Welcome To Tech/Engineering!

Ms. Hurd and Mrs. Clayton are your teachers!

March 15, 2016

K is for Keva and Kindergarten!

Kindergarteners have been busy . . .

… in their tech/engineering classes. Before spring break, we got in some skip-counting practice using a spreadsheet-like template created for them in Kidspiration. Once back from break, we jumped right into our 6 week long coding unit. This unit will include both "plugged and unplugged" activities. Ask your child about the activity we did with them using a grid we created with tape on the front of our sandbox lab floor. Additionally, we are using iPads and a free mobile app available from M.I.T. called Scratch Jr.

During these classes, the children will be creating several simple projects. In our first lesson, students learned to use various paint tools to design a background, added and edited a character for their projects, and programmed their characters to move across the background. We will share more about this as we move forward with our lessons!

1st Graders Keep On Learning!

1st graders have been busy. . .

… using iPads to create programs in Scratch Jr, a free mobile app created by M.I.T. We are well into our coding unit now. The children began by creating the world's second easiest maze (ask them what made it the second easiest maze) and then programming a character to work its way through the maze. Next, they created the "Run a Race" program, or game. We often refer to them as games as the child determine what happens in the program. In this case, they chose 3 characters and then decided which character would come in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place by using blocks of code to make this happen. Finally, most recently, they were given the "Barnyard Challenge" where they had to program 4 animals to do 4 different specific tasks such as: make the pig jump up and down 3 times, make the horse rock forward and back once, or make the chicken run back and forth 4 spaces, 5 times. This particular challenge had them learning about loops as they used repeat blocks to make a character repeat an action. All of this is so much fun! Be sure to ask your children about Scratch Jr, and if you have a tablet of some sort, please consider downloading this free app.

2nd Grade is States Fair...and So Much More!

2nd graders have been busy . . .

. . . creating posters and newsletters using a desktop publishing (DTP) app called Pages.

desk·top pub·lish·ing


  1. the production of printed matter by means of a printer linked to a desktop computer, with special software. The system enables reports, advertising matter, company magazines, etc., to be produced cheaply with a layout and print quality similar to that of typeset books, for xerographic or other reproduction. (Wikipedia)

These lessons were created in conjunction with 2nd grade classroom teachers. Depending on what was happening in each classroom, students created a family newsletter or a biography or endangered bird poster. DTP allows us to teach many tech skills, such as creating images with paint and draw tools, doing an image search, placing and editing images, keyboard awareness, and applying writing skills being sure to include capital letters and punctuation as needed. Look for these newsletters or posters to come home soon.

3rd Graders Appreciate Colonial America

3rd graders have been busy . . .

...creating amazing Mousetrap Games. Students reverse-engineered the Elefun and Friends Mousetrap game. They learned how it worked and identified its simple machines. Working in small groups, the boys and girls re-created a portion of the game out of Legos. Then as a team, the groups worked together to create single chain reaction.

Check out this sample video:


4th Graders are a Mosaic of Inspired Ideas

4th graders have been busy . . .

. . . expanding their coding skills by creating (and playing) Scratch pianos. They are also applying their science knowledge to identify conductive materials using MakeyMakeys. A MakeyMakey is a simple circuit board that enables you to create computer keys from everyday objects. The students' next challenge is to create a game controller that can be operated with their feet in instead of their hands.

Technology/Engineering (T/E) FAQs

How often does my child have technology or engineering classes?
  • once per C-O-U-G-A-R rotation

How was this curriculum designed?

  • Our Lower School Tech/Engineering curriculum was designed to give your child a good balance of experiences in the area of engineering, technology, robotics and coding.

What tech devices might my child use in class?

  • anything from: iPads, laptops, desktop computers, Chromebooks, makey-makeys, simple circuit boards and more