We have an amazing community at Bridge Point that shares their time, support, and resources with the world. Today, the Andy Roddick Foundation (ARF) presented a certificate of appreciation for Girl Scout Troop 326's Bronze Award project. These hard-working and dedicated young ladies worked over 100 hours with BPE students and staff to collect over 150 boxes of unused school supplies! Imagine all the smiles on the faces of all of the children who will be receiving these supplies! Thank you Evelyn, Linscott, Taylor, Emme, Presley, Krina, and Tatum!
Bloxels' spin on game programming brings us a blast from the past that pays homage to old- school 32 and 64-bit gaming classics like Pac-Man, Frogger and Super Mario Bros. Pixel art was a huge part of the arcade generation's appeal and Bloxels has found a way to combine retro pixel art with new-school programming. In this lesson, the Librarian and Ed Tech teamed up again to invite Ms. Matus' 3rd graders to build, capture, design, and program their own games. After Ms. Ricter introduced the basics of how to use Bloxels, teams of three used sketch grids to plan their game. Each student was initially assigned as a board builder, designer, and play tester, roles that rotated throughout the lesson. After calibrating their boards, teams of students built their beginning platform design on the 13x13 grid with differently colored cubes. After zapping the board with their the free Bloxels' app, students changed the cubes into pixel art that could be programmed as animations, coins, environmental features, and enemies. Watch out arcade enthusiasts, old-school gaming is back and better than ever!
Imagine if you were a pirate with a knack for petsitting who just needed a better designed cooking utensil to make your favorite stew without poking yourself in the eye? Well, in the design-thinking lesson, BPE 3rd-5th graders were asked to work collaboratively in teams of 3-4 to experience a Shark-Tank style design-thinking challenge inspired by a Extraordinaires Design Studio kit. Ms. McLaughlin, our Instructional Coach, Ms. Ricter, our librarian and Ms. Ricketson, our Educational Technology Coach created this lesson to work students through a few of the steps of the design-thinking process. Each group was given a client (evil genius, pirate, fairy, military man, merman, vampire, and more) and an object (cooking utensil, toy, time keeper, container, vehicle, etc.) to design for their client. On the back of each card there were several vignettes of the client's life that invited students to make inferences about their client's life and empathize with their client. Students then worked together to come up with a design and pitched it to another team to illicit feedback. Check out just a few of the amazing creations below from our fantastical designers!
In case you missed Tuesday's delightful performance by the Bobcat Beats drum club and the Bobcat Singers show choir directed by Ms. Jones, here's your chance! Way to go Bobcats!
Locks, hidden messages and invisible clues couldn't stop our third grade escape artists as they worked together by activating their critical thinking skills to save our school from evil doers! Using the Breakout EDU boxes generously donated by Booster Club, each class was given forty five diabolical minutes to solve puzzles that unveiled combinations to a series of locks on their Breakout boxes. These Houdinis watched video clues, decoded secret messages in Morse Code, and even discovered a clue written in invisible ink!
Breakout EDU is an educational twist on an escape room scenario that can be customized to fit curricular material. Our ed tech, Ms. Ricketson, and our librarian, Ms. Ricter, teamed up in April to co-teach a modified BreakoutEDU lesson focused on the important skill of digital citizenship by Nancy Minicozzi.
The ultimate goal was for students to use their new knowledge to save Captain Digital Citizen's (played by Ms. Ricketson) passwords, which had been stolen by evil genius Noncop E. Right (played by Ms. Ricter). All of the third graders demonstrated teamwork, flexibility, and determination as they raced against the clock to help Captain Digital Citizen. They jumped into this new learning opportunity with great enthusiasm and ended up having a blast!
If only walls could talk...and chairs, and basketballs, and clouds, and cupcakes, and dumpsters, and clocks, and doors and so much more! Well, in our third grade, they can! Check out these creative poems written from the point of view of inanimate objects animated with the ChatterPix Kids app!
A few years ago a very empathetic, kind and talented 4th grader named Browning came to me with a problem: He loved playing Minecraft but he hated when kids were mean to each other online. Browning had a plan that he had worked on with his parents and asked for my help. He pitched his idea to our principal at that time, Mr. Wirht, and we were able to convince the district to let us pilot Minecraft EDU in our computer lab at Bridge Point. With Browning's talent and leadership, the Bobcat Minecraft Gaming Club was born.
For the past three years, (he's in 6th grade now and his legend at Bridge Point lives on and has spread to other EISD schools as well!) this club continues to be a student-led time, space and place for kids at Bridge Point to share their love of Minecraft and be mindful of how their actions, decisions, creations, attitude, and choices affect others. These 1st-5th graders have worked together as a community year after year to build, share, make decisions, solve problems, create, and collaborate on a virtual space but understand the real-world implications and need to communicate with each other in real-life. They made the rules and guidelines for the club, I merely acted as the mayor and scribe. They rang a bell and even built a podium to make announcements like: The Library is open! The restaurant in the Bat Cave is now hiring! I built a roller coaster for everyone to ride! Please don't over-spawn animals, they stall the server! The Hotel is now open! The Parkour maze is now open! Come try my Redstone tutorial training ground! The monorail is now open!
Our group encountered catastrophes like the server crashing or a that a ridiculous amount of wool accidentally was dumped over several buildings burying work that had taken weeks to create. But they all learned about how it is to be accountable to others, to wonder about how to solve read-world catastrophes based on experiencing virtual ones, how to solve problems by talking to each other, how to celebrate ideas, how to resolve conflict in a constructive way, and how to learn from each other in a way that brought out the best in each and every student in the group.
The students in this club realize, honor, and acknowledge each other's strengths and have worked together to make the most amazing hotels, mazes, tutorials, roller coasters, squid homes, farms, gardens, grocery stores, armories, rainbow houses, and so much more. So, a BIG THANK YOU to Browning for creating this wonderful club at Bridge Point and to all the incredibly talented Bridge Point Minecrafters, YOU ALL AMAZE ME!