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February 2017 Tech/PBL Teacher

February 2017 Tech/PBL Teachers


     Leah Velasquez and Valerie Rodriguez, 3rd grade teachers at Ramirez Burks Elementary, have been chosen as the Tech/PBL Teachers for the month of February.

     Mrs. Velasquez and Ms. Rodriguez recently had their students complete a unit titled, “Wax Museum.”  In this unit, students had to identify the difference between biographies and autobiographies. Students also had to determine the author’s point of view, be it first or thid person. The wax museum was a perfect vehicle for the students to truly gasp, implement, and apply this knowledge. 

     Students began the unit by reading the biography, Helen Keller, by Margaret Davidson. They delved into 3rd person point of view, and what a biography is. Once students finished the novel, they chose a historical figure, researched that person, and focused on writing in the 1st person point of view—writing an autobiography on the person they chose. 

     Following their autobiography, the students wrote a short speech on what they felt were the most important aspects of that person’s life. They also created an iMovie reciting their speech, using pictures to depict “their” life, and students became their wax figure in full costume. 


     Mrs. Rachel Ayers, algebra and STEM teacher at Frank Newman Middle School, recently became a Raspberry Pi certified educator. 

     Mrs. Ayers first learned about the Pi’s while attending a robotics training in San Antonio. The Pi’s are micro computers that run on open-source software. They are designed for students to learn physical computing and coding and has been instrumental in getting children across the globe access to digital making. 

     When Mrs. Ayers learned about a Picademy for educators in Austin, TX, she decided to apply. There were over 800 applicatns and only 40 were admitted. Mrs. Ayers was one of the forty.

     Mrs. Ayers was able to purchase some Pi’s and has already had her students start on programming. She currently has three groups of students who are using Python script to make unique programs in Minecraft. She also has one student who is using Scratch to make a unique game using probability standards he is learning in his 7th grade math class. Mrs. Ayers is excited to embark on this digital learning experience with her students. 

     For more information on Raspberry Pi please go to: