Classroom Highlights

Reflecting on Life through Six Word Memoirs

Fifth graders at Rodgers Forge Elementary have come to the end of their elementary school journey, and they are ready to take on the new excitements and challenges that middle school will bring.  They took time to reflect upon their life so far, and they wrote and filmed “six word memoirs” using a FlipCam to capture an important idea in their lives.  Check them out!


~Katie Schmidt, 5th grade teacher


Makey Makey

Have you heard of this thing called a Makey Makey?  If not, you should definitely check it out.  When fifth graders at Rodgers Forge created PSAs in Scratch, they wanted a cool and interactive way to share them with their classmates.  Enter…the Makey Makey!  It’s a simple device that turns everyday objects into a touchpad.  Students built an object of their choice in the school’s makerspace, such as a remote control or a TV frame with different buttons on the front, and they hooked up the Makey Makey wires to conductive points on their object (using foil).  When someone pushes on each of the conductive “buttons” they created on their object, a different part of their PSA played in Scratch.  Check out this video to see more about this project.

5th graders using Makey Makey

“Special thanks go out to Zach Zayner from Workbench for supporting us through the implementation of this awesome project!”

--Katie Schmidt; 5th grade teacher


RFES Hosts Its 3rd Annual STEAM Night

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math all come together at Rodgers Forge Elementary every day, but on Tuesday, March 21st these five areas of the curriculum were specially showcased in the school’s third annual STEAM Night.  This well-attended event was an evening of fun and excitement for students, parents, and teachers alike.  Activities included pendulum and catapult painting, coding, origami, and even a cool paper flashlight maki


ng activity provided by the Digital Harbor Foundation. Studentvolunteers working the event exhibited their musical talents through a coffeehouse setting, answered questions about their STEM Fair projects, displayed their art bots, and shared their SafeRacer vehicles.  Special thanks goes to HotSpots and the Education Foundation for funding a $3,000 enrichment grant that allowed us to purchase materials for our school makerspace as well as for the event.  The school was able to purchase LittleBits and 3Doodler Pens for student use.  The STEAM Night committee at Rodgers Forge will reflect on the successes of the night, as they begin planning even more exciting events to include next year!

Submitted by Lisa Schultz, STEAM Night Coordinator and 5th grade teacher, @MrsLisaSchultz


MakerSpace Sign

Rodgers Forge Elementary unveiled its new “MakerSpace” at the start of the 2016-2017 school year.  Students and teachers alike were incredibly excited to get in and make use of the new location in which students are encouraged to explore, problem-solve, collaborate, create, engineer and more…all while making real world connections! 


The room is filled with a variety of materials for students to use as they explore concepts and/or create projects.  Some examples include cardboard, foil, clay, rubber bands, littleBits®, soda bottles, milk jugs, old CDs, small craft supplies, pipe cleaners, and coffee filters just to name a few.  Many of the items used in the MakerSpace are reusable, which ties in with our Green School initiative as well.


“I really like the MakerSpace because it gives you a chance to use your creativity,” explains fifth grader Amelia Bolin.  “If you have an idea during class, you don’t have to just think about it anymore, you can actually go to the MakerSpace to build it!”


Megan Patton, resource teacher at Rodgers Forge Elementary, has been doing introductory sessions in the MakerSpace for various classes.  "We have been having so much fun getting to know our new Makerspace,” Patton shares.  “We read The Most Magnificent Thing and students were given mystery bags filled with random items that they used to create something new. As we move forward, we will be building and testing what we have built. Stay tuned for some fun fall activities in the Makerspace."

Submitted by Katie Schmidt, @MrsKatieSchmidt