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Tagged With: programming

Hour of Code Website and App Suggestions for K-8

Here are ideas of apps and websites that teachers in my PLN used successfully in the past during Hour of Code:

hour of codeKindergarten

Start kindergartners with problem solving. If they love Legos, they’ll love coding

  1. BotLogic–great for Kindergarten and youngers
  2. Code–learn to code, for students
  3. How to train your robot–a lesson plan from Dr. Techniko
  4. Kodable--great for youngers–learn to code before you can read
  5. hour of codePrimo–a wooden game, for ages 4-7
  6. Program a human robot (unplugged)
  7. Scratch Jr.

1st Grade

  1. Code–learn to code, for students
  2. Espresso Coding–for youngers
  3. Foos–app or desktop; K-1
  4. Hopscotch–programming on the iPad
  5. Primo–a wooden game, for ages 4-7
  6. Scratch Jr.
  7. Tynker

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Categories: Critical thinking, Problem solving | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Hour of Code–What is it?

Coding–that mystical geeky subject that confounds students and teachers alike. Confess, when you think of coding, you see:

coding

 

…when you should see

coding

December 5-11, Computer Science Education will host the Hour Of Code–a one-hour introduction to coding, programming, and why students should love it. It’s designed to demystify “code” and show that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, and an innovator.

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Categories: Critical thinking, Problem solving | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Hour of Code–Is it the right choice?

I took a Classroom 2.0 Live webinar last year on rolling out the Hour of Code in the classroom. There were so many great things about that webinar, but one I’ll share today is why teachers DON’T participate in Hour of Code. Here are what the webinar participants said:

hour of codeHow about you? Why are you NOT doing Hour of Code?

Stay tuned for these Hour of Code articles on how to present coding in your classroom:

  1. Hour of Code: What is it? (November 15th)
  2. Hour of Code Suggestions by Grade Level (November 16th)
  3. 10 Projects to Kickstart Hour of Code (November 17th)

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Categories: Critical thinking, Problem solving | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

C-STEM Studio — A Great Way to Blend Math and Robotics

C-STEM Studio is a California A-G approved curriculum and turn-key solution for teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics through computing and robotics.  This web-based scalable program is available for elementary through high school students and can last anywhere from four weeks to a year. As Professor Harry Cheng, Director of the UC Davis Center for Computing and STEM Education who offers this program, states simply: “Our goal is to get kids interested in math and robotics through hands-on computing and robotics.” In fact, the C-STEM Studio algebra curriculum is fully aligned with Common Core state standards in mathematics.

Programs that run through the Studio are:linkbot labs

  • Linkbot–students write a simple program to complete a function that is then uploaded to a robot–in this case, a Linkbot. One feature I found in this program which I rarely saw in others: It’ll point out syntax errors in programming. This is well-suited to younger students.
  • RoboSim–students program a virtual robot of their choice (by picking from among Lego Mindstorm and others) in a virtual environment.
  • RoboBlockly–a web-based robot simulation using a drag-and-drop interface to program virtual Linkbot and Lego robots. The RoboBlockly curriculum includes a student self-guided Hour of Code activity as well as teacher-led math activities that meet Common Core state standards for fourth to ninth grade.
  • ChArduino–students use Ch programming (kind of a simplified, easier-to-learn C+) and an Arduino board.

To assist teachers, UC Davis offers professional development  that lasts between two days and a week on how to roll out the lessons and/or curriculum in their classrooms as well as a C-STEM Conference to share ideas and stories with other educators.  For students, there are CSTEM camps and competitions to showcase the robot wizardry of programmers from elementary through high school.roboblocky

To evaluate C-STEM Studio, let’s look at three questions:

  • so what
  • who cares
  • why bother

So What

One of the most pressing and timely issues facing the education community nationally is how we can address teaching math, science, and engineering concepts to the K-12 population. C-STEM Studio does that with a compelling and thorough software program which trains both students and teachers to use robotics as a superior vehicle for learning math.

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Categories: Games/Simulations, Math, Reviews, Science | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hour of Code: Create Macros

Creating a macro is a quick, easy programming exercise that students fifth grade and up can accomplish with moderate supervision.

By fifth grade, students appreciate technology for how it can speed up their homework and class projects and seek out ways to use it to make their educational journey easier.. Take advantage of this by introducing pre-programming skills like creating macros. Here’s a video I shared during Summer PD:

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Categories: Videos | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Hour of Code: Build Websites

As a tech teacher, I see a lot of student websites. I’m always impressed with the effort, the tenacity, and often the skill, but most require ‘some additional work’ to be published.

And then I got an email from Stephen Byrne. In his quest to better learn history, he blended it with his love of of programming and built a website. It’s called History for Kids. It is exceptional, not only for its clean, intuitive presentation, but it’s age-appropriate language. If your students struggle finding research websites that use words at their grade level, suggest they build their own site like Stephen did:

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Categories: History | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Hour of Code: Program Shortkeys

shortkeyCreating a shortkey for a program will quickly become a favorite with your students. I use it for the snipping tool–because we use that a lot in class–but you can create one for any program you use a lot. Then I discovered how to create a shortkey for it:

  • Go to Start
  • Right click on the desired program
  • Select ‘properties’
  • Click in ‘shortcut’
  • Push the key combination you want to use to invoke the snipping tool. In my case, I used Ctrl+Alt+S
  • Save

Here’s a video to show you:

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Categories: Problem solving, Tech tips | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Hour of Code: Minecraft Review

Every week, I share a website that inspired my students. This one is perfect for Hour of Code. Make yourself a hero for an hour:

Age:

Grades 3-8 (or younger, or older)

Topic:

Problem-solving, critical thinking, building

Address:

Minecraft

Review:

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Categories: 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th grade, 8th grade, Games/Simulations, Problem solving, Websites | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Hour of Code–Program with Alt Codes

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

A hidden coding secret on every computer is the ‘Alt codes’. Those are the symbols you invoke by typing Alt+[a number] on most digital devices. The suggestions below are for PCs, but there are similar lists for Macs and Chromebooks.

Alt+0191 = ¿

Alt+0128 = €

Alt+0169 = ©

Tip: Press the ALT key. While it is pressed, put in the numbers from your NUMBER PAD. It doesn’t work using the numbers at the top of the keyboard). Make sure the NUM LOCK is ON.

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Categories: Keyboarding | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Hour of Code Suggestions by Grade Level

Here are ideas of apps and websites that teachers in my PLN used successfully in the past during Hour of Code:

hour of codeKindergarten

Start kindergartners with problem solving. If they love Legos, they’ll love coding

  1. BotLogic–great for Kindergarten and youngers
  2. Code–learn to code, for students
  3. Daisy the Dinosaur—intro to programming via iPad
  4. How to train your robot–a lesson plan from Dr. Techniko
  5. Kodable--great for youngers–learn to code before you can read
  6. Move the Turtle–programming via iPad for middle schoolhour of code
  7. Primo–a wooden game, for ages 4-7
  8. Program a human robot (unplugged)
  9. Scratch Jr.

1st Grade

  1. Code–learn to code, for students
  2. Espresso Coding–for youngers
  3. Hopscotch–programming on the iPad
  4. Primo–a wooden game, for ages 4-7
  5. Scratch Jr.
  6. Tynker

(more…)

Categories: Critical thinking, Problem solving | Tags: , , | 18 Comments