It’s a Geometric World!

This week we’re bringing you two stories from a San Jose #smartschool …
By: Lexis
I am going to be talking about when i had to learn how to code using a program called scratch.
What is PBL?
PBL is project based learning. Every month we start a new project either how can we beautify our school perimeter or how can we help planet earth by conserving? So our new project was how could we, the 6th graders create a 3 level video game and turn our multi-purpose room into a 1980s arcade. We had to make a story first with all of the characters, settings and a time zone but we all got put in groups with 3-4 people.
Then after we got put in groups we all got a myth category, such as Japanese, Indian, Chinese, etc. Coming up with a story to follow the category was easy and was my favorite part of the project, but making a game to follow the story was the most difficult thing in the whole project. We had to make the characters move, making the background switch, and adding buttons to play the game took about 2-3 weeks because it was only two or three hours a day that we got to work on it including the rest of our PBL. My game with my group was called “Katana”, it was about a man named Adachi that found a sword in his his new a home, a temple, and when he takes off the cap he unleashes an army of demons including the leader, a samurai demon, named Marume and now has to slay every single demon with the Katana.
How did we display our game?
After we wrote our story we had to make these arcade boxes made out of cardboard. We had to add designs on it that either went with the story or the place theme we got. We first had to draw on the box with a pencil which was pretty cool. Then our teacher bought this glow-in-the-dark paint! It was so cool because it looked like some of the patterns where from the movie Tron! Other friends added decor like vines on it to look like ancient Rome and did Greek writing on their board.
By: Rachel
“We like to blog because we finally get a time to talk about our PBL project.” (Giovanny) “People get to know what our project is and what we have been doing with our project.” (Paola) “I like our blog because we get to talk about our 3-D shapes.” (Pedro) “I feel really happy when I see my face or my work on the blog because I want my mom and others to see what we’re doing.” (Tatiana)
To date, we have 25 blog entries detailing the progress of our PBL project through student voice and pictures. The following links to a blog about Day 16 of our project.
All other blog entries can be found at
About the Authors:  Lexis is a 6th grader who participates in the Project Based Learning  program at Katherine Smith Elementary School. 
Rachel Towbridge is a first grade teacher at Katherine Smith Elementary School in San Jose, Ca. Her’s what she shared about the “authors” Our first grade class has been documenting the progress through our Project Based Learning Project (PBL) on shapes for our school’s WordPress page. Each day we take a few minutes to reflect on our activities and learnings related to the project. Students share their thoughts and I (the teacher) type up what they have said. Most of the blog is written in student voice. We also include photos of what we have worked on during that day.

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