Kimberly Mendoza » Mrs. Mendoza's Bio

Mrs. Mendoza's Bio

Greetings! I'm very excited to join the Decatur family this year as I start my eighth year teaching in CPS. I'm an avid learner and am beyond thrilled to be facilitating the design of Decatur's new Makerspace. Students will be challenged with developing an idea for a project, and then designing and redesigning their prototype in order to create their final project. I commit each day to build a culture of creativity where each child feels empowered to persevere through the challenges they will encounter on a daily basis. Our goal will be to get comfortable with making mistakes in order to create something new and reach our project goals. I love what I do and look forward to a wonderful and creative school year!
A little about myself: I was born and raised on the southwest side of Chicago (Go Sox!) and I currently live on the northwest side with my husband, Chris, son Ezekiel and dog Bailey. I received both my Bachelor's and Master’s degree from the University of Chicago. I love to run and spend as much time by Lake Michigan as possible. I ran my second Chicago Marathon this past October and still deciding on my next race! 

Recent Posts

2nd graders begin exploring their new unit from Project Lead the Way by recording observation of a popsicle melting in their launch logs! 

Wk. 16 Newsletter: 4th-6th

This week...

4th graders worked on a new simulation in which they analyzed different forms of energy converters. They created new systems and identified what type of input energy was used and what type of output energy occurred. In Makerspace, students continued to work hard on their paper circuits. Shout-out to Enkhjin and Siri who collaborated together on a project. This was a challenging topic for some students, because when their system wasn't working, they had to troubleshoot several different options for what may have gone wrong.

- 5th Grade- Students were able to start coding on Apple's platform called Swift Playground. Students will be tracking their progress on a project guide, which will allow them to move at their own pace. Our goal will be to create a world and create a storyline that matches. If a student has access to an iPad at home they will be able to move farther along. Unfortunately, the program is not web-based or available on Android devices. If students wish to practice during recess, they just need to see me for a pass! Room 111 received an introduction to the app but we had to cut our time short due to our monthly incentive.

- 6th - Rm. 107 finalized their testbeds and begin analyzing the inputs and outputs of their system. One group progressed into Activity 4 to create a toy, without the use of any parts of the brain or remote controller. While stumped at first, students ultimately designed a toy car! Students will create a presentation on what they designed when we return from break. Students in Group A were also able to present their robot presentations.

6th - Rm. 109 prepared their paper chains for display and students were able to critique them during a gallery walk. Two groups got into an interesting debate when one group questioned the accuracy of another's group chain length. The group in question was able to remeasure their chain and realized they made an error. Shout-out to both groups for catching the error and accepting that mistakes happen.

Wk. 15 - 3rd Grade

Third grade scientists drew inspiration from a video called "The Page Turner" and created a chain reaction made of various materials with their group members. While the lab occurred, students met in small groups to discuss and practice diagramming models of gravity with Ms. Mendoza. Students had a quiz on this identifying the direction objects went in and what forces were acting on them. 

Wk. 15 - Newsletter

4th-6th Makerspace

This week...

4th graders, worked on identifying a claim and adding sufficient evidence to their arguments. In Makerspace, students continued creating their own paper circuit designs. Students have stepped up and shown tremendous leadership by helping others problem-solve solutions when their circuits haven't been working. Shoutout to Casey and Gabe who were extremely patient at their table! Next week, students will attempt to finalize their designs and then take their projects home to continue. We'll start fresh with a new project when we return after break!

- 5th Grade - Rm. 110 (Group A) continued exploring coding using the Tynker app. Students chose their own design program to begin exploring code. Next week, students will finally get to explore the app, Swift Playgrounds! Students have waited patiently while we troubleshooted why the app wouldn't download. We're all set to start using this program next week, and will learn about various coding concepts that will allow students to build their own world in the program.

- 5th Grade - Rm. 110 ( Group B) began exploring the Swift Playgrounds app today! Students have waited patiently while we troubleshooted why the app wouldn't download. We reviewed concepts of what what coding, developers, commands and sequences are. Students will work at their own pace through the Playground. They are more than welcome to download this app at home, if they are able to, and continue making progress! I will not see them next week, due to the Incentive, so we will continue when we return from break. Have a great and relaxing break!

-5th Grade - Rm. 111 measured their paper chains and continued to film their work. A few groups still needed to finish their projects, I would recommend them turning it in by next Friday, since I will not see them next week due to the monthly incentive. Have a great and relaxing break!

- 6th - Rm. 107  continued to finalize their testbeds with their robotic kits. Group B heard presentations from two groups about robots they researched. Students will have the opportunity to finalize these testbeds next week. After break, they will be able to create a toy using their robotic kits!

6th Grade (Rm. 109) began measuring their paper chains. Students who took their projects home, need to bring them back next week to finalize their project. Next week, will be our last week with this project. We'll start a new challenge after break!