Adding #GASS to Classrooms … Grandparents Adding Soft Skills

Stop and Smell the Roses!

A friend asked me for help on teaching her 2nd grade granddaughter math.  She came home crying because she failed a 2nd grade accountability test.  My 9th grade grandson did not like Geometry and was worried he might get a “C” if he did not pass his final exam.  He loved algebra but had problems in his online AP math class.  I am MADD! Ask me F2F what #GASS means.

I saw Linda Darlene-Hammond at a SXSWEdu conference in 2013 to find solutions to this challenge.  Yet here it is almost a decade latter and the senate wants to add multiple-choice accountability testing to SB3 which gives teachers and librarians a needed salary boost.  Yes, I called and talked to my legislator’s (Beddencourt and Murphy) office interns. I hope they listened and will share my message and that of many experts on testing.  Thanks to Raise Your Hand Texas for their Act Now Flyer.

Honeypots and Dots

“Where the Dots are Not”

Assuring our kids are future ready …  What is new TEA? Was your voice heard?

Are they part of the City of Houston Complete Communities?

Assessing the Threat – 60 minutes April 2019

A honeypot is a computer or computer system intended to mimic likely targets of cyberattacks. It can be used to detect attacks or deflect them from a legitimate target. It can also be used to gain information about how cybercriminals operate.

Evidence Room – Where is the evidence that schools are preparing our children for this Cyber Technology World?  Are children must learn to write code so they can understand why computer science is so very important in the world day. I have been teaching CS since 1985 and am an advocate today to take down the roadblocks.  I start with HTML as I have found when one learns how easy it is to code a website, they learn how easy it is to post false information.  That leads to questioning fact vs. fiction which is so important in this cyber world.

We need Rosies and Rebels.  Our local news station asked why there was only one Houston ISD school at the FIRST World championship.  I can tell you why.  Time and Funding goes to accountability testing. Assessment is static, transition is dynamic.  As Tom Peters In Search of Excellence says, support ideas as people come and go and stop talking and do something.  The idea of CS For ALL needs to happen now.


Game over Zeus

Expanding Your Horizons

Freedom is earned through education.
You are a slave to your own ignorance.  – Karen North 1985

Computer Science is a way out of poverty. – Karen North 2015

If you could make anything, what would you make? – Ashley Galvin from her 2015 Ted Talk

This video was made in 2015 and CS opportunity is still a problem.  Why?

After 30 years of championing change in classrooms,
I know we must require 20/20 time in 2020.
That is 20 minutes for 20 weeks to build the computer science mindset.

CSForAll.org: High-quality computer science an integral part of the educational experience of all K-12 students and teachers and to support student pathways to college and career success.

Bridgette is continuing to Expand Horizons of all learners through Space …

Ophra shared in “The Path Made Clear” to say what do you really want.  What I want is to be “invited to the party” created from an idea I planted.  And seeing that idea Expand Horizons through Computer Science Education, as that is the gateway out of poverty.  After decades of advocacy for this decision makers still don’t get IT.  And too many children are being left behind. I want CS For All.  As Coding is an easy tool to learn failure is OK, and is in fact essential for mastery, something Ophra shared is so important. “Meet me in the bathroom” if you want to talk about what path to take, as I am going through that now, and I know “Together is Better” as I just can’t do it it alone. Lets build a foundation together.

What is the “How” in these 15 top videos.  How to build Grit??

Lego Art Networking

Find and Connect your Heart

Individual Goal: Create a Networking Lego Rectangle

1. Introduce yourself and share your aspiration.
2. If that person has a brick with a different color or size, trade bricks.
3. Once you collect 4 bricks that have 4 different attributes, build a rectangle.

Team Goal: Create a 3D Lego Art Piece
5. Add your rectangle to the base plate.
6. Look to see if there is a shape of the same size or a rectangle with the same colors.
7. Did you find others you could team with?

Zhou Wenting in her article “Helping children learn better through Lego” discovered:

  • Playing with Lego helps people to understand how and why they think the way they do.
  • Open play is key.  There is no right or wrong, no rules, and no winning or losing.
  • Key point is that children can decide for themselves. Creativity happens when they are allowed to develop their own rules and approach to building.
  • And she created Playable Design

Does our Lego Networking Art Inspire Thinking?

I am thinkful for our aspirations team.

If you would like to inspire young girls, we would love for you to be part of our team.

To be a one-legged purple gorilla

What sets your soul on fire?

… That is the question … To be or not to be?

It is important to me Daddy … I want to be a one-legged purple gorilla.  Mom said you can be anything you want to be.  You have to encourage; not everyone gets it. I got NO more than yes.  If anyone has told you not to passionately pursue what sets your soul on fire they are wrong.  Don’t you dare give up.  Somewhere for us all.  Writing a form of therapy.  – Ashley McBryde named ACM new female artist

Do or do Not.  There is no try. – Yoda

Finding Rosies sets my soul on fire.  And Ashley is a Rosie.  What a Riveter going somewhere.  Finding girls who “be-e” something.  Having an idea and seeing it happen sets my soul on fine.  Writing and posting my ideas, as those are easy soul fixers.  Having someone value what I do, like at the Sandalwood Tree Dedication for my Mom Saturday one of the organizers said I was a good speaker; maybe I will do a TED Talk; motivates me to finish the ISTE course. A teacher after my TCEA presentation on Programming with Graphics said, “You are going to change the world with what you are doing.”  Getting an email from the White House that was a riveting soul changing experience.  Reading “The Bear Basics of Business” where Maxine Clark said I answer email, and she did. And she gave birth to Ted E. Bear who is my buddy spreading the message of computer science education.
To be or not to be? So how do I do it?  Follow the advice of an expert.

Stop and Smell the Roses

You DO have TIME!  Just DO IT!!
Then say we did IT … Together!!!

Thanks to those who joined our AAUW-WHC Garden Divas as we celebrated National Rosie the River Day on Thursday, March 21 at 2:30 PM
McGovern Centennial Gardens 1500 Hermann Drive

The garden where we riveted future Rosies like my 3-year old granddaughter Mia …

                  Roses + Rivets

Anna Garcia, AT&T Strategic Account Lead III, Global Business , HACEMOS SW Regional President receiving Proclamation from Mayor for CSEdWeek supporting 21st century rosies.  HPC Gardener Noreen and Kyle volunteer coordinator were the “Rosies” who made it possible for the garden to grow. From an idea, to dirt, to buds, to blooms in one year. That is what is needed for education, rapid change and growth.

The Start of a Rosie History Garden

Hermann Park Conservancy’s history includes many invaluable women whose unique efforts—over the decades and on going—have helped in the mission to maintain and improve Hermann Park, now and for generations to come. Join Hermann Park Conservancy and the American Association of University Women on National Rosie the Riveter Day as we celebrate the contributions of women—yesterday, today, and tomorrow—by planting namesake roses to honor the spirit of Rosie the Riveter.

If you would like help grow riveters and roses please contact the Herman Park Conservancy. To learn about creating histories see https://www.celestegraves.org/.

“Stop and Smell the Roses” quote by Bernard Kelvin Clive.  I asked him about this quote.  His answer: “Sometimes we chase after the niceties of life and forget to be thankful and to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. That was the inspiration.”

Bernard Kelvin Clive  is a Personal Branding Coach/Brand Strategist at BKC Consulting, Lifestyle Entrepreneur, Amazon bestselling author of 40 published books. Ghana’s foremost authority on Personal branding and Digital Publishing who hosts the #1 ranked Business & Career Podcast in Ghana/Botswana.

Just tweeted this riveting procrastination stopper about preparing kids for life. I kept procrastinating doing my breathing exercises that I did for decades when working. I needed to make this a priority so decided to listen to a TED talk. Searched “TED Accountability Testing” and this was first. And from Fargo where my cousin’s son is living. Small world and will connect again. Decided to make it a priority to take time to Smell the Roses and went to Bret’s wedding in Cleveland last Sept. Stayed in a haunted house with Atlanta cousins .. and promised to go see Jimmy’s band in Austin in March where my son lives. So heading there this weekend with my Houston cousin to Stop and Smell the … bluebonnets, as wild flowers are fun too.  Just take the time … that is what schools need to do too!!  Just be a Riveter…

Roots of Change

The Roots of Change must be planted with our youth. 

And what better way than planting a Rosie the Riveter Memorial Garden in Hermann Park.  What a history. What amazing role models we can thank … from the first teacher, to Grace Hooper … Watch this video for ideas to inspire girls to go into STEM. As in the past, these ideas are from CBS Sunday Morning.

  • Maybe their challenge might be finding solutions to the rural areas closing hospitals.
  • Or go Into the Woods to grow chairs or find a solution to the bug killing the olive trees.
  • Or share what you observe and do the right thing.  And not walking away because easier thing.
  • You can be tempted with just your imagination, music and songs and pursue a lifelong dream. And never stop believing and trying.  Unrest, that is where we are now and where we were then. How can you bring peace?  My Girls … I’ve Got Sunshine.  My Rosies …
  • Waiting years to print a book … it is about the quality control of the work, using your hands, using your mind.  It is the total package.  It is a piece of art. Have you been to the Houston Print Museum? Perhaps the American Academy of Bookbinding is in your future. What else can I make that will last 500 years.  If you read a book that is carefully made you can get more out of it.

So will you go to the Moon?  http://www.sciartex.net/

What will people do on the moon?  Why is it important? humansinspaceart.org/ – You can share your vision!


A Part of History

The Harvey Girls – How the West was Won with a Restaurant Chain

An idea … Fred Harvey and the Empire he built. He saw a Need and implemented the idea. If could do it well could change things.  One of America’s first female labor forces, ahead of its time.  Hired female architect. Academy Award winning song (who will win tonight?).  Celebration Harvey Heads.  Do you have celebration ideas?

Rosie the Riveter Memorial Rose Garden

An idea … I went to Portland to work on the computer science / computational thinking standards with ISTE.  While there I went to the International Rose Garden and walked in on the Rosie Riveter Rose Garden celebration.  Now I am collaborating with the Hermann Park Conservancy to plant Rosie Roses in their Rose Garden to build histories in Houston.  And inspire the next generation of Rosies.


Code Girls: The True Story of the American Women Who
Secretly Broke Codes in World War II

Robots throughout History – We need innovative Rosies to create our future inventions.  “We may think of robots as inventions of the future, but the reality is that robotics has been around since ancient times. In fact, humans have been exploring the idea of using robots to make our lives easier or more enjoyable for centuries.”

If you could have three wishes what would they be?

Mine … Find Rosies in Houston and create an oral History.
Need leaders like 11 year old Ruby to make this happen. That and curiosity.

Those Rosies can be found in NCWIT Aspirations.org communities.

Still not convinced of the importance?  Watch the 60 minutes special on teaching girls K-12 with Hadi Partovi. Any girl who applies for the aspirations.org award can apply for an AspireIT grant of $3000. Want CS taught in your elementary school. Provide the time and recruit and mentor an aspirations girl to run it.  And provide opportunities for high school and college students to be the teachers like Code Ninjas is doing.  They get IT.

Want to learn more about the politics of CS Education?  See my 20 year history and continuing efforts to convince schools and districts to make computer science and computational thinking a priority of testing prep.

Blowing the Bloody Door Off

And Why I got a puppy …  A New Year …

“CHALLENGES are PROBLEMS that Make life interesting.”
– Ridley Scott, Film Director and Producer


CBS Sunday Morning January 6, 2019:

    1. Just ordered “Blowing the Bloody Doors Off: And Other Lessons in Life” by Michael Caine after watching his story on my favorite show.  Needed another Audible book as spending lots of time outside training my puppy.  Just finished George Washington Black and was ready for my next lessons in life.
    2. We seek control of our own destiny … an over achiever .. technology that will help visually impaired.  Prove mobility can be mastered.  How did he do it? Studying for masters in computer science to develop more technology that can brighten the world.
    3. So, why did I get a puppy?  Teaching is in my blood like art was in Van Gogh’s blood.

Teaching because “This is Me” …  this is dedicated to an amazing computer science teacher Lewis F. who said “The more I hear this song – the more I think it applies to teachers just as well as it fit the movie -This is from The Greatest Showman (a must see if you have not seen it). – And my son a teacher who takes me to Covent Gardens when I visit him in London. And to all teachers who quest to be the greatest showman.

... When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

… When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me
Look out ’cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

… I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I’m gonna send a flood
Gonna drown them out
This is me

Hour of Code

Houston ISD’s Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy students and amazing teacher Astra Zeno at Computer Science Education Week Event hosted by AT&T HACEMOS Peggy Lundsford and NCWIT Technolochias Jannie Fernanez .

Mayor of the City of Houston Proclamation
Computer Science Education Week 2018

WHEREAS, in a world increasingly dependent on technology, computer science knowledge and skills are crucial to every student’s education. Only two percent of Texas high school graduates have taken a computer science course, only 24 percent were female which consisted of only 987 being Hispanic and only 180 were African American; and,

WHEREAS, each year, Computer Science Education Week is celebrated during the month of December in observance of Grace Murray Hopper, a major female contributor to computer science, and to call attention to the need for improving and strengthening computer science education; and,

WHEREAS, during the week of December 3-7, 2018, the National Center for Women and Information Technology, TECHNOLOchicas, AT&T, HACEMOS, and the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy will celebrate Computer Science Education Week by supporting an hour of code to educate students about computer science for one hour; and,

WHEREAS, the City of Houston is a strong supporter of STEM initiatives and commends Computer Science for Texas (CS4TX), and supporting organizations and businesses for its leadership in STEM Education and extends best wishes for a memorable observance.

THEREFORE, I Sylvester Turner, Mayor of the City of Houston,
hereby proclaim December 3-7, 2018, as
in Houston, Texas.

George and TedE make me do it. I know this is crazy, but as I sit in my den after watching the funeral typing this proclamation and reviewing NCWIT Aspirations.org applications, I feel the spirit of George H.W. Bush. He stood in this very room when he was first running for political office talking to a group from the League of Women Voters of the Houston Area. I remember my mother saying, “He will be President of the United States one day.” What a leader and role model for our young learners. What a life of giving. May CAVU and the best ships friendships always grow.

HACEMOS -TedE was given a pin today. We DoPapert proposed that education must make room for the iterative development and improvement of ideas. That is what CSEdWeek is about. Making room in the school day to play with computational thinking. Thank you AT&T for sharing what you do so we can do.


Dance Party at Hunter’s Creek where my grandson attends … http://knorth.edublogs.org/learn/dance-party-hce/ #GASS