April 15, 2014

Talented & Gifted Showcase Highlights Real World Tech

Throughout the year, our TAG students work on various research projects. These projects range anywhere from researching future careers to possible pets they would like to own. Upon doing all the hard work and gathering their information, they are asked to create a final product. The students create a presentation using either Microsoft PowerPoint or Prezi, an online presentation tool. When working on these presentations, students are charged with the task of adding their researched information, inserting pictures and short videos. They also learn how to change fonts, colors, backgrounds and include transitions.  In addition to their presentation, they create to a second end product of their choosing. These second products sometimes include making short videos using Animoto, an online short movie maker. Students enjoy using these various programs as they allow creativity. As an added bonus, these programs require a certain degree of problem solving, as students have to figure out how to customize their projects. 

While the projects are presented in class to their peers, their hard work doesn't get near the attention and accolades they deserve. Recently, our Voigt TAG students were invited to share their hard work and projects at a district event. Ten of our 2nd-5th graders seized the opportunity to present one of their favorite projects from this year. They were able to share their projects with their families, as well as community members. Mrs. Stockton, the Voigt TAG teacher, couldn't be prouder of all the hard work these students put into their projects.

April 10, 2014

Digital Editing for Pen Pals

Third grade students in Mrs. Rapp's classroom have been working on pen pal letters utilizing the features in Google Docs that allow for digital review, editing, and sharing. Students began by writing their rough draft of their pen pal letter in their writing journal. From there they Rainbow Edit their letter, and then they log into their Google accounts to begin writing their final draft. While they're working, they will email and correspond back and forth with their teacher if they have questions. When they are ready to conference with their teacher about their writing, they use Google's share function which allows the teacher and student to interact with each other directly on the document and easily make corrections and/or additions. Upon completion, students are printing their letters, adding colorful illustrations, and sending them off.

Both classrooms are are planning a Google Hangout so the kiddos can meet each other and continue to share their learning. They are really excited for that! 

April 2, 2014

Robotics Showcase

Fourteen of our 4th and 5th graders joined our Robotics Club at the start of the year, only to soon realize that while robots are cool, they are hard work. They started out by building basic robots. From there, they had to learn how to program them. After all, they only do what you tell them to do. They learned how to use the touch sensor, the light sensor, the ultra sonic sensor and the sound sensor. Each of these sensors gather a form of data. Based on the information gathered, the robots perform a task based upon what the students programmed/told their robots to do. They soon learned how to string a series of commands together to have their robots perform multiple tasks. After a few months of hard work and learning how to program, they were up for the final challenge. Students were tasked with the goal of building a maze and programming their robot to complete the maze using a minimum of three sensors. Programming was by far the most challenging, as it required a lot of trial and error. We are excited to say that all robots made it to the finish line! Students invited the community to join them in celebrating their success! Mrs. Carrera and Mrs. Stockton, the Robotics Club Sponsors, are proud all of the students' hard work and not giving up when it became challenging! 

March 31, 2014

Life Cycle Illustration

Mrs. Hamlin and Mrs. Reed used a drawing program called KidPix to assess what their students had learned about life cycles in science. Students identified the various stages of the chicken life cycle, drew the illustration and labeled each stage appropriately. They were so proud of their creations and how much they had learned in science!

February 12, 2014

Book Trailers to Promote and Encourage Readers

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Students in Mrs. Stockton's class are using Animoto to create digital book trailers to promote and encourage students to read some of their favorites! The students enjoyed role playing, making audience recommendations, and editing their video footage using Web 2.0 tools. Each book trailer has a QR Code created for it which can be found on the bookshelf in the library where the book is located. Student, parents, and staff can use their smart device to scan the QR code or visit the library website to preview the trailer.

February 3, 2014

Voigt Named Regional Finalist in Video Contest

Voigt Elementary school was named as one of the finalists in the 2014 Celebrate Texas Public Schools (CTPS) 60-second Video Contest, sponsored by Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union and the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA). Voigt’s student created video featured students asking peers and teachers, “What makes Voigt the place to be?” and highlighted the successes of math and literacy family nights.

Eight Round Rock ISD schools submitted videos for the TSPRA competition. Ridgeview and Voigt have advanced to the state round where they are eligible to win $1,000. State winners will be announced at the 2014 TSPRA annual conference in February.  To learn more about CTPS go to celebratetps.org.

January 29, 2014

PowToon Promotion of Wonder

Round Rock ISD students, staff and community members have been reading and sharing "Wonder" throughout the year as part of the “One Book, One Community” initiative funded by the 2013 H-E-B Excellence in Education Large District Award proceeds. In preparation for the author, R.J. Palacio's, visit students were encouraged to create a video submission depicting how they Share Out the Wonder in their community. Voigt students used PowToon to create their campaign that focused on raising the awareness of the value of being kind to others. 

December 18, 2013

Celebrate Texas Public Schools Video Contest

A small group of students in Mrs. Stockton's class took on the challenge of creating and producing a video for the Celebrate Texas Public Schools Week video contest. They brainstormed all of the qualities they loved about their school and made a plan for how to capture those qualities on video. With lots of quality video footage, it was quite tricky to narrow it down to sixty seconds, but they got it done. Fingers crossed, we win! Great work to all of the kids highlighting why Voigt is the Place to Be!

December 5, 2013

Students to Participate in The Hour of Code

Students in fourth and fifth grade will be participating in The Hour of Code, as part of Computer Science Education Week, December 9th -13th. What is The Hour of Code? It's a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code" and show that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, an innovator. Computer science provides a foundation for virtually any career - everybody can benefit from learning the basics. Visit code.org to learn more and be sure to ask your child about their coding experience!

December 1, 2013

Join Our G+ Community

As part of our Google initiative, we continue to explore how we can use Google products to create impact in the classroom. Teachers have been introduced to Google+ which is a social networking site that we use to create online communities centered around education. Teachers have joined our campus G+ Community to share educational research and best practice. We also have a G+ Community called MegaByte Mondays where we share and comment on new technology tools. There are also several district level communities that teachers participate in, professional development being the most prominent, where they can access resources and materials from trainings, ask follow up questions, begin conversations, etc. Google+ Communities have allowed us to create wonderfully collaborative online environments where teachers can share with teachers, both on campus and from around the district.

November 25, 2013

Kinder, First, and Second Get iStation

We have expanded the Texas Success Initiative called iStation to our students in kindergarten, first, and second grade. Students in grades K-5 are now using this interactive reading program to bolster their reading skills. Istation Reading is a computer-based adaptive learning system that provides research based reading instruction. Teachers are now accessing the reports to make data driven decisions about instruction and intervention. 

November 19, 2013

The Students are Going Google

Word is spreading like wildfire! We have Google accounts?! They have Google accounts?! Yes! The newest batch of students to explore their Google accounts were fourth graders in Mrs. Scott's and Mrs. Vidal's classrooms. Fourth graders focus on writing to a great extent so after the learned how to log in, they began learning about their Google Drive and all of its functionalities. They were surprised at how easy it was to get started, that they no longer have to "save" their documents, and how easy it was to share their work with their teacher. We can't wait to see their writing pieces.

November 18, 2013

Google Forms

Mrs. Ondrey, first grade teacher loves Google! She has found a way to utilized Google Forms to help streamline several processes and make her more efficient as a teacher. Recently, she used a Google Form to communicate with parents regarding materials for a Thanksgiving Break project. She is also using the Forms for running records in her guided reading groups.

November 14, 2013

Google Apps Accounts for Students

A very exciting initiative this year involves Google Apps accounts for students in grades two through five! Wow, that means Gmail, Calendar, Drive, and various other apps for 7 - 10 year olds! Yes! Mrs. Rapp's third graders were so excited to log in to their Gmail accounts for the first time. Students are learning the "art" of logging in and navigating their new world. The excitement was contagious and they thoroughly enjoyed sending their test emails to their teacher!

November 12, 2013

1st Grade Skip Counting

First grade students in Mrs. Hamlin's class discovered how to create their very own digital 100s chart using Microsoft Excel as part of their daily math lesson. Once their chart was complete, they used it to practice skip counting, easily shown by using the formatting tools available in Excel. 

November 7, 2013

Discovery Education Roadshow

Discovery Education provides quality educational videos and information to our students 24/7. Mrs. Reed along with Mrs. Haney attended the highly acclaimed Discovery Roadshow to learn more about how teachers and students can further utilize DE in their classrooms. Two of the favorites were the Science Techbook and the BoardBuilder.

November 4, 2013

Your Teachers are Google Ninjas!

Several Voigt teachers attended the First Annual Round Rock ISD Google Ninja Academy on Saturday, November 1st. Mrs. Rapp, Mrs. Chen, and Mrs. Hester attended the all day event at Round Rock High School, exploring new and exciting uses for Google, honing their They came back excited and energized to begin using Google with their students.

October 21, 2013

First Grade Authors

First graders in Mrs. Smith's classroom are using their publishing skills to share what they've learned about
the purpose of maps, including how Christopher Columbus used them to sail the seas! Using MS Word, students used keyboarding skills, font formatting, and digital imagery to create their work. Way to go first grade!

September 17, 2013

Robotics Club Gearing Up

Voigt is ready to begin it's Robotics program again this year! Mrs. Carrera and Mrs. Stockton will be leading the way with a small group of kids who are interested in programming, problem solving, and robots! We will be using the Lego NXT Robotics kits, creating machines that can solve problems. Be sure to check back to see what we've accomplished.

September 2, 2013

iStation & Think Through Math

As part of the Texas Success Program, students in grades 3-5 are using interactive math and 
reading programs called iStation and Think Through Math. Istation Reading is a computer-based adaptive learning system that provides research based reading instruction.  Think Through Math is an adaptive online learning program that deepens students’ understanding of critical math concepts and problem-solving skills. The great thing about being an adaptive programs is that it assess individual students according to his or her skill level and it will automatically deliver appropriate curriculum tailored to each students' abilities. Teachers access the reports to make data driven decisions. Students and teachers have 24/7 access to these online programs.