may be why.  I will try again from the library. I am looking forward to watching them.

Debbie, your presentation was outstanding!  You have really done an excellent job this semester.  You have very creative ideas that really work for your students.  I love the way you used place value blocks to help with the math.  Great presentation.

Karen, the dam your 4th and 5th grade students made were pretty neat.  Way to stick with it!  I can imagine how frustrating it would be to get Minecraft on the District Server.  I think I will check out the site that you mentioned.  Sounds cool!  Great project.

Susnhine, neat Prezi presentation.  I really enjoyed going into Minecraft and seeing the ship. So cool!  Your son did a great job on his project.  Please tell him thanks for sharing all of his hard work.

Heather, cool project.  I like that your project was relevant to people living in Palmer/Wasilla and even Anchorage.  I know this semester has been a challenge for you with everything going on, but you really came up with a neat project!  Great job.

Fun semester.  Thanks for all the cool STEM ideas!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Final Reflection

I love how Debbie and her students turned a problem into something that could be useful and beneficial for the community.  The minecraft projects were also impressive, each in their own way, especially because they were meaningful to students.  I really liked the real photos, taken from air, that accompanied the minecraft model for the dam project.  Cheers to helping students solve problems and taking ownership!

Hope everyone has a smooth end of the school year!


Final Class Reflection

What a great way to end class.  The projects were all wonderful.

Christine,  I have enjoyed watching the development of Harry Potter World in MinecraftEdu, and it was great to see the presentation and learn more about the work that went into it.  I also really had fun riding the rollercoaster to "The End." - although Autumn says she did not like it.  :)  I think it was because she is a control freak and didn't like feeling out of control there.

Debbie - what a great problem to tackle with your students, and I was so impressed by their work and the math involved in raising pigs and saving wasted food.  I do wonder if your students have started being more aware of the food they waste in class because of this.

Karen - I loved the dam.  I have also enjoyed watching it progress in our server.  Can you tell I'm a curious (or snoopy) person. :)  They did a great job creating it, and making it work like a real dam would.

Nichole - I know you felt like it was a big fail, but I think it was a great success.  The students learned and they enjoyed themselves while doing so.  It may not have turned out how you thought it would, but it was great.

Sunshine - The boat was wonderful.  It was so fun to listen to Kaekoa (sorry if I spelled that wrong) tell us about his boat.  Especially, "no don't touch that."  That is something you would definitely hear a boat captain saying to curious people lurking around the engine room.

Heather - the erosion project was impressive. What a great project to do that hits close to home.

All of these projects showed the creativity and ingenuity that children can have when given the chance.  I love how we were able to harness instead of stifle their creativity and thinking with our projects.

This has been a great course, and all the instructors have been so helpful and knowledgeable. Thank you.

Final Post

Wow....... that's all I can say......Yeah right, a teacher of few words!!

The minecraft projects were incredible.  The erosion of the land due to the rerouting of the Matanuska River is a real problem and the students did a fantastic job.  The steam boat was wonderful and inspiring as well.  I can't even navigate in minecraft, I can't imagine the time it took to build that boat!  The tunnels for the hamster were great as well and I can imagine what my room would look like if we did that.  Thank goodness we have fish!  I loved the idea of Harry Potter as a STEM lesson! 

I have been inspired by the creativity of the teachers and instructors in this class.  It helps me see ways to incorporate the content in more fun and engaging ways.  I know that I will be teaching first grade again next year and I am going to spend time this summer finding ways to put into place what I have learned from this experience. 

Thank you everyone for your hard work and dedication. 


Monday, April 28, 2014

Last Post-Presentations

Tonight's presentations were great!  Last week's were awesome as well. 

Christine, the roller coaster to the end was very cool.  I loved that you did your project around Harry Potter.  It really draws the interest of the kids.

Debbie, your project was inspirational.  It is such a big problem, waste at the schools.  I wish we could find a solution for all schools in our country.  It is such an on going problem that needs addressing.  Those kids are going to remember this lesson for years to come.

Karen, building a hydroelectric dam in Minecraft was very neat.  I love all of the research you had to do to gain the knowledge in order to create the dam.  There was a lot of work put into building it.  Those kids worked hard, and it showed in their final product.

Nicole, building the mouse maze I thought went well.  We always have successes and failures and I felt that yours was a great success.  The kids learn so much from error.  They came together in the end and created a maze that the mouse successfully went through. 

Heather, your project was amazing!  To take it home like that and create a project centered around an issue in your own area was brilliant.  It really touched home for your students as well.  You could tell they learned a lot about erosion and came up with a nice plan to solve the problem.  I am glad they got to help with presenting, they seemed so proud of their work, as they should be.

I had a great time with all of you wonderful instructors as well as my peers.  That was so much fun learning with all of you.  I hope to see and hear from you all again in the future.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Presentations 04/21/2014

All presentations shared on Monday were truly inspiring. You could feel the enthusiasm and investment from each of the presenters. It’s impossible to pick a favorite. I enjoyed all of them, each for different reasons.

I loved the real life scenarios. Deciding on and creating a playground, including site selection was meaningful and has a valued connection for the kids! I also enjoyed the fox traps. I truly had a sense of the various approaches to designs and I really enjoyed that the teams came up with very different solutions.

I have to give props to Lexi’s plant cell project. Some of those representations were outstanding! I think the experience of building something always increases understanding and buy-in, but to build them in collaboration and in Minecraft…completely fantastic! I didn’t know what could top that until I found myself on a thrilling ride touring the Monster Lobe by roller coaster! Whoa!! The amount of thought put into building the lobe, the mountain side, and the track for tours. Seriously impressive.

You set the bar high, people…can’t wait to see the presentations in our next class!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


The real life applications of creating a playground and a fox trap were great!  The students did a great job in thinking through the problems and designing a solution.

The plant cells were amazing!  I think that in many ways they are more valuable than the 2-D versions were made in my day.  As they were creating the mine craft versions, students really could "see" how the parts all created the whole.

The monster lobe with a roller coaster!  What creativity was seen in the work done by all the students who worked on the monster lobes.

It was an enjoyable class where the teachers and student's work and effort was evident.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Day 1 of Presentations

     I was so very impressed with all the presentations tonight.  I think it was really a testament to the fact that if you give students a project and allow them some creativity, they will blow us away with what they come up with.
    Lexi's students did a wonderful job on their cells.  My daughter - who is taking biology right now, was watching the videos with me and she was naming the parts before the students did, especially the large vacuole.  She thought that was a great idea.  She had to make a cell out of food earlier on.  We also thought it was very fun to watch the infection be introduced.  I especially liked the decorating that happened on the insides of things.
    Ruth and Joel did a wonderful job on their playground and explaining what they did and why.  I loved how they changed some of their original ideas so that they could save money or even be safer.  Ruth's idea to introduce villager children was ingenious to see how they did on the playground.  Then of course, she made adjustments.  The Thinglink was a great way to share with us.  I will have to learn how to use it.
     The fox traps were also wonderful, and I really liked how it was something that the students could relate to.  It was fun to see all the different ones that they came up with.
     Ronna did a great job with her students and helping them get used to Minecraft and exploring solutions to the Monster Lobe.  I also really liked how she extended it to be closer to where they lived so that it was more local and possibly more of a problem.  I also like the idea of Penzu.  I am learning so much about technology from my colleagues.
    Of course I think North did a great job.  We made notes for him to use because he forgot to mention a few things when he was presenting to his class.  So, that is why it may have sounded like he was reading.  He was.  He does a great job explaining it on his own though, and it is fun to hear his emotion and excitement when he does.  I hope you got some of that in the videos.  I really like how he had his own answer to all the questions asked and even shot down some of Chip's suggestions.  He even kept telling me during the rest of the night that it would NOT be a good idea to let people ski down the Monster Lobe because "they WOULD break their ski boards and that would not be good."  The boys were fairly headstrong in their design process.  We played with rolling things down inclines to see what would happen to them. Then we put flat walls up and inclined ramps up before the flat wall to see what happened.  That is when they decided to build the slope.   That is when they talked about energy.  I think he learned about energy and other science things by sitting next to me during this class.

I look forward to next week's presentations!

Presentations Day #1 Reflection - Lexie

I really enjoyed everyone's presentations and projects yesterday!  I loved how they were each very unique and applied STEM.  It was great to see how everyone (especially the students) were excited and into the projects.  I know that each student will remember these projects for the rest of their lives because it made connections for them.

I really liked how Sara L. found a need for the community and worked to solve that problem.  I hope that the base does look at your suggestions and possibly make a change for that area.  I love that your daughter wanted a rollercoaster!  My son would have asked for the same thing.  The Fox trap project by Sara H. was also amazing.  What I liked about it the most was that it was so applicable to the students.  I could hear them asking you Sara if they could keep working on the project!  I also liked Heather's project, especially the work with her children.  I loved how they decided to make a rollercoaster for the people visiting the lobe.

Overall I really enjoyed the presentations and I look forward to next week's presentations.  I also have to say that I don't really want this to end.  I enjoy having an excuse to play Minecraft with  like-minded adults!  Maybe we should all start a support group.

April 21st Class

Last night was a fun class, even though I kept getting knocked out of class.  I am thankful Colin was able to step in for a few slides while I was trying to log back in.  Living in a new place and not having your own internet access is frustrating.

I was very nervous for class last night, but I did enjoy myself.  I told Ruth and Joel how much the class enjoyed their presentations.  Joel told some of my husbands coworkers tonight that he might share his project with the base commander.  He was so animated when he told everyone about it.  It was neat to see him so excited about learning! 

I thought Sara H.'s fox trap idea was very unique.  I would not have thought of that for a topic.  She did a great job building the information for the students and having them create and design their own methods; I think students really learn more when they are given the chance to create their own things and test them.  Neat idea!

I was also impressed by North.  He did a great job sharing in class last night.  I think Joel wanted to share, but he was a little bit to nervous to talk in front of everyone.  Way to go, North!  I loved the rail traveling around the Monster Lobe also.  Thanks for sharing.

Lexi's students did an excellent job. I remember making cell models out of food in my high school bio class.  How cool to have students make plant cells on Minecraft.  I liked the idea of opening the gate and letting a virus in also.  Very creative!

Everyone did a really excellent job.  I am excited to see what everyone shares next week. 

4/21 Reflection

As the only one who did not use Minecraft with my students (of those that presented today) I was a bit nervous about how my presentation would go.  I was really proud of the work my students did with the project, they really stepped out of their comfort zone.  It would be awesome actually have them find materials around the village to make the fox trap.  It was fun to see difference in students from a rural and urban like setting.  While Sara L.'s kids worked on coming up with a plan for building a play ground and my students came up with an idea to trap a fox as part of their subsistence life style, groups worked with real life proposals that effect their general lives.  The presentations by the students were the best part when they presented either North during class or the others in the video you can tell the enjoyment of the students and the passion they had for their projects.  Everybody did an awesome job presenting and I can't wait to see what the next group has in store!