The 2016 Hour of Code is coming and our Bonny Eagle elementary schools are getting ready! The elementary tech coaches, Mrs. Gleason, Mrs. Vetro, and I, recently collaborated in a professional development session to plan some awesome opportunities for our K-5 students. The Hour of Code, a movement that reaches tens of millions of students worldwide, will be happening in our schools during Computer Science Education Week, December 5th-11th. This global event was founded by a non-profit organization called code.org, which pushes parents, educators, and community leaders to give students opportunities to learn computer science, and is backed by some of the world's most powerful corporations, foundations, and individuals. Are you still wondering what's the big deal? Well, currently, there are 517,393 high-paying computing jobs available nationwide, and last year there were 42,969 computer science graduates. These computing jobs are available in every industry and in every state, and they are projected to grow at twice the rate of all other jobs! By participating in the Hour of Code, we can inspire our students to learn the language of computers, which, in case you haven't noticed, are running almost every aspect of our lives! One hour (or more) of code is a pledge that we've made to help our students learn about an opportunity that could change their lives and even the world! What are you waiting for? Visit code.org to start coding yourself. It's never too late to try!
I recently learned about a fun and engaging way for students to practice re-reading. Any teacher will tell you that asking students to silently re-read the same book over and over again is a pretty mundane task, and typically one that students are reluctant to join in on. Still, it has value. Students improve their fluency, expression, and comprehension by re-reading familiar stories. Next time you ask your students to re-read a story, why not incorporate Shadow Puppet Edu and Seesaw to provide your students with an authentic audience for their effort in becoming fluent readers? Students can capture their reading with Shadow Puppet Edu and then upload their project to Seesaw. Click here to see an example of a completed project. From Seesaw, your students' peers and families can hear them reading a story. If it's a story from your classroom library, you can even print out a QR code of their project so other children can listen to the reading as they read along. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if re-reading becomes one of your students' favorite activities once you assign this project. Schedule an appointment with me to learn more about this awesome opportunity for your students.
Did you know that since Duck Duck Moose has partnered with Khan Academy, all of their fun, engaging, and educational apps are completely and totally FREE? I learned about Duck Duck Moose apps from Common Sense Media when I was searching for fun and engaging educational apps for my own children to explore at home, but Duck Duck Moose has several fabulous apps for practicing math and reading skills that would be ideal for early elementary classrooms as well. Check out Word Wagon, Moose Math, Pet Bingo, and DDM Reading. Your students will be glad you did!