Friday, December 2, 2011

Students in Ms. Jordan's Spanish classes have been studying the cultures of Spanish speaking countries. A student in Ms. Jordan's class used Prezi to share what she learned about Guatemala. Prezi is an online presentation tool. Prezi presentations are stored online and are accessible from any computer. Prezi presentations are characterized by their ability to zoom in on key facts in the presentation. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Robodogs place 8th at Capitol Best Robotics

The Hernandez Middle School Robotics Team "Robodogs", placed 8th overall at the Capitol BEST (Boosting Engineering Science & Technology) Robotics competition. On Saturday, October 22nd, the Robodogs robot Pepe competed against 24 other robots. Hernandez Middle School was one of 3 middle schools in the competition and placed 1st overall in competition with the other middle schools. The final tabulations were recently announced by Capitol BEST after final judging in the areas of Design Notebook, Spirit and Sportsmanship, Team Exhibit & Interviews, and Website were added to the head to head robot competition scores.

The competition was designed as a real world problem. Genetically engineered bugs are being raised in a lab to help humans. The genetically engineered bugs include flies, mosquitoes, termites and roaches that are accidentally released from the lab and are in a nearby field. The robot's job is to capture the bugs and place them in one of three containment areas with food. The three containment areas were designed to provide varying amounts of difficulty for placing the bugs, with points awarded according to the containment area the bugs are placed in by the the robot. The bugs were represented by styrofoam balls (flys), weighted cloth cylinders (termites) and hex bugs (roaches). Tennis balls were used as food. The Robodogs team was able to capture some of the flies to earn points for their team. Members of the Robodogs team included Izel, Arantza, Zach, Roman, Briana, Branden, James, Fernando and Jared. Sponsors for the Robodogs were Scott Smith, Trista McCombs and Irma Bauer. This is the 2nd year Hernandez Middle School has participated in the Capitol BEST Robotics competition.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Multi-Media Class Creates Public Service Announcements

Mr. Romero's Mulit-media classes have been busy creating Public Service Announcements using Animoto. The Announcements were done to promote the 2012 Hernandez Yearbook as well as the student's favorite non-profit.

Yearbook Promotion

Pennies for Pandas


American Forests

ASPIRE Students Create Videos on Bullying

Hernandez Middle School ASPIRE students have been learning about WEB 2.0 tools in Mr. Ota's after school ASPIRE class. Students created a public service announcement on Hurricane preparedness and videos on bullying and spreading rumors and posted them on you tube. Students will be learning about various WEB 2.0 tools throughout the semester. Students showcased their work at a Family Night in September.

Hurricane Preparedness

A Bully Movie

No More Rumors

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dance Class Uses Video to Improve Skills

Ms. Amanda Chadney's Dance class recently spent time in the computer lab viewing a video of their dance class in order to evaluate their dance. Students answered the following questions:

  • What do you feel you are learning by watching yourself dance on the video?
  • What do you feel are your strengths in this dance?
  • What areas do you feel you need to improve in order to perform this dance at a "4"?

Students also reflected on how they felt about the dance and their overall performance of the dance. Students also watched a person in their group dance and commented on their strengths and weaknesses. Some of the comments from the students included:

  • "I’m learning that when you dance, you aren't always doing what you think you are."
  • "I am learning that there is always something that can be improved on."
  • "I have also learned that when you smile it makes the dance look so much better."
  • "Sometimes I have terrible pirouettes but other time they are amazing so I need to work on getting them right every time."
  • "I have to bring my head up. I also have to put on some facial expressions because my face was blank."
  • "It was a good song to dance to because it was slow. I liked the way that we start on the ground and rise up. I like the hand thing that we did. I like we did cool things with the jazz squares. Finally I liked that we danced in small groups at the end. It was so fun."
  • "She had good expression. She only needs to look up when she dances."
  • "Her strengths are her kick ball change, pivot turns, hands, expressions on her face, and staying on beat."
By using the video, students were able to improve their dance skills while writing thoughtful and reflective critiques about their individual dance and their peers' dance.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Project Gateway Underway at Hernandez Middle School

Mr. Scott Smith's Gateway to Technology class is exploring Engineering. Students are learning about careers in Engineering and what engineers do. Students have been researching answers to questions about the engineering field. Students will explore design and modeling and robotics throughout the year. The class is open to 7th grade students for the 2011-2012 school year. Students are able to obtain 1/2 High School credit for each year of Project Gateway they take in Middle School.

Monday, April 18, 2011

7th Grade Students Use Inspiration in Language Arts

7th Grade Language Arts students in Mr. Trevino's class recently spent time in the computer lab using Inspiration software. Inspiration software was recently installed in both computer labs at Hernandez Middle School. Students created diagrams to identify literary devices in a text.

Inspiration software allows students to create Venn Diagrams, outline, write and make presentations. The software allows students to map their thoughts, organize them and present them. The software is available in two computer labs at Hernandez Middle School. Examples of student work are shown below.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

6th Graders Use Excel to Create Charts &Graphs

Michael Ota's 6th grade Math class recently used Excel to create charts and graphs to illustrate the frequency of a probability experiment. Students entered data from a probability experiment they conducted in class into an excel spreadsheet. The students then created graphs of their experiment.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Art Classes Design A Room

Sarah Howell's Art Classes used Paint Software to design and develop a one point perspective room. The room designs are on display in the main hallway at Hernandez Middle School.

Animoto Brings 6th Grade Poems to Life

Students in Danielle Lacey's and Andrew Hasbrouck's 6th grade English Language Arts Classes have been using
Animoto to turn their poems into media presentations. Ms. Lacey and Mr. Hasbrouck used Moodle to introduce their poetry unit. Students submitted poems they wrote describing themselves and then used Animoto to create a multi-media presentation using their poem. Students also used Turning Point Response Devices to test their understanding of the unit before taking their final test. Take a look at a few of the videos created by student.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Students Use Understanding Math to Learn Key Math Concepts

Students in all Math classes have been using computers in the lab and on carts to study Math concepts using Understanding Math software. This software allows teachers to differentiate Math lessons according to student needs. Students can practice difficult concepts and receive feedback as they go through the lessons. Teachers are able to receive feedback on where their students are and where they are having difficulty.

SMART Board in the Functional Academic Classroom

Students in Ms. Jordan's FAC (Functional Academic Classroom) are interacting with the SMART Board to learn math, science and social studies. Ms. Jordan uses lessons on the SMART Board that allow students to select the answers to a question and check to see if they are correct. Ms. Jordan also uses the SMART Board for daily activities in her classroom. Students in Ms. Jordan's classroom are excited about going up to the board to test their knowledge.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Moodle Used for Oral Administration of District Benchmark

Hernandez Middle School Special Education Teachers, Mary Jansen, Kristin Harper, Pamela White and Sofie Vastano are administering the District Math and Language Arts Benchmark to students that require oral administration of exams by using Moodle. The exam questions are recorded and uploaded to moodle, where students listen to each question with a copy of the benchmark in front of them. Students are able to listen to the questions at their own pace and review as often as they need to answer the questions. Students do not have to wait for their teacher to read to them.

Moodle Taking off at Hernandez Middle School

The beginning of the semester has inspired teachers at Hernandez Middle School to try something new, Moodle. Moodle is a learning management system that allows teachers to make their course content available online to students. Student have access to the course from any computer at school or at home. Since moodle is online, students have more options for accessing the course content. Teachers are using moodle to deliver quizzes to students that provide instant feedback and help students identify where they need to focus their learning. Teachers are also using moodle to deliver study questions and to differentiate content for students. Other uses of Moodle include glossaries, assignments and practice. Links to online resources and documents are all available through moodle. Teachers that have requested moodle courses or are using moodle include 8th grade LA teachers, Casey Gembicki and Kristin Morgan and 7th grade LA teachers, Danielle Lacey and Andrew Hasbrouck. Math Teachers using moodle include, 6th Grade Teachers Michael Ota, Jennifer Gregorcyck, Ed Martir, 7th Grade Teachers, Laura Terry, Amada Clark, Merrill Davis, Kristin Harper, and 8th grade teachers, Logan Wood, Mary Jansen, Fredric Noriega and Catherine Serna. Science Teachers using Moodle include 8th Grade Science Teacher Kathleen Hoeber and Science Instructional Coach Gloria Schuldt. Elective Teachers that have requested moodle courses are Career Portals Teacher, Scott Smith and Foreign Language teacher Talal Zinnedine.