A Lot Going on in GRC

As we are wrapping up our year in GRC, we have a lot happening in our classroom!!  The students recently presented their evidence research.  They did a fabulous job!  We are also currently filming our mystery movies and finishing up our programs on the robots.  This past week, the students took part in forensic science labs.  You will see all of this and more during their student-led conferences coming up.  Here is a little sneak peek into our classroom over the past couple of weeks. 



All teams have completed building their robot they designed.  There were many changes that were made in the process as they came across various problems that needed a solution.  They were only allowed to use a certain number of some of the parts (such as only using 4 motors), which limited some of their robot’s movement.  This caused them to have to reevaluate and redesign some aspects of their robot.  It was so much fun seeing the light bulbs turn on across the room as they came up with new ideas.  I am so proud of their work.  They have now moved on to programming their robot.  The game field they are using is called “Crossover Challenge”.  In this game, the blue and orange hexballs are to be placed in various spots in order to score points, and also their robot ending up on the bridge in the end scores big points.  They are working on programming their robot to score as many points as possible.  They seem to be having a great time.  We are using a lot of what we learned at the beginning of the year regarding growth mindset and perseverance.

See Saw

The students began using a digital portfolio this semester.   It is a place they can highlight activities they are working on in class.  Each week, they add at least one entry.  This has been VERY exciting in class.  In the robotics pictures, you probably see iPads in the hands of some of the students. They take pictures & videos on the iPads and upload them to their See Saw account.  I am hopeful to have a form of student-led conferences later in the spring, so parents can see all of the awesome things these kiddos have been working on in class.

Entering the World of CSI & Mysteries

As robotics remains a part of our day for the remainder of the school year, we have also begun our next unit –“Multiple Perspectives:  A CSI Unit”.  This is a “3rd grade friendly” unit on forensic science, crime scene investigations and mystery.  We have a lot of exciting activities planned during the next few weeks and surprises around the corner.  Along with learning about forensic science research, forensic labs and analyzing literature, I am excited to work with the kids on elements of creating their own thrilling  mystery.  Each GRC group is writing a mystery together.  It’s been interesting to see how they incorporate our 7 habits on this project.  We are definitely synergizing, seeking first to understand then to be understood, thinking win-win when giving our suggestions and beginning with the end in mind.  We are walking through the steps of forming a strong mystery and developing their class story.  We have some fun plans for our final products.  I can’t wait to see their creations!

Let the Construction Begin

Now that the students have their ideas together, they are beginning to construct their robot with the new design.  This process will take us a few weeks to complete.  There will be lots of trial and error.  It is definitely a test of endurance and perseverance (with a lot of fun added in).  I can’t wait to see all of the final results!!

Engineering Notebooks & the Design Process

This is the first year I am able to bring about the design process in robotics in my GRC classroom.  I have been able to purchase and check out enough robots to form teams of students in each class.  This is one of my favorite parts of robotics.  The students have been introduced to their Robotics Engineering & Design Notebooks.  Now that they have practiced the game with their basic Clawbot, the students are beginning to design a robot that will better perform and succeed at the tasks given in the game.   As a robotics team, they have drawn out design ideas and have synergized to create the design they would like to build.  This new design will face many obstacles in the near future, where it will need to be modified or maybe even scratched to begin a new idea.  The problems & solutions that arise, their design modifications and strategy will all be documented in their engineering notebook.  It’s a great place to see their thinking, analyzing and planning.

Back in Full Swing

We have had to make some scheduling accommodations for 2nd grade screening, but we are back in full swing!  I am excited to dive in!  We have a lot to pack into this semester.  It will pass by too quickly!

Building & Getting into the Game

Students have completed their Clawbot and have begun playing the game.  This year’s GRC classes are playing last year’s VEX IQ Crossover Challenge.  This game is a bit more 3rd grade friendly than this year’s game.  The students are currently learning how to work through the challenge and learning the strengths & weaknesses of the Clawbot in this game.  These observations will be helpful as we continue to our next steps in January.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!!

Robots on Our Mountain

If you are interested in learning more about robotics throughout the Oak Mountain Schools, join us on Tuesday, November 28 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm in the Oak Mountain Intermediate School cafeteria.  Oak Mountain High-Tech Solutions will host an open house to showcase Robotics on Our Mountain.  Come see all aspects of our programs from elementary, intermediate, and middle schools, plus both offerings at our high school.  Teachers, mentors, and students will be on hand to provide demonstrations and answer questions.


As we continue with our Classroom Dojo series, Mojo teaches us about empathy.  We are having some beautiful discussions about how to be empathetic.   Ask your child about “the maze” and how to get out of it.