Hour of Code – Computer Science Education Week

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Hour of Code 2013 is a great event to get students excited about computer science and what it really means to be a computer scientist.  The graphic above is pretty cool and powerful.

During this week, millions of students around the United States will “code” for at least one hour and be introduced to computer science.  All of our students play video games or phones, tablets, computers and gaming consoles, so they can understand this concept.  So, how fun and cool would it be for them to create their own game, or app??  I encourage you all to sign-up and have your students participate for at least one hour this coming week.  Here is a link to the educator resources – http://code.org/educate/hoc If your students don’t have access to the computers or devices, there are activities for unplugged classrooms, too.

Here is an introduction video about this awesome event:

In my class this week, I plan to :

  • Show the introduction videos to get the students excited
  • Allow my students to go through the tutorial for beginners section
  • Write their first computer program – Angry Birds themed

Screen shot 2013-11-26 at 2.31.21 PM

  • Go through the Light-Bot App for the iPad
  • Code on the iPad with Hopscotch and Kodable
  • Let them try and create their own game on Tynker
  • Use Minecraft Pocket Edition on their iPads to create an CA Indian Village
  • Go through some of the Unplugged activities

I hope you join my class and millions of other students during this week for the Hour of Code!!!

Here is another short video about the Hour of Code:

NewsELA

newselaNewsELA is AWESOME!!!  This is a Non-Fiction Literacy and Current Event website for your students.  One of the best features on here is the ability to change the student lexile reading level.  That feature alone can help you differentiate and level the articles for all your students of various levels.  The second feature that is how it relates to the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and the Anchor Standards for English Language Arts – PLUS some articles have a quiz that is rigorous.  Also,the quizzes occasionally have questions where the students have to use text evidence and click the paragraph or sentence the answer is located.

Did I mention that this is FREE?  Yes, it’s all free and all you have to do is register and give your students the class signup code, then they sign up themselves.  Another thing is that it works on tablets, PCs, or other handheld devices.

Teachers can assign articles for students to read and take their quizzes on.  It keeps all the data in your “Binder” and show what standards the students are doing well or struggling.  My students really like the articles because they are highly interesting, current topics/events.  They are separated into these topic areas: War & Peace, Science, Law, Money, Kids, and Health.

I have really liked having classroom discussions on certain articles and having them write some opinion/argumentative writing.  They share and provide evidence from the article or their personal knowledge to support their argument, which is very powerful and fits right in with the CCSS.

Sign up and get your students reading some great non-fictional articles to peek their interest in current events happening around the globe.

A Few Websites to Checkout!

Here are a few great sites that I haven’t mentioned on my blog, but they are great resources for all teachers and people in education.

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The Teaching Channel is a great tool for videos that show teachers doing lessons.  The lessons are extremely helpful seeing them in real life classrooms, not just hearsay.  I personally love the Common Core lessons and new ideas to engage my students in meaningful, rigorous lessons/activities.  Plus, when you sign-up for updates, you’ll get a email with new videos that relate to you!

edudemic_weblogoEdudemic is another great site that includes many articles and updated daily with articles that show how to add more technology into your 21st Century classroom.  Get lost with this treasure trove of great resources.

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Teachers Pay Teachers has been around for a while now, but I never really looked into it.  This website is pretty AMAZING… I find so many resources created by teachers, and there are many FREE things on here that you can use right away.  There are many great things to buy on here, and you won’t have to re-create the wheel.  Have fun getting lost in resources on here…

Do you have any other sites you visit often?  Leave a comment to share yours!

I’m Back…

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I have not posted in two months, so I have a few things I wanted to post since then, but it has been a busy year already.  Implementing the CCSS (Common Core State Standards) and finishing up my Master’s Degree in Educational Technology has taken up much of my time these past few months.  So, needless to say, I missed sharing my thoughts, ideas, and web tools for education.  I hope you find the following post useful!

Reading Comprehension Tool – Read Works

A great reading comprehension tool – ReadWorks

Common Core Teacher

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Here is a great tool for Reading Comprehension.  ReadWorks.org is a FREE site that has:

  • Leveled reading passages (grade level or lexile level)
  • Novel Units
  • Lesson Plans
  • Worksheets/Graphic Organizers
  • Comprehension Units
  • Skills/Strategy Units

When you sign-up for a free account, you save things to “My Binder.”  It allows you to refer back to lessons or units you have saved.  Another thing I really like is the abundance of informational non-fiction texts/passages – which is new for Common Core!  The passages also have questions associated with them.  Create an account and start using this great site.

 

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Infographics

If you don’t know what infographics are, don’t be alarmed!  I just learned what they are over the summer and in simple terms they are a way to visually represent information in a professional and easily understood way.  Here is one I just created for my current Master’s Program class for technology staff development:

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Here are a few infographic sites:

http://www.easel.ly

http://visual.ly

http://piktochart.com/

http://www.infogr.am/

 

California Mission Project – Minecraft

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Here is one of my students – Julian E. from my 2012-2013, 4th grade class at Railway Elementary School. This is built with Minecraft – PE on his iPad Mini for his CA Missions Project – Mission San Luis Rey. I was truly impressed and amazed at the detail and the content of this project. I hope more students and teachers use this in the future as an alternative to the arts & crafts model we did as kids.