Tuesday, December 10, 2019

CSEdWeek Togetherness Tuesdays

At school, we have Togetherness Tuesdays to encourage more families to spend some unplugged quality time together.  They can play a game, read a book, watch a movie, cook a dish, or bake some cookies.  Another way to celebrate CSEdWeek is to do some sketching and coloring together, and learn about algorithms along the way.

The first one is to help Snowy and Frosty build a friend by following an algorithm.  My five year old son really enjoyed this activity and helped me come up with two more.  In the Slides, you will find Snowy and Frosty need your help to build a home, and create a car to go to the market. Feel free to print and use it with your students.

Editable Resource:
Snowy&Frosty's Winter Algorithm 

Happy Coding!

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Celebrating CSEdWeek

CSEdWeek is December 9-15 this year! How are you celebrating? At our school, our principal is adding a fun fact about a pioneer in his morning announcement.  Of course, there are many more heroes in computer science, so this is one small way to raise awareness of the people who've made an impact in our daily lives.
Editable Resource:
CSEdWeek Pioneers

In the computer lab, we are creating binary code bracelets to teach students about the computer science word, binary, which means a way of representing information using two options.

Editable Resource:

Happy Coding!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

CS First Club Game Design

I've been using Google's CS First's Game Design and created a chart and checklist for students to use as they complete each activity. It's an awesome club that can be used with Scratch.  The best part is it's FREE! Read more about it on my guest post on EducateLLC, "CS First Clubs: A Success Story in the Lab". It will discuss how to get started easily.
The Game Design Process involves three steps.
1. Prototype: What is the goal? What do you plan to create?
2. Playtest: What happens when you run the program? What do you notice?
3. Iterate: Did the program run correctly and efficiently? How can it be improved?

The checklist file below can be downloaded and edit to fit the students' learning objectives.  It is one file that has a checklist for all 8 activities in Game Design.  

Printable and Editable Resource:
CS First Club Game Design Checklists

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Heart Inspired Art

This semester is my first time as an art teacher and I want to document some of the projects we started.  For the month of February, we were inspired by hearts and kindness.  We decorated boxes for students to leave sweet notes for one another.

We studied the artist Wassily Kandinsky and used the color wheel (credits to MrPrintables) to discuss complementary and analogous colors. Students used oil pastels to outline the hearts then used water colors to paint each of the hearts.

We studied the artist Chris Uphues and looked at the murals he's created.  Then students went off to make Valentine's Day cards for their loved ones.  

We studied the artist Piet Mondrian and created Piet Mondrian inspired hearts (credits to KinderArt).  Students cut out hearts then created lines to make shapes.  Afterward they used oil pastels and black glue to color in the shapes.   

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

No need to repeat- Screencast-O-Matic

Do you find yourself repeating strategies or steps over and over again?  Sometimes excessively too many times?  Well, it happens often as educators.  Here's a simple solution- record your lesson on Screencast-o-Matic using the free screen recorder.  It's a software where you can record yourself speak as you model your lessons step-by-step.  It's also perfect for blended learning or flipped learning where students can watch the video as well as complete their assignments.  In addition, teachers can assist other students and facilitate while the video is running on the main monitor for those who need reminders. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Coding with Robot Mouse

Robot Mouse is a simple programmable robot to start young students on coding. I have been looking for something tangible and easy to use for students in kindergarten and first grade.  The kit comes with maze boards that can be customized.  Initially, it would be easier to create a 2x3 grid for students to get comfortable before piecing the 3x5 or 4x4 maze together. Students can discuss and plan the algorithm using the coding cards (forward, backward, turn left, and turn right) to determine how the mouse will get to the cheese.  Then they enter the commands directly on the mouse using the different color arrows and then press the center green circle. 

Students have a great time programming and re-configuring the grids, and even putting up "walls" to challenge their mouse to get to his cheese.  Another way to use robot mouse is to create math grids with numbers or words to practice math fluency or sight words while coding! With the number grids, students can roll the dice, place the cheese on the sum, and code the mouse to the cheese.

Printable and editable resources:
Plan your Algorithm
Blank Grid for Robot Mouse
Number Grids for Robot Mouse 
Word Grids for Robot Mouse
Eric Carle Brown Bear Sequence for Robot Mouse

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

5 Ways to Use Padlet

Padlet is a flexible and resourceful tool to post ideas, share links, and collaborate wherever you are.  Just imagine a virtual post-it board where you can manipulate your post-its seamlessly and instantly. Padlets can be kept private for personal notes, links and resources, while some can be toggled public to share.  
In the classrooms, these are five quick and simple ways to use Padlet.

1. Getting to Know Me: In the beginning of the school year, this is my way of getting to know the students and remembering their names and faces, and their computer seats.  They love to take selfies and share a fun fact.  I can also download and print them in pdf or jpeg format.


2. Exit Ticket: At the end of a lesson students can answer a few questions about what they've learned or found challenging.  For English language learners, they can type in their language. They can also speak into the computer and record themselves. This is also good in the beginning of a lesson to assess what they already know.

3. Q+A: Students love to ask questions so this is a great way to jot their questions so the teacher can address them during class and refer to it after.  In this example, I introduced Dash, our robot to the second graders and they were so curious about him and had lots of good and fun questions.

4. Resources: A page we can easily throw our ideas on and share links and documents, and refer back to on another day. At a professional development workshop, these were some fun makerspace ideas resource page that another teacher started and I got to add to it.

5. Sharing Projects: Students created games on Scratch and this was the simplest way for students to upload their links then play each other's games.  I started the page and posted it on Symbaloo. The students clicked on that link and started posting, it was updated instantaneously.