Monday, January 12, 2015

Five New Projects for 2015!

Happy 2015 Everyone!
Hope that your year is off to a great start! 
We are having a great start here!
Our family took a nice, long break from homeschooling, as well as our gifted program. I also took a break from blogging over the holidays and am glad that I did, as we all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year with our family & friends.

Did you select a word for yourself as a way to frame 2015? 

My word for this new year is Embrace:
Embrace Diversity - Embrace Technology 
Embrace Collaboration - Embrace Recreation
Embrace History  -  Embrace Creativity
Embrace Metacognition  -  Embrace Intuition
Embrace Moving Forward  - Embrace Standing Still*
 (*at least long enough to take in a deep breath and to enjoy the day)
Embrace Family & Friends
(who help to make our day)
Embrace Others in the Community
(who need a hug and maybe a lil' help along the way)
Embrace Peace, Love, &  Joy in our day-to-day 
Today and every day 

Now, that January is in full swing, want to share our Top Five List of New Projects for 2015.
 (If you read through our Top Five List and something sounds interesting
to you and that you would like to collaborate with us, we would love to hear from you! We are on Twitter as @f5th. That is one of the best ways to reach us.)

1. Skype Projects including #MysterySkype (via @SkypeClassroom @Skype )
We did our first Mystery Skype with Mrs. Glawe's class from South Carolina.
 It was a fun time to get to learn about them and to play Mystery Skype.
We are getting excited to work with other teachers and students, including:
Mr. Shalon's Class
Mr. Williams' Class
Ms. Siegel's Class
Mrs. Hokaj's Class
Ms. Case's Class
Hopefully Mr. Emerich's Class
Hopefully Ms. McConnell's Class
Hopefully Coach Pond's Class
Hopefully Ms. Kara's Students at Anderson's Artists
Hopefully, Ms. Honey's homeschool family
Hopefully, other homeschool families and other schools too...
 2. Awesome Artists as Collaborators  - This is based on the Picasso / Dali  / Dali / Picasso Exhibit that is currently on display at The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. Uncle Brian, Big Bro, Little Bro, and I went to check out this exhibit and it was fantastic! We plan to collaborate with some schools and homeschools doing various art and S.T.E.A.M. projects that tie in with this exhibit.

We also had the privilege of learning how to create fused glass jewelry from Uncle Brian. As part of our Christmas present to Uncle Brian, we went out to Art Monkey and tried out their studio. We had a great time making fused glass works of art. We plan to go back to Art Monkey not only with Uncle Brain during February for another fun-filled day of creating, but also, with our Sunrise Learning Lab™ Students.

 3. Ski  / Snowboard Fun! 
Our boys have never had the opportunity to try out skiing or snowboarding, so we are planning on fitting in a family ski and snowboard trip with them this winter.
While playing in the snow might not sound educational to some, it will be for us! We plan to do a variety of snow based and cold weather based science experiments, as this is not something that we normally ever get to experience here in Florida.
We plan to have Big Bro and Little Bro try downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, tubing, and building a snowman out in Park City, Utah. Maybe even a snowball fight or two as well! We are so blessed to have gotten to connect with #SkiMoms through social media. They have been a wealth of much so that I added a Ski Family Fun Pinterest board to my boards.
While we are taking in the snow, we also will be taking in the Sundance Film Festival, so we hope to have some hands on learning related to film-making and social media related to the film industry. 
4. Additional Robotics Offerings
LEGO Education
Adding to our STEM experiences for this semester, we will be expanding our LEGO Education offerings, including both LEGO EV3 Mindstorms and LEGO EV3 Space Challenge.
We are following a variety of NASA people on social media and hope to interact with them.
We are expanding what we do with respect to LEGO Education by using Lego StoryStarter in conjunction with Skype.

We continue to love all things LEGO and are excited to get to work with our new friends from Mr. Williams' class on this. Mr. Williams bought some neat LEGO sets for his students so in addition to doing LEGO Robotics, we plan to share photos and talk about other LEGO builds that we create. Big Bro is shown here with his Ghostbusters Set that he received as a Christmas present.
Sphero Robotics by GoSphero 
We also are doing Sphero Robotics by GoSphero this semester! Yay!
Big Bro got a Sphero and some accessories. After purchasing it, we have been able to connect with other schools that utilize Sphero as part of STEM. We plan to collaborate with others on this as well.
5. Diversity Projects including:
#DiversityChat & Online Book Club:
Our first book discussion will be on African-American Males in Prek-12 Schools: Informing Research, Policy, and Practices) by Dr. James L. Moore III and Dr. Chance W. Lewis.
Educators from every school environment could learn so much by reading this well organized, insightful, and interesting book. It is one of my favorite books related to education in recent years, as it sheds light on so many things and gives me so much to reflect upon as I work with students.
We will be exploring Native-American, Asian-American, and Latino books that are meant to inspire and inform educators after we explore our first book selection. I plan to make up a schedule and to have specific Pinterest boards, but for now, here is the link my board entitled Diversity.
Multicultural Children's Book Day:
For Multicultural Children's Picture Book Day on January 27th, we are thrilled to get to participate! We have are collaborating with others, including the two organizers, Jump into a Book and Pragmatic Mom. We have been sent a review copy of Double Dutch Dolls Series - Double Dare by Kelie Charles. For this special day, we will be sharing our experiences with this book, along with some neat learning extension activities that tie in with it. We also plan to collaborate on projects that tie in with Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.
Trying to learn more about others is what we strive to do at Sunrise Learning Lab™, as we hope that our sons and our students grow in having a better understanding of the world and its people.
Disney Student Seminars: Khalil Kinsey of the Kinsey Collection:
Finally, related to diversity and in honor of African-American History Month, we are super excited about being involved in an upcoming special Disney Youth event:
 Disney Student Seminars will proudly present Khalil Kinsey of The Kinsey Collection for a special presentation honoring African American History Month. In this program, students will learn about the contributions of African-Americans to American History and be inspired to appreciate their own heritage and our country’s past! 
(Source: #DisneyYouth)
So what is Your Top Five for 2015?
Would love to hear what you are excited about for the new year!

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We are happy to announce our gifted pilot program starting Fall of 2014!

We are happy to announce our gifted pilot program starting Fall of 2014!
***This program is for residents of Florida only...

More Gifted Program Details!

More Gifted Program Details!
Sunrise Learning Lab™ and its Gifted Pilot Program belong to Colleen Murray Bowers. © 2014 Colleen Murray Bowers.

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