Monday, November 17, 2014

Thanksgiving at Fuller Meadow

"Why you don't want to eat me for Thanksgiving." 

Students at Fuller Meadow School have had turkeys on the brain.  When you walk down the hallways, you see turkeys that are in disguise, mathematical turkeys, poetic turkeys, and turkeys in tutus.  I had the opportunity to help some of these turkeys TALK.  In Kindergarten and 2nd Grade, students have been working on a very important project.  Students worked with their family on designing a turkey that you won't want to eat, then they wrote about the turkey in the first person. In 1st grade, students worked on alliteration as well as improving their writing skills as they told what their turkey would do if he came to visit the student's home.  
2nd Grade Project
Letter to 2nd Grade families about the Turkey Project.

To enhance the writing lesson and work on their speaking and presentation skills, we used the app 'Chatterpix' and 'iMovie' to make each turkey come to life.  To start, Kindergarten and 2nd grade students created their picture with their family and wrote a few sentences explaining why they shouldn't be 'eaten' for Thanksgiving.  In 1st grade, students made their turkeys at school.  Then, Mrs. Baker used Chatterpix to record the student's voice.  After the recording session, students reflected on the process.

Students reflected on the process of making their class video.

The Massachusetts Common Core Standards describe the integration of technology into lessons as "New technologies have broadened and expanded the role that speaking and listening play in acquiring and sharing knowledge and have tightened their link to other forms of communication. Digital texts confront students with the potential for continually updated content and dynamically changing combinations of words, graphics, images, hyperlinks, and embedded video and audio."

Common Core Standard for Grade K: SL. K.5 Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.  Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
Common Core Standard for Grade 1: SL. 1.5 Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.  Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.

Common Core Standard for Grade 2:  SL. 2.5 for Language Arts states, Students will Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings."

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hour of Code

The Hour of Code is coming - December 8-14

What is "Hour of Code"?

Hour of Code is an opportunity for every student to try computer science for one hour.

Watch this video for Hour of Code 2014

Get your students excited - give them a short intro
Most kids don’t know what computer science is. Here are some ideas:
* Explain it in a simple way that includes examples of applications that both boys and girls will care about (saving lives, helping people, connecting people, etc.).
* Try: "Think about things in your everyday life that use computer science: a cell phone, a microwave, a computer, a traffic light… all of these things needed a computer scientist to help build them.”
* Or: “Computer science is the art of blending human ideas and digital tools to increase our power. Computer scientists work in so many different areas: writing apps for phones, curing diseases, creating animated movies, working on social media, building robots that explore other planets and so much more."
Start your Hour of Code

Direct students to the activity
Write the tutorial link on a whiteboard. Find the link listed on the information for your selected tutorial under the number of participants. (Example:
* Tell students to visit the URL and start the tutorial.

When your students come across difficulties
  • Tell students, “Ask 3 then me.” Ask 3 classmates, and if they don’t have the answer, then ask the teacher.
  • Encourage students and offer positive reinforcement: “You’re doing great, so keep trying.”
  • It’s okay to respond: “I don’t know. Let’s figure this out together.” If you can’t figure out a problem, use it as a good learning lesson for the class: “Technology doesn’t always work out the way we want. Together, we’re a community of learners.” And: “Learning to program is like learning a new language; you won’t be fluent right away.“

Sign up

Go to Lessons
There are 3 courses for coding.

Try’s exclusive new tutorial for the Hour of Code 2014, in beta - featuring Disney’s “Frozen” heroines Anna and Elsa! 

More on Coding:  Here are’s suggestions on teaching Hour of Code in your classroom. If you have a favorite tool, they likely will guide you in using it for this amazing week. Check out this list:

Teachers attend Hour of Code Workshop

Teachers from the Tri-Town attended the Hour of Code Workshop at Phillips Academy in Andover on October 18. 

"Loopy" Course 2 Loops Puzzle

                    Teachers attend Hour of Code Tech Talk
Paula K. and I taught a workshop in our Tri-Town Tech Talk to introduce teachers to Hour of Code.