[5 for Friday]

Five for FridayI’m ecstatic to share some of the highlights of my week via the Doodle Bugs Teaching Five for Friday linky party. Most of my five updates are academic, but exciting nonetheless. Last month I mentioned that I was embarking on a STEM journey via MSU’s Urban STEM and Leadership Fellowship Program, which engages twenty five public school teachers in two weeks of face to face instruction and twelve months of online learning to enhance the quality of instruction in STEM disciplines. Here are some of my ed adventures with my STEM colleagues.

IcebreakerShoot and Tweet: I’m obsessed with how interactive and hands on the #MSUrbanSTEM program has been starting from the first minute of class. Above is photo of our icebreaker challenge that was literally given to us in the first five minutes of the program entitled, “Shoot and Tweet,” which required random groups of five to venture off out of the classroom to take a photo that reveals something unique and interesting about themselves. Not only did we have to snap a photo, but we also had to create a Twitter account and share our photo using the hashtag #MSUrbanStem. It was amazing to make such strong connections with complete strangers in the hour of class. Obviously our common ground was teaching, but we were quick to dig deep and share our personal lives with one another. For example, I learned that my partner Alicia was blessed to have been friends and colleagues with the late Pilsen artist and my “Tio” Pancho, Francisco Mendoza. Here is a short and sweet blog post with links about my tio. http://365daysofsteggs.blogspot.com/2012/03/honoring-south-side-hero.html?q=Francisco+mendoza

Tech Tools

It wouldn’t be a STEM program with out technology. I spent the week struggling to use the Surface Pro because I’ve been a Mac user for the last 8 years or so and felt defeated trying to navigate my new tool on day one. After day three of using the Surface Pro (with tech support from my peers), I am comfortable to say that this tool is pretty cool and I’m excited to try some of my new apps to enhance teaching and learning. A special thanks to Microsoft, Wipro, and MSU for donating an awesome piece of technology to use in my classroom!

Picaboo Yearbook

Yay! This year I sponsored a yearbook club to create my school’s first yearbook in ten years. We created our yearbook on Picaboo Yearbooks because it was free to build, didn’t require my school to pre-order, and was user friendly for both the students and a wannabe tech savvy teacher. Our learning community was able to order three options of the yearbook online, soft cover/hardcover/ebook, and have they book shipped directly to their home. I’m so impressed by my students’ hard work and creativity because they took charge and organized everything from photos to layout. Check out the vibrant pages from our fantastic yearbook.

 photo 2

Top Chef has nothing on our Quick Fire Challenge! Today we were given the challenge of  creating some kind of poster of what STEM means to us and where we are with STEM in fifteen minutes. Then we had to tweet the photo using our fellowship hash tag and the bonus challenge was to create haiku about STEM. Sounds easy enough except for the fact that the inception song was playing in the background and the timer was ticking, which heighten the intensity of our challenge.

photo 1 “Learning is least useful when private and hidden; it is most powerful when it becomes public and communal.”

Join our adventures in STEM teaching and learning by following the hashtag #MSUrbanSTEM on social networking sites. I’m collaborating with awesome teachers so following the hashtag will definitely be worthwhile.

Happy Friday,

Ms. G

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