Bridge Point is delighted to have a new Spanish Immersion pilot program in Kindergarten, and boy are our students thankful, too! Check out how our kids are using their newly acquired language skills to let us know how they are thankful this Thanksgiving. A BIG SHOUT OUT to Mrs. King and Señor Bitner for making Futuro so successful at Bridge Point!
Wonder is a heartfelt story about a 10 year-old boy named Auggie Pullman. As Auggie navigates the world, previously protected by homeschooling, he learns that growing up is hard, but even harder when you have a severe facial deformity. Hiding under an astronaut's helmet or a Boba Fett costume just won't work when you are entangled in 5th grade drama. Auggie, the brave, stands up for kindness, compassion and acceptance and slowly his classmates begin to follow his lead.
Inspired by his English teacher's use of precepts (rules to live by) as writing prompts, Auggie and his classmates begin to make an effort to CHOOSE KIND. Inspired by the story, Wonder, our 4th graders found their own precepts to write about what their "rules to live by" mean to them and the community they live in. Using the Pages app on their iPads, they typed up their responses and created their own Wonder inspired artwork. From quotes like, Normal is a setting on a washing machine to the words of a 4th grader, Be you and people will like you, our students shared their hearts in hopes that everyone will CHOOSE KIND.
Oompa loompa doompety doo...without music teachers, what would we do? Our music teachers, Ms. Hatch and Ms. Jones pulled off yet another amazing year of play production with our talented 5th graders! Speaking of talent, this is the second year 5th graders in Ms. Osofsky's class have helped infuse student-created technology elements into the 5th grade play. Using the apps, Green Screen by Do Ink and Animation and Drawing by Do Ink, our student film-makers created two scenes for the play. In addition to videos this year, the role of a Foley Artist was added. Our student Foley Artist had to find and play sound effects throughout the play live on queue. We found our copyright free sounds here: https://freesound.org/browse/ and that added another level of awesomeness to our play production this year! 5th graders, you are the music makers, and you are the dreamers of the dreams! Congratulations on this year's production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!
There isn't anything much more entertaining than watching kindergartners practice rhythm and beat using an old school Wii console and Dance Revolution! Way to bring technology into the classroom, Ms. Jones! Wii love music class!
Bridge Pointers sure do love to read! To get our students even more excited about reading, our Principal, Mrs. Meek created the Principal's Book Club on Flipgrid. For the last few months, our Librarian, Ms. Ricter has worked with each and every classroom in the school to teach Bridge Pointers how to use the app, Flipgrid so they could respond to Mrs. Meek's "secret questions". September's book was the Invisible Boy, October's was Last Stop on Market Street and this month's is The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes. Record your response here, but please remember to NOT include or say your name in your video. Once your video is approved by Mrs. Meek, it will appear on her Flipgrid and then you can head to the office for a limited edition book club pencil!
Today Bridge Point was invaded with a slew of carefully crafted pumpkins disguised as book characters. From The One and Only Ivan and Harry Potter to the Mouse with the Question Mark Tail, our 4th graders showcased their creativity and character trait writing skills with this fun Pumpkin Writing Project. What a great way to celebrate reading and writing in October! Happy Halloween, Bridge Point!
This year's Arts Days celebrated music and art with the spirt of live music, Austin style. ACL is a well-known event in Austin and this year's incredible team of parents built us three half days of fun with live concerts, a tap dancer, art projects and musicians. In celebration of our Arts Days program, a few teachers put together a dance routine for our students to enjoy. And the Honky Tonk band, The Feral Four, was so much fun. We love Arts Days! Thank you!
Go Noodle is a great place to wiggle, move, and boost energy in the classroom AND it can also be a great way to learn about math, science, and language arts. Check out how Ms. Volk's class rocks out to syllables with the Go Noodle crew Blazer Fresh. Syllables have never been so MUCH FUN!
Let me tell you, it takes a village to get iPads configured, set up and issued to students! While our established students simply kept their iPads from last year, our new students (including all of our kindergartners) needed iPads set up for them. Luckily, behind the scenes, we have an amazing team of programming magicians who conjured up remarkable scripts that expedited the iPad enrollment process. From the Hello screen, to testing the Self-Service app and configuring Google accounts, it would have taken me so much longer if it weren't for my amazing 4th and 5th grade helpers who answered configuration questions, typed in usernames and passwords, fixed iPad stands and delivered configured iPads across the school. Thank you, Village!
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!
Congratulations to these incredibly creative students whose amazing artwork is hanging in Central Admin for an Art Show. At the Central Admin building, a QR code is displayed near each art piece so that the art piece loads a video created by each student. A sort of talking Art Show! Click on each photo to reveal the student-created Shadow Puppet EDU video telling you a little bit about what they studied and how they were inspired to create. Outstanding work Bobcats!
Ms. Rollins' 4th graders have a new engaging way to practice their science vocabulary collaboratively: Quizlet Live! To get things rolling, Ms. Rollins first created a study set of vocabulary terms on Quizlet and then began the live session. Students used the Safari app to go to quizlet.live and entered a code (similar to Kahoot). Individual students entered their names and Quizlet randomly put students together in teams of three and four based on animal pictures. Then the fun began! Each student has the same question (or definition in this case) pop up on their iPad but the right answer is only on ONE of their teammate's iPads! They have to work together to discover what the correct answer is, and who has it. It is a race against the other teams, but they can't go too fast, because if they miss a question they have to start all over! It is a REALLY fun way to learn vocabulary, the students absolutely beg to play it over and over again! Thanks for sharing this cool tool for learning, Ms. Rollins!
Our generous Booster Club strikes again! Many thanks to our Booster Club who helped to make our computer lab more colorful and comfortable by purchasing four new tables and thirty-two new chairs. Of course all that wonderful furniture had to be put together! I am very thankful to parents and a few of our talented 3rd and 4th graders who gathered hammers and power tools to help put everything together. How lucky we are to be a part of such a generous and caring community!
Words, rhythms and rhymes spilled from the hearts and minds of Ms. Joseph's and Mr. Root's 4th grade LA classes as they performed their original works of poetry outside in the cool breeze during the 4th Grade Poetry Slam. Like in a real Poetry Slam, instead of clapping, there was snapping. Why? Because in the tradition of a Poetry Slam, the audience snaps out their applause to let the poet know that they are not only heard, but felt as well. From the mournful loss of a faithful pet, to the love of stories, dance, and sharks, the words that tumbled out of our 4th graders made us laugh, wonder, and cry. Amazing work, 4th graders!