Congratulations to Mrs. Mojica (not pictured), Mrs. McLaughlin (not pictured), Ms. Ricter, Ms. Ricketson, and Ms. Steinberg for winning a Kathryn and Beau Ross Excellence in Education award for creating the Typewriter Rodeo, Jr. program at Bridge Point. Check out the Statesman article and our previous blog posts about the Typewriter Rodeo Workshops and the Typewriter Rodeo, Jr. event we hosted at BPE. Thank you all for a wonderful experience full of creativity, compassion, critical thinking and fun!
Ms. Jones' Bobcat Choir performed the National Anthem at the Westlake High School baseball game last night. What an awesome way to showcase our talented Bobcats!
BPE Educator of the Year
Congratulations to Bridge Point's Educator of the Year, Ms. Dawn Skonieczny! Ms. Skonieczny has been an amazing kindergarten teacher here at BPE for 13 years! She has touched the hearts and minds of countless children here at Bridge Point. Ms. Skonieczny is genuine, creative, a risk-taker, a leader, compassionate, caring, and a fun teacher. One of her most endearing qualities is her ability to know and understand each of her students and their families. You might catch her at recess swinging happily with a student who is having a bad day or dressing up as the Cat in Hat or the conductor of the Polar Express to the delight of her students. She and her precious dog, Roxie, bring sunshine to our school. She is our zany Ms. Skonieczny whose passion for teaching and learning is absolutely contagious! Congratulations!
Bridge Point cowboy and cowgirls rustled up spontaneous poems for their fellow buckaroos at this year's first ever Typewriter Rodeo Junior. Click-clacking on their iPads using the Hanx Writer app, our 5th graders entertained our 2nd and 3rd graders with ridiculously funny rhymes, heartfelt haikus, and funky free verse.
Gussied up in their finest western wear, our poets reinvented the Typewriter Rodeo inspired the by original head honchos in a workshop held two weeks prior. The decorations of boots, flowers, vintage typewriters and even a student designed logo sparked ideas for spontaneous poems that left students with smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts. Check out a few of the poems student composed at our rodeo.
Special guests included EISD Board President Colleen Jones, EISD Director of Humanities, Beth Keith and members of the press. Take a gander at the article below that was published in the Westlake Picayune and the Austin American Statesman to learn more about our rodeo.
Special thanks to 5th grade teachers, Ms. Mojica and Ms. Steinberg, Ms. McLaughlin our Instructional Partner, Ms. Ricter our Librarian and Ms. Ricketson our Ed Tech for heading up this incredible event. We hope to see ya'll again next year when the Typewriter Rodeo Junior comes back into town!
It's a Drop's Life
It's a bird, it's a plane, nope, it's the Water Cycle! Check out how our 4th graders worked in teams, using the Book Creator app, to create comic strips that anthropomorphized a water droplet on her journey through various stages of the water cycle. Click on each story above to read all about how it must feel to have a drop's life and you might just learn a little bit about the water cycle too!
Vamos a Leer Juntos
Bridge Point's El Futuro classroom was proud to have one of Bridge Point's many native Spanish-speaking schoolmates read to them in Spanish. Knuffle Bunny, or El Conejito Knuffle, is already a kindergarten favorite, but read in Spanish by a 5th grader from our very own school was EVEN BETTER! Imagine, one day our El Futuro students will be bilingual just like our 5th grade friend! ¡Gracias por leernos!
From creating puzzle pieces to note how we all fit together, to sponsoring Bully Free Dress Up Days, our counselors, Ms. Edwards and Ms. Ashorn have worked with our school become a No Place for Hate campus. This video explains our Project Kindness campaign that aims to help lift the hopes and spirits of our students when they are in need of a kind word. Learn more about the No Place for Hate project here, and may kindness find you wherever you are at Bridge Point Elementary :)
Joking Around with Second Graders
Need a good laugh? Want to make your day brighter? Listen or read this Joke Book created with the Book Creator App from Mrs. McMillin's class of second grade jokesters. You will laugh, smile and be absolutely delighted by their illustrated original and classic jokes!
The folks from Austin's very own Typewriter Rodeo inspired our 4th and 5th grade students to let their imaginations wrangle up ideas straight from their heads and lay them down to paper without a mere hesitation. A lesson in the process of letting a mistake take you to the edge of your creative notions when composing poetry was a wonderful part of today's workshop with Jodi Egerton and David Fruchter, impromptu poet extraordinaires. These talented folks, who compose spontaneous poetry on vintage typewriters, are regulars on KUT's Texas Standard and have been featured in Edible Austin, The Austin Chronicle and even on radio stations as far as Boston!
Jodi and David talked about the process of creating spontaneous poetry and how to ask questions of their "customers" in order to compose a personalized poem that feeds the heart. A poem can be a wonderful gift of kindness. Students also learned a lot about the mechanics of old-fashioned typewriters. As our 4th and 5th graders oohed and aahed over machines that don't use electricity or batteries, they were invited to submit their own topics for a custom poem typed up by our presenters. From topics like a Memory Foam Mattress Staircase and a Sloth to a poem about Magic, our students guffawed, snorted, and smiled whole-heartedly as they listened to David and Jodi present tales about their poetic adventures and revealed custom poems for our students.
Towards the end of each workshop, students wrote poems for their partners and some shared their personalized poems with the crowd. Many students went back to their classes to write more poetry! It was delightful to see what amazingly creative and compassionate poets we had in the crowd! Thank you Jodi and David for awakening the inner poets of our students and encouraging them to write from their hearts, spreading kindness one rhyme at a time.
"Q" up the Fun
After watching an episode of Shark Tank that showcased the QBall throwable mic, our 3rd grade teacher, Ms. Bennett immediately thought about how it could be used in the classroom. With the help of district funding, Bridge Point received a QBall to try out. It has been an engaging way to give students a voice during morning meetings or during large group presentations. The QBall hides a bluetooth connected mic inside a soft exterior, easily connects to our existing classroom sound systems, mutes while it flies through the air and has proven to be a fun way to increase engagement!
Kindergartners are Readers Too!
Our K-5 teachers are working hard this year to bring Reading Workshop to life at Bridge Point. At the beginning of this school year, our teaching staff participated in workshops by Columbia University's Teachers College trainers about how to use Lucy Calkins' Units of Study as a resource to teach reading. To learn more about how our kindergartners are involved in Reader's Workshop, watch this video that our wonderful Kindergartner teachers made!
The iPad can really help kids express themselves in a variety of ways. It can be utilized by students with different abilities and strengths in ways we might never have been able to imagine before life with iPads. If you have ever seen our teachers, Eleanor Thompson, Anthony Diaz, Heather York, Da Delano, Sharon Freede and Shannon Pipkin working with students in our building, you would absolutely shake your head in amazement. Technology is a part of how students can reach and teach us as much as it is how we can reach and teach them. Using Adobe Spark, Mrs. Thompson and her team of talented teachers have created amazing activities for their students. And even more incredible, is that they cook in their classroom too! Enjoy this student-created Adobe Spark video on how to make cheese sticks, YUM!
Full STEAM Ahead!
Full STEAM ahead! Bridge Point hosted yet another incredible STEAM Day (formerly Science Day) where students got the opportunity to learn from a wide variety of community members who really dig science. There were robots, slime, drones, dogs, snakes, rockets and so much more! Here's glimpse into the awesomeness of a half day of hands-on science learning in a video created by a 4th grader. Much thanks to Bridge Point parent, Jayme Tirres and her amazing crew of parents and volunteers who made this day happen!
Today's blogpost is brought to you by a 4th grade junior guest blogger, Ryan:
On Tuesday, February 6th, David Yeomans came to BPE to share some behind-the-scenes information about reporting about the weather on TV. He also talked about the weather and how it works! The whole class was so excited, I could see the excitement shining in all of their eyes. David Yeomans showed us a slide show with the help of a 4th grade tech expert, that was all about weather and behind-the-scenes effects. Mr. Yeomans showed us that instead of a big, giant TV behind him, it’s really a big lime green wall! He and his crew have a special camera that turns the lime green wall into what you see on the weather report. Right next to the lime green wall, there is a little mini TV that shows what you see on TV! David also showed us a big balloon called a weather balloon that floats into the Earth’s atmosphere. When it flies into the atmosphere, it grows to the size of a basketball court! My favorite part was when he was in Hurricane Harvey. Instead of trying to evacuate, he and his crew went right into the storm! We were so inspired by his presentation and knowledge of meteorology!
Learn more about David Yeomans, a former Westlake student, who loved learning about the weather at an early age online: http://kxan.com/author/david-yeomans/
Thanks for coming to teach us all about the weather, Mr. Yeomans!
Hoorays for Snowy Days!
We Are Readers
Our K-5 teachers are working hard this year to bring Reading Workshop to life at Bridge Point. At the beginning of this school year, our teaching staff participated in workshops by Columbia University's Teachers College trainers about how to use Lucy Calkins' Units of Study as a resource to teach reading. To learn more about what 4th graders think of Reading Workshop, check out the student-created video above!
Live History from the Past
Live from the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, via Zoom videoconferencing technology, our 4th graders worked interactively with the Kaitlin Lloyd, the Director of Education for the museum, to learn about the history of Native Americans in Texas. Ms. Lloyd piqued their interest with artifacts that seemed to appear out of nowhere (thanks to Green Screen technology) and engaged her audience by asking our students to think about what they saw or make connections with what they already knew. What a great way to bring an expert into our school to help us learn!
The Magical Madrigals
You know the winter holidays are upon us when the Madrigals perform at Bridge Point! The Twelve Days of of Christmas, Texas Style features a misbehavin' heifer that our students absolutely adore and Feliz Navidad is a crowd favorite that invites our students to sing and dance along with the incredibly talented Westlake High School choir. Thank you for filling our school with the spirit and magic of the Holidays!
The Fast and the Curious
Lego Walls are Awesome!
Powered by imagination, fueled by inspiration, Liquid Nails, French Cleats and a magical maintenance man, our Lego Wall is now ready for action! Get your own giant Lego compatible wall from Slab Dream Lab (next time we'll buy the wall frame too), shoe organizers from Ikea to organize your Legos and let the building begin!
Bot Building Extreme!
Bridge Point took it's first ever robotics team to the First League Lego (FLL) competition this year. FLL is an amazing event that combines robotics, engineering, creativity, collaboration, programming and research with real-world problems. BPE sent a team of seven 4th graders who all worked to learn all about hydrodynamics and how we find, transport, use, and dispose of water in our world. Team Lego Roblocks, coached by Ms. Ricketson and parent volunteer Ms. Gewirtzman, built 19 different missions that replicated real-life situations of how we work with water including flushing toilets, fixing broken pipes, and maintaining water treatment plants. They worked together to design an autonomous Lego Mindstorms robot that had to flip over sewer covers, drop off rain barrels, flush toilets, fix pipes, and so much more, all within two minutes! After hours and hours of practice, redesigns, testing fails, broken parts, frustration, enlightenments, perspiration and inspiration, this group put on a skit about how to get more water out to the playground, presented their research, talked about how their team got along and didn't get along, set goals and met their goal of completing two missions successfully at the Robot Game! Check out a team that completed the entire mission! Congratulations to this amazing team of 4th graders, it was an absolute delight to work with you all!
Festival de Eanes
Eanes ISD is hosting it's first ever Student Film Festival this year and it's open to all EISD KG-12th grade students. Students are invited to create original films that focus on SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) with a few twists. How will you move us? To tears, to feel, to laugh, to rise to action? How can we #CHOOSEKIND or how do we feel when we don't? Ask your campus Ed Tech for more information and check out the challenge, rules and regulations on the Festival de Eanes website.
3rd and 4th grade students were invited to code, load, and go with pint-sized robots during their Hour of Code library lessons with Ms. Ricter. These tiny-but-mighty Ozobot Evos use a visual coding method that works with optical sensors to read Color Codes. Our students programmed these pocket-sized robots to dance, spin and travel through a variety of mazes. Ozobot provides a large lesson library for educators and our students were absolutely mesmerized by these little guys! To learn more about this lesson and other HOC library lessons, check out Ms. Ricter's library blog, The Shelf Life. Ozo-mazing!
Two Heads Code Better Than One
Celebrating Computer Science Education Week, I worked with Ms. Rollins' 4th graders to code with Swift Playgrounds on the iPad. The Hour of Code is a nationwide initiative that encourages educators to spend at least one hour programming with students during December. The Swift programming language, created by Apple, is designed to let you see the results of your coding while you are tweaking and working with your code-an amazing feat in the area of programming! Using a technique called Pair Programming, I had students work together to master interactive puzzles starring a fun character named Byte. In Learn to Code 1 & 2, students learn concepts such as commands, debugging, functions, loops, and algorithms-concepts Ms. Rollins was already working on with her classes. After our powerful pairs mastered the Learn to Code 1 Playground, I challenged them to try the Incredible Code Machine. In this Playground, a machine is missing some parts. Our students had to use logic and basic coding skills, like functions and loops, to figure out how to create new parts for the machine based on different inputs and outputs. Even though this is listed as a middle school challenge, our 4th graders did an amazing job! Way to code 4th graders!
Life begins when you get back up! Ever wonder what happened after poor Humpty fell of of the wall? Find out by reading December's Principal's Book of the Month, After the Fall: How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Dan Santat. Read and respond here and don't forget to persevere! https://flipgrid.com/1c1948