Winter & Spring 2022

Class Summaries

Class summaries are designed to give parents a glimpse into their child's Explorations classroom. We invite you to take a moment to read about the classes your child(ren) are enjoying and perhaps take a peek into classes you are considering for future enrollment.

Summaries are organized by interest and then alphabetically. Please note that summaries are provided by the teacher of the class, and the content will vary. Should you have any questions, please direct them to extend@parish.org. Many of these classes and others like them are offered during Parish Summer. Click the link below for more information.

Browse by Interest

Aspiring Artists

Klimt Tree of Life
The first part of this semester is learning what iridescent paints do to other hues. Starting on a black substrate we combined gold, bronze and burnt Sienna to create beautiful hues for our tree. Then came the details with patterns of many colors. The final pieces were beautiful.

Native American Horses
Continuing our study of iridescent paints and patterns, we created the most beautiful folk-art style horses with acrylic paint

Encanto Casita
We can’t seem to stop talking about Bruno! First, we learned to draw using the grid system. It was a bit complicated and tedious, but we got it! After drawing the magical Casa Madrigal on our canvas, we learned how to color block starting with the background first, then the house and all the details last. We had fun during this class while listening to the Encanto soundtrack album.

Hillcrest Choir

Hillcrest Choir class happily welcomed many new members, growing from 24 members in the Fall to a full 38! Our returning members worked hard to help our new singers feel comfortable with many singing games which included “A-Rig-A-Jig-Jig”, “Ida Red”, “Tideo”, “Circle ‘Round the Zero”, and “I’s the B’y”. A sense of community was built while the class explored different concepts. Choir members tried solo singing and improvisation with the song “Down by the Bay”. Many students worked hard to create interesting and entertaining rhymes to include in the song and bravely volunteered to sing them as a solo for their classmates.

Starting in February, the choir began expanding their repertoire by preparing for their Spring performances. They have been hard at work memorizing “A Family Song” to sing for their Grandfriends in Chapel on April 29. They are also preparing for their end-of-the-year Spring Concert with the 3rd and 4th Grade Midway Choir. They expanded their knowledge of the Canadian folk to “I’s the B’y”, which is incorporated in their choral selection “A-Fishin’ We Will Go”. Additionally, they are exploring a minor key signature and changing meter with “Seashell, Tell Me Your Tale”. When we return from Spring break they will add the song “Sail On, Little Boat”, which is based on a Chinese folk tune, to their ever expanding collection.

Leadership & Music

Our class has been busy learning about the different elements that are combined to create a piece of music including melodies, rhythms and cords.  We have practiced ear training by playing and listening to cords on the guitar. Our hands have been busy playing percussion instruments and solfege singing with hand symbols.  We are currently learning the hand signs from Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do as a strategy to compose short melodies which we then sing together as a group!

Lastly, we have introduced songs from The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Johann Sebastian Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven.  We can wait to see parents for our performance on May 17 at 3:30 pm The performance will feature rhythms in music, chords, Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do, and songs the children have learned by The Beatles, Mozart, Elvis Presley and Beethoven

Lights, Camera, Action: From Disney to Broadway

We been learning about all the different aspects of being on stage. We start each class by singing warmups at the piano to practice matching pitch and keeping a steady rhythm. We have focused this semester on learning a medley of songs from The Sound of Music. Our medley includes, “The Sound of Music,” “My Favorite Things,” “The Lonely Goatherd,” and “Do, a Deer.” In addition to learning notes and rhythms, we have practiced following along in our sheet music. Even though many students are still learning to read, this was a great way to introduce them to reading music and help with their literacy.

A big focus of our class is to understand that as performers our entire bodies are our instruments. We learned that drinking lots of water and singing without forcing the tone can help protect our voices. Stretching and warming up our bodies has been just as important as warming up our voices. A great way to warm up our bodies is to practice our stage directions. We learned about upstage, downstage, stage left, stage right and practiced moving into these positions when directed. Once we mastered stage directions, we added movements and choreography to our Sound of Music medley. We’ve had a wonderful time working together as a group and having fun with music!

  • May 18 at 3:30 pm. Performance will feature A Sound of Music Medley highlighting a mix of songs from the Sound of Music and Disney.

Midway Choir

Midway Choir members are busy preparing for the Pride of Texas Choral Festival on April 19 at the Pinstack in Plano! They learned a fabulous song from the Torres Strait Islands (off the northern coast of Australia) and are preparing to learn the movement that traditionally accompanies the song. We’re also polishing a medley of four songs by American songwriter, Stephen Foster. Soon we’ll begin working on new material for Grandfriends’ Day in April and our final concert in May with the Hillcrest Choir! Our time together is hard work with a healthy dose of fun and fellowship.

Music Explorers

Our class has been busy clapping different rhythms, learning about the solfege system of organizing melodies in music, developing listening and interaction in music.

  1. Different composers the students have listened to and become familiar with are Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Elvis Presley and Queen.
  2. The students have also done drawing projects using portraits of the composers we have covered (this has been one of their favorite things!)
  3. The students also got a chance to play the guitar along with the instructor (also one of their favorite things!)

In the coming weeks, students will begin to learn how to play various hand percussion instruments. Overall, the class has been an environment where students can have fun learning about music from a pure, wholesome and pressure free perspective. The goal is to continue to cultivate their interest in music to a higher level.

Paint the Masters

Raccoons & Pandas
Who knew these young students could draw so beautifully! We studied two different black and white animals, then created our own with charcoal pencils and soft chalk pastels.

Complementary Color Donuts
To create our colored donuts, we worked on a giant cardboard cutout as our substrate. We used acrylic paint with only primary colors and white to make a shade of brown for the donut color. We had a blast experimenting with these colors to make brown! Then, we selected our icing color which had to be painted using different tints. For the final touches we added sprinkles and dripped the loopy icing. Messy, but oh so satisfying!

Degas Ballerinas
All the children now know the story of the grumpy Impressionist painter. We looked at our reference photographs and studied the poses, floors and windows. This project was produced with permanent markers and liquid watercolors. A lot of color theory was discussed, and the end results were beautiful.

Cezanne Mt Saint Victorie – Paint the Masters, Tuesdays, K & Primer Only
We talked about Degas’ friend, Paul Cezanne who painted with Degas sometimes. Looking at our reference materials we discussed the color palette of Cezanne’s favorite mountain that was outside his studio window in Southern France. Using permanent markers and liquid watercolors we drew our own mountain with villas, trees and people.

Valentine Clay Hearts
This project was a winner. We used air-dry clay and learned to make worms. Then, the worms were formed into beautiful hearts. We had to work very hard to make all the corners adhere to each other or our hearts would fall apart. The next week we used acrylic paint with a limited palette of red, blue, fluorescent pink and white to paint our sculptures. Ask them to make the greatest purple in all the land. The finishing touch was a gold coating known as patina.

Play With Clay

Students created coil bowl containers and glazed them after they dried and were fired in the kiln. They also learned how to construct and glaze vases with texture by rolling out slabs. Students also created clay masks, focusing on correct placement of facial features and adding personalized details. Students who are enrolled in session II have painted a third “bonus” clay piece.

In the first class of session II, students created a bird’s nest using a clay extruder. They formed a tiny bird and correctly attached eggs in the nest by practicing the score and slip method. The pieces are drying and will be fired in the kiln for future glazing and painting.

To come, students will create multiple, authentic, meaningful personalized symbols. The clay pieces will dry, be fired in the kiln, glazed and then added to a wooden picture frame. On the last day of class, they which they will paint their clay piece.

Basketball Skills – Hillcrest

Basketball skills introduced students to dribbling, shooting and passing, but most importantly we worked on confidence boosting, team building, and the love of the game. The class allocates time to focus on specific skills and follows up with drills incorporating the basic skills.

Cheer & Tumbling Beginner

This class is the intro to Cheer & Tumbling, we focus fully on motions, arm placement and voice projection to make sure our cheers are loud and clear for everyone to hear. During the Tumbling portion we started learning a basic thigh stand, practicing forward rolls, straddle rolls, cartwheels and backward rolls. Students are also learning a basic routine with a transition, which is a more complex skill to master.

Cheer & Tumbling Intermediate

So far, students have been busy learning the first half of a routine and adding a stunt called the double half split level stunt. They’re also learning to transition from one routine to another. Tumbling skills will be applied to the routine for visual effects, they will either do a forward roll at the same time or a cartwheel at the same time. Students like to challenge their tumbling, so we do punch front flips off the mini trampoline and work on round off back handsprings for some and back walkovers for others.

Golf Skills – Hillcrest

Golf Skills students practiced the proper mechanics of the swing, long game and short game. They have learned golf etiquette, safety, course management, and how to have fun golfing while meeting new friends. Students have also been introduced to the proper golf grip and grasp, and how to chip, pitch and putt. We played a lot of fun games to incorporate these skills!

Martial Arts

The students have been working very hard in class each week. Their behavior, dedication and great leadership is paying off. The advanced students not only have accepted the challenge of learning new and more advance techniques, they have also demonstrated the ability to help train and lead the new students this semester.

As for our new martial artists, it has been a fun and exciting time. Everyone has exceeded our expectations and the challenges and goals have been met. Please note for our Advanced Students listed below, you will find new drills and techniques added to their training.

Students will be testing either for their first belt which is Yellow Belt in Tae Kwon Do, or for a more advance rank of either 1st or 2nd Orange Stripe. Please note, after 2nd Orange Stripe the next rank is Orange Belt. Please note, all tests will take place at our school in Richardson.

Listed below, please find additional information on the class agenda and what each student has been training in class each week plus information on making up missed classes.

Weekly Class Agenda / Outline: Listed below, please find a few drills and requirements that each student has completed each week. It is very important to note, Self Defense and Safety training is our top priority with each student.

  • Self Defense and Safety Awareness Drills
    • Basic and Advanced Requirements
  • Intermediate and Advanced Balance and Blocking Drills
    • Several of these drills include advance belt requirements
  • Katas (This is New) – Advanced Belt Requirements
  • Bag Work – Various Intermediate and Advance Kicking and Punching Drills
  • Board Breaks
  • Martial Arts Games & Drills to Increase their Skills & Training Level.
    • These games have been increased in age and belt level

Make Up – Missed Classes:

  • North Dallas Martial Arts offers each student and family member the opportunity to visit our school in Richardson for extra training and missed class sessions. Listed below, please find directions to our location and class times that fit your child’s needs.

Directions to North Dallas Martial Arts: 420 North Coit Rd., Suite 2020, Richardson, TX 75080 (Phone #: 817- 404-7315)

  • Heading East on Arapaho Road until you reach Coit Road. Turn Right or South onto Coit Road. Before the next Red Signal Light (Round Rock Road), we’re located on the Left behind the U.S. Post Office and Subway Restaurant. There is a Left Turn Lane for the Post Office. We have a YELLOW KARATE Sign.

Tae Kwon Do Class Times:

  • Monday, Wednesday. Thursday: 4:45 p.m. or 6:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9:30 a.m.

Please note, there are no reservations for classes. Please select a day and bring your child. We have a very large school and work out area.

Should you have any questions, please reach out to head instructor, David Abadie.

PARISHkicks Soccer Skills – Hillcrest

Students in this skills session spent time working on the fundamentals of ball control. We focused on moving, turning and stopping the ball. We also played a variety of games to reinforce the skills they are learning and worked on the concept of how to strike the ball.

PARISHkicks Soccer Skills -Midway

Students in this skills session spent time working on advanced control and movement. The focus of the class is to strengthen their fundamental ball control while including additional advanced skills such as multiple methods of turning with the ball, passing while moving and technical shooting. Students demonstrated improved ability to control aerial passes effectively and, in their ability, to strike the ball.

Tennis

Throughout these past nine weeks, students have worked on new skills such as volleying the ball back and forth with partners, switching between forehand and backhand, and learning about the basics of the game. Following is a brief layout of a week with Kidokinetics:

  • Stretching
  • Warm up games (one per week)
    • Animal Game
    • Sliders (bean bags slid across ground to tag other team) practice movement across net and side to side movement
    • Pop-up tag
    • Sharks and Minnows
  • Warm up tennis drills
    • Fly Swatter (Trap the ball on the wall to practice serving)
    • Serving toss accuracy
    • Walk the dog (practice forehand and backhand switch)
    • Volley with wall self-practice
    • The frying pan (hand-eye coordination and balance)
  • Basics of the game and real game practice
    • Two-on-two under net rolling practice (practice control of ball)
    • Toss and catch (practice sending and receiving without rackets)
    • Serve over net to partner (Continue to practice hitting back and forth)
    • One-on-one volley across net (continue even when ball goes under net or on ground)
    • Forehand and backhand switch hitting
  • Terms discussed with students
    • Forehand, backhand, volley, doubles, serve, receiver, singles, tennis court

Students have continued to make significant improvements as we continue with our lessons! While discovering and discussing the basics of the game, our students are beginning to grasp an understanding of the situational aspects of the game. We look forward to continuing our practice of the basics while also introducing real game play in our lessons.

Tumbling Skills

In this class, students are learning skills performed using the following apparatuses:

  • BARS: They’re practicing cast swing, pull-over Penny drop, and some are doing upside down pike hang or pencil hang.
  • VAULT: They’re working on , straddle, side vault and front handspring off the vault. Everyone has been eager to try the vault.
  • BEAM: They are going to work on the balance beam in two weeks and they are looking forward to it!
  • FLOOR: They’re doing the V-seat routine and some students are also working on round off backhand spring back walkovers.

Ballet II/III

The dancers continue to learn new steps, improve quality of movement and are beginning to learn choreography and technique. We look forward to performing for you on May 14 at 10:00am in Eller Hall for the 10th Annual Dance Performance. Costumes have been ordered and will be arrive the week before the performance.

Ballet, Tap & Tumble

The class is more familiar with the positions of the feet and arms: first, second, third, fourth, and fifth. They continue to work at the barre by demonstrating plié, tendu, dégage, passe, port de bras,échappe and saute passe. The Center portion of the class has focused on the consistency and proper execution of saute, leap, arabesque, chaine turns and curtsey. Across the floor has included ballet walks, chasse and grand jete. During the Tap portion of the class, we continue to refine the basic steps and begin to add a level of difficulty in terms of speed. Dancers continue to work on dig, brush, shuffle ball change, shuffle ball change step, flap ball heel step and toe heel tap. Students have improved different tumbling exercises such as log rolls, lunges, donkey kicks, bridge up, forward rolls, backward roll, and cartwheels across the mat. Students were also excited to show what they have learned during Parent Observation Day. Costumes have been ordered and will arrive the week before the performance. We look forward to performing for you on May 14 at 10 a.m. in Eller Hall.

Dance Technique II/III

This class continues to grow in their quality of movement and in their work on the fundamentals of various techniques. The dancers have chosen the song they will perform to for the spring performance in May. The style is contemporary modern with a lyrical twist. This is a challenging piece, but they are enjoying the challenge of enhancing the quality of movement and expression of movement. Costumes have been ordered and will be arrive the week before the performance. We look forward to performing for you on May 14 at 10:00am in Eller Hall.

Dance Through the Decades

As the dancers are progressing in the Dance through the Decades class, they have been working on dances from the 1920’s to present day. We continue to add dance technique along with elements of swing, moonwalk, jazz and tap variations. The dancers have also been introduced to creative hand movements, popping and locking, hip hop, vogue and disco. Students were also excited to show what they have learned during Parent Observation Day. Costumes have been ordered and will arrive the week before the performance. We look forward to performing for you on May 14 at 10 a.m. in Eller Hall.

Contemporary Modern

Dancers are working on choreography and the purpose of the piece. They are continuing to push the limits with both quality of movement and creative process of the concept. Costumes have been ordered and will arrive the week before the performance. We look forward to performing for you on May 14 at 10:00am in Eller Hall.

Ballet I

The dancers have continued the study of the ballet barre techniques: alignment, feet position and arm placement. While discussing and adding quality of movement as a goal to achieve; we continue to progress during the across the floor section of the class that includes saute, échappe, pencil turns, pirouette turn, run arabesque, chasse, chain turn, grand battement, tombe pas de bourre, glissade and assemble. Students were also excited to show what they have learned during Parent Observation Day. Costumes have been ordered and will arrive the week before the performance. We look forward to performing for you on May 14 at 10 a.m. in Eller Hall.

Hip Hop

In Hip-Hop, dancers have improved on six-step, coffee grinder, toe touch, tuck jump, jazz square, touch out/in bounces, 3 step turn, pivots and grapevine. They are learning various and combinations and continue to work on freestyle movements. Students were also excited to show what they have learned during Parent Observation Day. Costumes have been ordered and will arrive the week before the performance. We look forward to performing for you on May 14 at 10 a.m. in Eller Hall.

Foundations of Mandarin Chinese

Sentences and Expressions:

  1. I am 我是 (name).
  2. I am years 我            岁.
  3. I love you mom (dad, .) 我爱你爸爸,妈妈!

Songs:

  1. The Hello Song 你好歌
  2. Happy New Year! 新年好!
  3. 1234567, Where Are My Friends? 一二三四五六七,我的朋友在哪里?

Projects, Crafts & Work which the kids have taken home and will be taking home:

  1. Craft Dragon for Chinese New Year
  2. Craft Rose for Valentine’s Day
  3. Writing and Drawing Handbook

Main curriculum for the Winter period – Students learned how to express who they are, how old they are, how to say “ I love (someone), counting numbers to 10 or more and asking where something is. In addition, we learned about important holidays (New Year’s & Valentine’s Day), expressions and customs relating to these holidays. This has been a comprehensive experience targeting listening, speaking, writing and reading Chinese using multi-medium such as singing, drawing, videos and games. We practiced Chinese calligraphy, listened to stories, sang songs and did beautiful crafts.  It is through these activities that your children learned basic greetings, how to do a simple self-introduction and got a good taste of Chinese customs involving the holidays during the Spring term.

Each one of your children should take home a booklet of their Chinese learning curriculum journal that they contributed to during each class. Please reach out to me if you have any questions.  Your little ones and I did our best in establishing fundamental skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing Mandarin Chinese! I wish you all a continued interest and growth in my Mandarin Chinese program at Parish!

Hola Amigos

While the students enjoy a snack and listen to bilingual music, we encourage them to draw or color a picture regarding our theme of the day. Our students are very creative and competitive. We use their competitive nature to help increase their knowledge and vocabulary through games and other activities. As competitive as the students are, it is common for them to help each other during the games and activities. We also focus on our class song called Hola, Amigo! by Dr. Jean. We do sing this song during every class, sometimes the students hum or sing the lyrics outside of class along with the dance moves.

Crochet Fun

Crochet class was so much fun, and different levels were learned in our class. All students mastered the basic chain stitch. Some students went on to master the addition of rows and created final projects, while a few were able to begin learning the wonders of the magic circle. Ending with a finished project is nice, but what makes crochet fun is getting together with your friends and having a great time!

Chess: The Knight School

Coach Devin & Coach Jessica

The Knight School has fun movies, exciting driving music that accompanies our challenging chess puzzlers for candy prizes, a colorful silicone wristband system in which each color connotes mastery of a different chess tactic, and daily chess tournaments where we play for each other’s Mardi Gras beads! In this party atmosphere, students get better each week without even noticing.

Students have learned the following lessons: Identification, Checkmate, Scholarsmate, Forking, Developing, Pin and Exploit, and the X-Ray. Each child is supposed to play three or more games of chess before class meets the following week. Playing chess at home reinforces everything that we have taught in class. Students have learned how to set up their chess sets by putting the white pieces next to the numbers 1 and 2 listed on the chess board, and by putting the black pieces next to the numbers 7 and 8 listed on the chess board. They have also started using chess clocks during their chess games, which helps them to think fast and to remember whose turn it is. A few terms and phrases that our students have learned are checkmate, check, illegal move, legal move, grandmaster, flag, removing the defender, castling, the Golden Rule, and family forks.

Every 3rd and 4th Saturday, The Knight School sponsors a virtual chess tournament that allows, currently enrolled, TKS students from across the United States to play each other and practice what they have learned in class. The Top 3 students at the end of each tournament get a yellow TKS shirt mailed to their house. Lastly, your child can join our Varsity chess team if they are ready to take their chess skills to the next level and compete. Please email Coach Burnes at delaurence@theknightschool.com for more information.

The Business of Fashion

Our fashionistas have been putting their sheer creativity to the test! Over the last few weeks, we have designed vibrant sneakers and matching blouses and trousers among a variety of other items. Overall, croquis drawing has been one of our favorite activities over the course of the session. We’ve also taken time to observe trending fashion staples and learn about careers in fashion! It has been a pleasure working with your children.

3i Challenge

In this course, students rise to the challenge and look at the world around them and find a new way to make it better, quicker, safer and more accessible to the population. It’s been a wild ride being the innovators of the future! We started with the clothes we wear. Our clothes are made for the Earth’s weather temperatures. But what happens when we travel to other planets? Will the planet be too cold for the clothes we wear now? What if the planet is completely underwater? How can we make clothing that withstands extreme weather so it’s less restrictive on our movement? Students considered these questions — and more — and started to build their own clothing prototypes to plan the future of functional fashion.

Next, we looked at the world of entertainment and roller coasters. They can be a lot of fun, pushing us to extremes and giving us goosebumps, but how can we make these coasters go even further? We’ve explored rides inside of small buildings, rides that tell stories, rides that go lightning fast, and more. Students brought some new thrills to the world of amusement parks by building their own functional, safe roller coaster to show the world.

In the next class, we focused on invention and the world of electronics. We learned how we can use a breadboard to make our own circuits and create anything we can dream of. Motors, lights, buzzers and buttons all came together in our own inventions that we added electricity to! Finally, to make the world more accessible for everyone, we took our skills to public transport. We took a city with a dense population and built a train system. Students built lines to connect cities, planned times and schedules, and even designed all the train stops and attractions along the way. I’m excited to see how students will change the world as the course continues!

Back to Space

Our journey across the stars started with learning about nebulas, also known as the nursery for new stars. We learned about gasses and matter, as well as how much energy it takes for a star to live through its lifecycle. We used our creative skills to make our own nebula in a jar with our choice of swirling gasses and colors. Afterwards, we looked at constellations, but more specifically how stars appear to be grouped together in the sky. Like countless people before us, we looked at constellations with wonder. We talked about the distances of stars and how they appear brighter, or dimmer based on size and type. Then, we used our artistic skills to make our own unique constellation.

After a few classes we changed gears to learn about our own solar system. We talked about the journey to take humans all the way to Mars. We tested out a rocket, building our own paper stomp rockets to test and see how far it could take us. We adjusted the fins and nose of our rockets to change our flight to be as safe and quick as possible. Once we land on the surface of Mars, we need a place to live. Students used their creative skills to build a shelter that can stand up on its own but is also prepared for the harsh winds and sandstorms of the red planet. Students had to consider space and layout to fit all the needs of a Martian shelter. So far, it has been a great mix of imagination and science!

Boost Battle Bots

During the first class we created groups and discussed different build variants that students could use as the basis of their robots. Going over pros and cons for each one and deciding as a group which version to build. During the first couple of classes, students have been working together and building their leadership skills. When it’s their turn to build parts of their bot they show leadership, while their teammates communicate and assist with collecting the pieces for the next step. Every halfway point in the class students swap roles and continue working on their robots. In class, we discuss that a robot’s size doesn’t entirely mean it’s flawless. It’s important to have a balance of armor and maneuverability for their finished bots in the battle.

Comic Creator

During the first few weeks, students brainstorm and each pitch a comic they’d like to create. Once everyone has given input, we discuss how we’ll be able to take everyone’s ideas and make it into an overall comic. Afterwards, roles are assigned, and the synopsis is written out to allow students to understand how the flow of the scenes are taken. Students are encouraged with parent permission, to bring props that’ll bring their character to life in the comic. When it is time to capture pictures, students alternate setting up and taking the picture. When all the pictures have been taken, students will begin to use the Comic Creator software to begin the creation of their comic project.

Early STEM Robotics Class

  • Introduction to VEX GO Robotics Building Parts 
    • Beams, Plates, Gears and Connectors
    • Using the parts build a community recycle robot
  • Super car building
    • Build a manual powered super-car
    • Learn the concept of driven and driving gears
    • Motorize the car and power it
  • Introduction to coding
    • Introduced algorithms and sequencing with a fun learning video
    • Students learned to build their own algorithm for simple tasks
    • Started block based coding and coded the VEX GO Mars mission
  • Demonstration
    • Kids will demo the Mars Mission project to parents

In spring session, the kids will build on sensors and make the robot fully autonomous.

Lil' Programmers with Scratch Jr.

The first class we went over the best ways to use both the keyboard and mouse. While some students do show that they’re well adept at using them, some do struggle with using both at the same time. So, we use the first day as a means of getting used to the software, where the coding blocks are located, and how to place the code into their projects. As of now, students have completed their first game which is a jumping obstacle course. The class has now moved onto their second project, an item collecting game, and they’ve started dabbling in the customization part of Scratch. This will allow them to make their games truly unique. At the end of the semester, students will be given all their completed games to take home.

Lil' Programmers with Scratch

Over the past few weeks, students have been making various mini games in Scratch that they’ll be able to take home on their last day of class. Coding has ranged from movement on a math basis of x and y values, rather than just moving left or right.

During the coding and testing process, students are asked why certain lines of code are needed for their games to function correctly. Students should know the importance of code that makes their player respawn, rather than having to move it all the time. They are also asked, how the addition of alterable values can give their game a nice challenging component such as scores and high scores. As of now, the class is at about 70% done with their second mini game and will be starting their third one in about two weeks.

STEAM Adventures

In STEAM Adventures we started to explore the world around us and make sense of all the things that work together to keep things running smoothly. We began by talking about shelter and asking ourselves, what do we need to have a safe shelter, what can we add to make it our dream home? Students built and put together their own dream homes, making sure to include all the elements of a good shelter.

Next, we got active while looking at shapes! We created dances to match our favorite shapes and colors. We mixed them up to form our own randomized dances. We even worked on our memory to make sure we know our shapes, colors and dance moves by heart! Then, we got hands-on when talking about animals. We explored legs, tails, teeth and more. We did some sculpting with playdough and made our own 3D animals to show off! Most recently, we learned how to get across tricky places with bridges. After learning how bridges can span physical obstacles (such as a body of water, valley, road, or rail) we worked on making our own bridges to cross gaps in the classroom.

Contact Parish Extend

Have questions about Parish Extend? Reach out to our team – we’d love to hear from you.