Innovators - Ivonne Gonzalez
K-5 | Technology Skills | App & Robot
Ivonne Gonzalez is the Media Specialist at Millennia Gardens Elementary School in Orlando, Florida. She uses Dash & Dot with a group of fourth graders.
This is the second year of our STEM initiatives in the media center. We have interventions for students that are reading below grade level. The students that are on or above grade level were staying in a classroom reading during this time, so I decided to create a program where they can expand and enrich their education in other areas. I sent an email and said I have the opportunity to work with Dash & Dot in the morning and the teachers suggested what kids would be involved. The students meet everyday for thirty minutes.
I started with Scroll Quest. They completed all of the challenges and they have done all kinds of things with Dash and Dot. They did a maze with Legos, where the robots go around it. They did other programs to direct students to popular books in the library. I put the robot on the floor and when the kids come and say, “Hey, where is ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’?”, Dash takes them to the book.
The latest program is Dash providing a tour of the media center. We have received numerous visits from other schools and districts. Recently, we had a visit from the Netherlands. They came to see the school. They spent some time in the media center and talked to the kids about it. Our principal is actually the Innovative Principal of the Year for the state of Florida!
We chose Dash & Dot because of the activities and they’re so funny. I like the fact that it’s diverse. It begins with easy activities, like the Scroll Quest. It’s more student friendly when it comes to the coding. Then, once they master that, they can go into Blockly, which is the coding language that they use. There’s several other apps, but right now they’re using Blockly.
I have the curriculum pack, which came with the challenge cards. I love the challenge cards. At the beginning, I had to guide them. Now that they know how Blockly works, they are in the design phase of programming in the media center. They just come to me not to ask me, but to show me what they have done. They ask for feedback from each other. When they come to me, the students are already done.