What are we doing in Coffeechug Cafe?

Update #1

So often in Coffeechug Cafe we test, experiment, teach, conduct activities, and more. Like most educators we forget to share all things we are working on. Sometimes they make it to the blog and social media if it takes off, but not all things are huge. This does not mean that they should not be shared. So I will be adding a bit of a series to the blog updating on things we are working on every few weeks.

One of the challenges of instructional coaching is showcasing how our time is being used and what sort of impact we have on education. I don’t believe in full length meetings with teachers questioning their every move unless they ask and volunteer for this type of support. Rather, what I am finding is that teachers want to get better and they do that through exploring new options of teaching and learning, sampling ideas with a small group, developing radical ideas with a student, and basically dabbing a toe in the water of a new frontier.

I thought it would be cool to share what has been happening in room F4 just in the few weeks. Obviously, I won’t all details as not all of them are exciting and noteworthy, but here is a quick rundown of the last two weeks.

  1. I bought a vinyl cutter with some grant money. We(as in Mr. Uhde) have been working through the software and Adobe Illustrator to figure out how to create good cuts. So far we have made some good ones and are using the cutter with a few students projects.
  2. Worked with a student for a National History Day Project where we prototyped a soldering project for these massive cardboard mushrooms for an Alice in Wonderland presentation. These will be added to this massive canvas triboard created by Mr. Uhde in his workroom(not shown). Just wait until you see the finished product. This girl has a vision!IMG_2727
  3. Sampling a LEGO Duck challenge with students to see how many we could come up with in 90 seconds to gain a baseline vs. adults for creative play.
  4. Hosting a Student Voice Roundtable Discussion as part of the national tour. This was mindblowing. We pulled all types of students to talk deeply about education and their learning. We worked with Student Voice to make this happen as part of their tour to gather 10,000 voices.
  5. We have brought back Mr. Robot swapping out the NXT with an EV3 and Raspberry Pi. Be ready for our new website. This is done by students before and after school.IMG_3422
  6. We hosted teachers from Western Dubuque showcasing PBL and how awesome our staff has been in this push for new levels of learning. Students came in and shared what they like and don’t like.IMG_3511
  7. Pulling out old trebuchets and catapults and testing new ideas for an 8th grade science project.IMG_3573
  8. Sample printing some ideas for National History Day projects.IMG_3574
  9. Troubleshooting a gear measurement for a 3D printed car for potential 6th grade science project on gears.IMG_3583
  10. To help with a project 6th grade project launch on “What is true survival?” We connected with Mark Wood and had an amazing day of learning.IMG_3584
  11. Sample vinyl cut project – Fallout 4 styleIMG_2661
  12. Creating vinyl art for a math project using Desmos App to challenge students to make cellphone case artwork using math.IMG_2697
  13. Our new vinyl cutter.IMG_2718
  14. Our next tool – the Othermill CNC machine. This is giving us some serious challenges of learning, but we see some great potential for projects.IMG_2720
  15. Prototyping and gathering materials for a potential knockout exhibition night if I can make something work involving these pieces
  16. This will require some serious coding, soldering, and experimentation before we are ready to have students put this idea together. Just wait!!!!WIN_20160211_14_04_14_Pro
  17. We played a role in the ScienceFest by creating a hands on exploration workshop with robotics.IMG_3545
  18. While working on our robot early in the morning we took time to Skype with students from Kakuma Refugee Camp in Africa.IMG_2761
  19. Make Writing with LEGO Instead of Writing Old School IMG_3471
  20. Making a piece for a BreakoutEDU PD session for teachersIMG_2764
  21. One of our many sample cuts with the OthermillIMG_2767

This is just a small sample of what has taken place in Coffeechug Cafe. As you can see we believe in hands on learning for both educators and students. You have to have a vision and the drive to learn. From there we as instructional coaches can be the support to make things happen. I honestly believe that we if we were to level the importance of people in education we as instructional coaches are a step below educators. We are a support system to help bring to life the ideas in the minds of educators and students to reality. Looking at this small glimpse of work we have done the last two weeks which do not include the meetings and conversations I can honestly say we have a good thing going right now that will have a huge payoff down the road.

I would love to hear your thoughts about these images above and look forward to sharing how things develop and new ideas in development over the next few weeks.

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