Thursday, December 11, 2014

Hour of Code!

How do computers work?  Since students are unable to see the millions of lines of code that make up every program on their computer, it's easy to believe it's simply magic that makes it work.  The Hour of Code is a global movement aimed at teaching kids from 4 - 104 the basics of coding.  This year, the Hour of Code will reach tens of millions of people.  The students in Lori Keller's fourth grade classroom participated this year. According to her:
The kids had a great time on They learned to add characters, voice, and animation to different scenes.  We loved the Hour of Code!
Anyone can learn to code through a variety of programs online. Visit our student  webpage and click on Hour of Code to explore some of these resources.

What do you see?

In first grade, Mrs. Patterson's class is observing objects in the day and night sky.  They are using the Stellarium planetarium program to further their understanding.  Students could find the sun's location in "real time," as well as go back in time to preview the night sky on previous days. It's a fun, informative way to interact with objects in the night sky.

It's called a cell?

The first grade students in Mrs. Fuch's class learned about Excel. They were very excited to learn that the "boxes" were called cells.  In the course of one lesson, they learned how to enter information into Excel, shade boxes, and add patterns to other boxes.

Students are learning about different ways to add, including facts that are doubles (6+6) and facts that are doubles plus 2 (6+8).  According to Mrs. Fuchs,
The original lesson said to write a number line on the board and put check above the numbers that were the sums for doubles facts, "x's" for the sum of double plus 2 facts.  I decided to do the number line in Excel, shade the boxes for the sum of doubles and add a pattern to the sums of the plus 2 facts.  We will discuss the number patterns we see to make a connection for computational fluency using these two comparisons.  
Mrs. Fuch's students are learning how to harness technology to further their understanding in math.  Awesome!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Giggling Through Poetry

Fourth grade students used several different technologies to encourage her students' appreciation of poetry.  Her students received an email with instructions for a poetry assignment from her.  They viewed and read poems on the website  After spending time perusing many poems, the students chose two poems they liked best. They had to determine if their selections were lyrical or free verse and then type a brief summary about each poem.  These summaries were shared on Google Drive so others could read them.   According to Mrs. Scott,
The kids enjoyed reading the responses written by their peers and seeing if they chose similar poems as their favorites. 
Exploring poetry through technology enhances the students' engagement and allows them to share their learning.  Way to go, fourth grade!