I would really like to get more into the Future City Competition because it connects our students to the global world, while solving problems they will face in the future. (page 66-67)
In response to Katie: I think that it has become increasingly important for our students to become more connected with the global world and to truly be able to problem solve. These are two skills that employers often say young graduates often do not possess. This makes it even more important for us to allow our students opportunities to explore in simulations, and of course to learn how to work together to achieve a common goal.
I agree with Katie and Rebecca in that the focus of education is more to tying academics to real world experiences. When students are able to make conections across the curriculum with experiences that happen day to day it creates a more meaningful learning experience. I played the Stock Market Game this year with my students and it was probably my most exciting year of teaching because it connected our class to the world.
I would be interested in participating in BEST Robotics Competition. We started a FIRST team, and this would be a natural next step. The kids want to build all year around, but they are most focused when the rules and parameters are clear with a definite deadline. (p 44)
Tracey-I think that is so cool that your students interested in robotics. I think that encourages them to really like science and have fun at the same time.
I'd like to explore the Edventures Robotics Contest on page 58. My students love to build things and I think this would interest them. This contest focuses on problem-solving and teamwork, both concepts that need more attention among my kiddos.
To Elanor M- This sounds like a great idea. I would like to explore the Edventures Robotics. Problem solving and teamwork are so important in a work and learning environment. I have not done anything with robotics but think my students would really enjoy it. Thank you for sharing!
To ElanorM and StaceyL: That is why I love Robotics competitions: Students must problem solve as a team!
I would really like to work on Future City Competitions for real like/hands on learning. (pg 66-67) I plan in using skype to connect to other communities, states and current news stations. I think this will give the students a widened global awareness and help discover others and how they live, work and learn. I believe this will help students to problem solve using teamwork. I am looking forward to this.
In response to Stacey, I like your idea of incorporating Skype into this. I know that I personally haven't used Skype in a learning situation with my kids. That's definitely something to think about. It could be a great resource.
I think I will explore more in order to learn about the Future City Competitions that were discussed. I think that we have a lot of tools available to us now to really create an interesting environment that would allow for exploration and learning. I think it enables them to use their problem solving skills as they strengthen their awareness of real world issues/problems. I'm not exactly sure how I would modify it for my students since I teach students in lower grade levels, but I'm interested in finding a way to give them this experience. (pg. 66-67)
Again my focus on writing directed my attention to the Creative Writing Contest as it is open starting at grade 5. I think when students can submit work to someone other than a teacher it makes them work very hard and can provide great feedback from an outside source. We did this with Investowrite.com. The kids really took ownership in their writing and it was not STAAR focused which made them more enthusiastic.Noone won thsi time but I plan to do it next year.
I want to learn more like the other ladies said about Edventures robotics, I was happy to see they accept from 3rd grade. When you add Problem solving, teamwork, communication, gt kids and the freedom to create that is a great mix.
I agree with you... Gt students would really soar with this and it would also bring in the other students interst and encourage their learning to soar.
Another area I thought might be interesting was the Cricket League Contest found on page 52. It is for all age levels and is theme detailed. So each month the theme relates to a story or article in that issue. It sound like a great way to make the reading/writing connection in an interactive way.
Now that I am in a grade level where the focus is the writing STAAR, I would like to explore a little more the Creative Writing Essay Contest (p. 51). I came from a grade where ownership in their writing was very important and not driven by a test, so I would like to continue this practice. If they own their writing then the state test should be a bit easier for them to write.