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Kibos and Scratch

Have you heard your child mention Kibos and wondered what they are? Do their references to Scratch send you running for a Band-Aid? Rest easy, because they’re both powerful tools for introducing coding and programming to our youngest students. Every Wednesday during recess students choose to join Elaine Hamilton (Engineering and Design Coach), Tory Lane (Librarian and Technology Coach), Katrina Mills (LD Math Specialist), and myself in using Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu/), Scratch Jr. (an app for the iPad) and Kibo robots (http://kinderlabrobotics.com/kibo/) to create and design. The library hums with children’s voices problem-solving and questioning one another as they ponder how to animate a “sprite” using basic commands or how to move a Kibo a certain distance by selecting a sequence of programming blocks. Children leave these workshops excited to return to the classroom and share what they have designed. For Elaine, Tory, Katrina, and me it is an incredible and inspiring way to spend recess leading students as they develop, create, and design.

 

Love and Kindness

Have you ever wondered what is happening in the Lower Division Fridays at 11:15? The Lower Division gathers weekly to celebrate our community. We sing songs, listen to stories, problem solve, and enjoy being together.  Last week, we celebrated Martin Luther King’s birthday (his actual birthday was January 15) by listening to the song “Lovingkindness” written by former Park faculty member Billy Walsh. We then discussed how the day off was a day to be on and think about acts of loving kindness they could demonstrate. The students suggested ways to be an ally, the importance of not being a bystander, helping a friend, and giving to others in need. We culminated our time together by the Pre-K leading us in singing “We Shall Overcome.” We left with our hearts full and our minds thinking about ways to show others loving kindness.

Copy of LovingKindness