McKinney ISD- Department of Instructional Technology
Hour of Code in McKinney ISD
Cockrill MS Math Redefines Classroom Learning
Lawson Early Childhood STEAM Lab
At Lawson ECS, all 52 classes rotate through the new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) lab every other week. The STEAM Team designs 4 lessons, two teacher-led and two independent; students will experience all four during the month. STEAM lessons are paired with curriculum for the time frame.
A grant received from House Bill IV, was used to purchase some amazing materials: giant redwood Lincoln longs, water tables, a moveable magnet wall, Swiss cheese ramp kits, and Smart Tables, to name a few. In addition to building with these great tools each week, Lawson students learn to code with each unit using various coding programs and robots. So far, they have coded with BeeBots, Code-A-Pillar, and Osmo.
The goal for the Lawson STEAM lab is always to stay play-based, encourage collaboration and communication, and to foster creativity and perseverance.
*Apps...What is it? What does it do?
- YouTube Music- is a mobile version of the social media channel focused entirely on music. Unlike YouTube proper, there's a safety mode, so kids can search for and find whatever they want with parameters set by a parent. Users get a free trial of the commercial-free YouTube Red, but when that expires they'll either have to pay to continue that service or deal with commercials before select videos and songs.
- Ditty- is a third-party messenger app that turns what you write into music. Pick a song, type out your message, and watch it transform into a musical. The next time you want to cheer someone up, do it with a song set to your own, personalized lyrics.
- Shakespeare in Bits- presents the full text of the work enriched with extra goodies to help facilitate deeper understanding and enjoyment of the material. Students can click on highlighted words and phrases to get their modern translations and historical context and to understand how certain lines tie into the play's larger themes. There also are scene notes and synopses, character profiles, notable quotes, and a bio of Shakespeare; however, the app's crowning achievements are the cartoon reenactments of every scene that literally bring the play to life, complete with lines that highlight in red as they're being spoken so readers can easily follow along.
*The descriptions here are informational only. This is not an evaluation or endorsement of app choices for students, but a tool for parent involvement.
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McKinney ISD Department of Instructional Technology
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