Wednesday, December 5, 2012

ASPIRE Music Technology Class Produces Song

ASPIRE Students work on producing Music is my Life
With the help of RRISD's Fine Arts department, ASPIRE offered a Music Technology class for the fall semester. Students met with Jake Rodriguez of Urban Grooves every week and used music production technology to produce their own song, Music is my Life. Students worked together to decide who would do the various part of the song such as background voices, lead vocal, and music production. In the process they learned what it takes to record a song. Students used PRO tools provided by Urban Grooves as well as other music technology software and hardware. Students went on a field trip to a recording studio and the Art Institute to learn more about music production. This has been an amazing experience for the students that participated. Students involved in the program are Ely Cantu, Ethan Pitts, Kodi Johnson, Isaiah McVade, Matthew Vega, Devin Pitts, Arely Carreon, Amaja Greenfield, Azia Greenfield, Chuck Chukwurah, Shon Deshay, Joshua Cornejo.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Robodogs compete in Capitol Best Robotics

Hernandez Middle School Robotics Team competed at the Capitol Best Robotics Competition on Saturday, Oct. 20th in Dripping Springs, TX. The "Robodogs" Team competed against high school and middle schools in the Central Texas Area. The "Robodogs" team placed 10th out of 26 teams in the competition. Robodogs competed in a round robin robot competition as well as spirit events, website, display and design notebook.The Robodogs Team meet 3 days a week for six weeks to design and build a robot. They were also present for 2 trial runs on Saturdays. They represented our school well and we are proud of their sportsmanship, hard work and determination. Visit the Robodogs Website for details on their robot Enterprise and the team.

Hernandez Middle School Veterans Program includes a Skype call to Afghanistan

Hernandez Middle School held the 3rd Annual Veterans Day Program and family night to commemorate Veterans Day. The program honored Veterans from the community and featured inspiring music from the Choir, Orchestra and Band. Several students read patriotic readings including relatives of PFC Robert P. Hernandez for whom the school is named. The program included a skype call to two soldiers in Afghanistan. Sgt. Ebony Davis and Spec. Rebecca Payne joined us for the celebration. Sgt. Davis and Spec. Payne answered questions from the audience. They explained what it is like to be stationed in Afghanistan. Sgt. Davis is the aunt of a Hernandez Middle School student.

Monday, November 12, 2012

7th Grade Classes use QR Codes

Students in Mr. Bergeron's and Ms. Stauffer's 7th grade math classes recently used QR codes to work on Math problems. Students in groups of 3 or 4 traveled to stations in their classrooms. Each station had a QR code with a problem that students worked on together. By working collaboratively on the math problems students were introduced to 21st century skills of collaboration and mobile technology. Students enjoyed using their own devices to read the QR codes and working together.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

QR Codes in Science

Ms. Hoeber's 8th Grade classes recently reviewed for a test over weather using QR Codes. Students were given short answer questions and used QR Codes to check their answers. Students matched their answers to the QR code. The activity allowed students to bring their own devices (BYO) to school to use in the classroom. Students brought i-pads, cellphones and i-pod touches to class. Students that did not have a device used laptops equipped with QR readers. Students reported that they enjoyed using their own devices for the review. Ms. Hoeber was pleased at how well the activity went and plans to use QR Codes in the classroom again.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Word Clouds

8th Grade Language Arts students in Mr. Gembicki's classes used Word Clouds to help them identify the writer's ability to describe or set a mood in a story. Students read one of the following stories, “Paul Revere’s Ride”, “Rules of the Game” and  “Out of Bounds”. Students were then asked to find five pieces of text evidence that show the feeling of the story. These five examples were then used to create a word cloud using Wordle or Tagxedo. Wordle and Tagxedo take text and create word clouds by emphasizing the words used most often in the text. These high frequency words are shown larger than other words. Examples of student work are shown below. See if you can guess the mood of the author and the story that the student read.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

8th Grade Language Arts Make Real World Connections

Mr. Gembicki's 8th Grade Language Arts Classes used a story from their textbook "A Hike in New York City" to research meaningful connections to the story. Each student used their research skills to find a personal connection, a connection to the story from outside the U.S. such as a world event or world news, a connection to another story or poem or a connection to an image or sound. Students linked the websites where they made the connections to an assignment that they submitted using moodle. Mr. Gembicki used a video to explain the lesson to students, so they were able to refer back to his video in moodle for clarification of the assignment. Mr. Gembicki notes that using the video seemed to cut down on the number of questions students had about the assignment.

Students look for meaningful connections to "A Hike in New York City"

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Math Students Use Moodle Over The Summer

The 2012-2013 school year is underway and Bulldog "Bytes" will likely have many Technology posts throughout the year. I wanted to begin this school years posts by highlighting summer use of technology by Math students at Hernandez Middle School. Over the summer about 100 students used moodle to improve their Math skills so they could begin Algebra this fall. The program was very successful as nearly 100% of students who participated in the summer Math program improved their skills and are enrolled in Algebra. Students used Moodle to learn math skills and then test their understanding of the math concepts. Students worked from home and attended tutoring with Math Dept. chair, Michael Ota on several Mondays  during the summer at Hernandez Middle School. Moodle allowed students to go back and learn the skills they had trouble with until they mastered them. Students received instant feedback on what math skill they were having trouble with and could focus on improving the skill. Congratulations to all students who used their summer to improve their math skills. Congratulations to Mr. Ota for using Technology to give students instant feedback and allowing them to learn at their own pace.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Parent Involvement Night Highlights Math Technology

Hernandez Parent Night in April focused on the Math STAAR state assessment and Math teachers at Hernandez Middle School showcased the technology used to teach math concepts to students and prepare them for the new STAAR test. After a brief presentation by Math Teacher, Michael Ota and Math Department Chair, Kristin Harper about the new STAAR test, parents were given the opportunity to visit with math teachers in 6th, 7th and 8th grade. Jennifer Gregorcyk and Laura Terry, 6th Grade Math Teachers used the SMART Board along with math manipulatives to show the interactive lessons used in 6th grade. Merrill Davis, Ashley Cross and Kristin Harper, 7th Grade math teachers showed parents how moodle is used to help students master math objectives and keep parents up to date on their students progress. Mary Del Rosario and Logan Wood used Turning Point Response Devices to quiz parents and students on 8th Grade Math concepts in "Are you Smarter Than an 8th Grader." Math teachers at Hernandez Middle School use a variety of Technology devices to teach Math to students. Parent Involvement Nights at Hernandez Middle School are a collaboration between Hernandez Staff, ASPIRE, Title I and Hernandez students and families.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Technology Helps Student Prepare for STAAR Writing

Hernandez 7th Graders are busy preparing for the STAAR writing exam using an online resource, Writing Coach by Pearson. Writing Coach is an online writing curriculum that gives students personalized, detailed feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their writing. Writing Coach provides targeted writing feedback in an online format that works for the digital natives at Hernandez Middle school. 7th Grade Language Arts teachers Mrs. Vastano and Mrs. Smith-Williams are able to assign lessons for students to complete. Lessons are targeted to help students with their weaknesses so they can work to improve the skills they need to write. Students enjoy using the netbooks to write and are more at ease using computers to learn how to write. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Digital Learning Day at Hernandez Middle School

Students in Mr. Gembicki's class observe Digital Learning Day

Students learn about blogs

Digital Learning Day was February 1st and 8th graders at Hernandez Middle School took time to learn about blogs and being good digital citizens. Students were asked to read Student Opinion blogs on the New York Times education blog and the Tween Tribune blog. Students participated in classroom discussion about the blog articles they read and commented on the blogs. Students learned what makes a good comment on a blog and how being a good Digital Citizen contributes to the dialogue. Some students had never read or posted on a blog but others are very familiar with blogs. An 8th Grader in Mr. Gembicki's class wrote "The last time I posted on a blog was a few weeks ago when I commented on an article about the race for the Republican Nomination. It added to the dialogue with multiple readers."

Monday, January 23, 2012

Moodle at Hernandez gets Mention on Moodle News

Back on January 18, 2011, I posted how 7th and 8th grade teachers were using moodle in the classroom at Hernandez Middle School. The post was picked up by Moodle News and Hernandez Middle School was mentioned in a Moodle News post about schools embracing moodle. Hernandez Middle School was listed as one of the schools using moodle and the blog linked to the posts on the schools Getting IT Right Blog and the District Getting IT Right Blog. Other mentions were The University of Minnesota and Clark College. The title of the post - "Gone Moodle: Bulldogs, Gophers and Penguins (oh my!). Follow the links to see all posts. Great job, Hernandez Teachers.