Author: Tracy Rudzitis

United States - I facilitate a STEAM Lab at a public middle school in New York City. This includes a programming elective, a drop-in lunch time MakerSpace and an after school Robotics club. I am a curriculum developer for the NYCDOE Software Engineering Program. I also volunteer and mentor with CoderDojoNYC.

Making Stuff Light Up and Move!

My sixth and seventh grade STEAM students immersed themselves in the wonder of electricity this school year. They started out by exploring basic circuits, using blocks that I constructed using the Exploratorium’s ideas from their electricity exploration curriculum.   The overall learning targets for this unit were: Students will learn how to handle and connect components… Read more »

STEAM, STEM, and Making

What do these words mean? How are they interpreted by teachers, by administrators, by students, by politicians?   In the past few months I have been a part of a number of discussions surrounding this question. The conversations are genuine and in most cases have the best interests of students and learning in mind. There… Read more »

Watching Children Learn

One of the most meaningful things that I get to do as a teacher is to watch my students learn. What makes it most exciting and interesting for me is observing this learning through their eyes and their contexts. I have several Flip Cameras located in the classroom long with my Point and Shoot camera and the… Read more »

Reading Freire in March

In Chapter 1 of Paulo Freire’s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” Freire defines his theory and identifies the oppressor and the oppressed. He writes of how in order to liberate the oppressed and to provide a meaningful educational experience, the “learner” must be actively involved in the construction of their education. Traditional pedagogies maintain this power… Read more »

On Reading Mindstorms

Reading Mindstorms should be inspirational. I love reading anything that Seymour Papert has written. His words and his vision have always rung true for me and have always motivated and inspired me to infuse the practice he calls “Constructionism” into my classroom.  Then what it is about this time through the book that I have… Read more »

The Buzz Words

Education is filled with acronyms and buzzwords, some invented by educators and others borrowed from industry and psychology and even popular culture memes. Why is it that an experience as basic as learning has been so sliced and diced into so many pieces that it has become unrecognizable? School vision statements are peppered with the buzz… Read more »