Apps Needed For Today
Blockly for Dot and Dash
Other Featured Apps
Go for Dot and Dash
Path for Dot and Dash
Apps Needed For Today
Click on the links below to download the apps you need for this session.
Blockly for Dot and Dash
Other Featured Apps
Go for Dot and Dash
Path for Dot and Dash
Download These Apps
Needed for In-Session Activity
iMovie for iPad
Apps Showcased in Presentation (For Browsing and Tinkering)
Lego Movie Maker
Green Screen by DoInk
Presentation in Google Slides
Thank you for attending my session! Have a great day.
I love coding and I have been looking for ways to make coding more authentic and "real world" for my first graders. We decided to dive into one of our favorite apps Scratch Jr. Our class decided to create a "touch and learn" game for our kindergarten buddies next door. We started with the app projected on our white board. and just brainstormed ways to code this game in the app. My students had already had a couple months to explore and play in the app! I am a huge believer in this practice. It truly does help. So the main point we kept focusing one was:
"How do the games you play behave? How do you know when something went wrong of right?"
It was amazing to see them talk and act like game designers. We decided to create a game that would reinforce the kindergarten learning goal of learning sums of 5. Finally an authentic task!!!
We then decided that wrong answers would simply disappear and that right answers would be coded to have a congratulation recording! We also figured out how the right answer could also be coded to move the game on to the next level! So cool! We also figured we only needed one character on each slide that would reinforce the games goal of "touching the math fact that equals 5" which we would need to code to have a speech bubble (for readers) and an audio prompt (for non-readers). Yes. All these ideas came from kids! Seriously :)
The project was awesome and the kids really enjoyed learning like game designers. This project really drove home the complexity of coding. Kids started to realize that behind every action in their favorite games is a coder and programmer :) And yes, I was totally geeking out this whole project!!
I recently did a measuring activity with my first graders. The kids were so engaged. Please click on the below link to read more about it on my class blog!
With the help of an amazing teacher from Iowa, Leka DeGroot (follow her!!), I have come up with a collaborative coding project using Wonder Workshops Dot and Dash Robots! Here is how to participate!
Required App and Robots!
You will need...
Create the Board!!
Follow these steps as close as you can! To "decode" the secret words, our boards are going to have to be the same in dimensions. I tried to keep the creation easy while using materials you will find in most elementary schools and classrooms. So here is what you need to do:
Download The Secret Word Coding Sheet!
Now we need to send each other messages! Please download the following "secret word" decoding sheet! It will be easier if you print or copy double sided. The coding sheet has instructions at the top to follow.
The Question and Secret Word!!
Next, think of a question about your school, state, or country! Remember, it needs to have a short 1-3 word answer :) Then you just need to write the code for the answer to your question! Make sure to write the code out on the Secret Word Coding Sheet. You should probably test the code with your robots and Blockly app just to make sure too! Write the code like it would look in the Blockly app. See the picture below.
Hint: We were getting better results (with our older model Dot and Dash) when we changed the speed to slow! Running the code fast was not working as well ;)
After that, write an email to Mr. Lee! Please write the question in the subject line and attach your secret coding sheet to the email! Let us know where you are from and what grade you are in ;)
Mr Lee's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally TWEET us @mrleesbees to let us know you sent the code our way! We will tweet you back the answer and then send you a question back in an email! Let's do this!!
Coding is so much fun!
Mr Lee's First Grade Bees, Honolulu, HI
We are a very tech-loving first grade class. We decided to integrated our love for iPads into our Christmas celebrations. We started with a tech-integrated Christmas celebration with our families. Traditionally, classes at our school have children present what is most important to them at Christmas and then sing Christmas carols. We did that, but we just decided to use iMovie and Green Screen (movie created on the iPad).
After sharing the video, we did Christmas themed "learning" rotations that highlighted the flow of our class. The stations were as followed:
Here is our "Santa in Hawaii" the families and kids created in Explain Everything. It was easy to do. The kids created one slide in Explain Everything. They used the drawing feature to create a famous (or their favorite place) on our island. They then took a picture of their Santa character and imported it into the scene. The finished by saving the picture into our Google Drive "dropbox". I imported all their completed scenes into one master project and exported it as a movie.
Speaking of Explain Everything, we used the app, along with iMovie to create our annual Christmas gift for the parents. I went to an Explain Everything training this fall with Reshan Richards (the founder) and he showed us how you could import and picture into Explain Everything. You could then mute the mic button and have the kids trace their picture with a stylus while recording in the app (always make sure they are recording). When they are done tracing their picture, they can move their "recording" all the way back to the beginning and delete the actual picture. When they hit play now all that will be left is their actual drawing.
We took their digital drawing and put it into iMovie on their iPads. The kids added music and a voiceover of a poem they wrote about what they love about themselves and their families.
Next, we put their videos on YouTube to create a unique URL. We then created a QR code out of that URL. The kids created a Christmas card directing their parents to scan the QR code. When they did, this is what popped up on their phone our iPad (Note: I wrioe a quick email encouraging parents to download a QR code scanner the day before the cards went home).
We really had a blast "tech-ifying" our Christmas experience their year. I really hope you enjoyed reading this and please email with any questions.
I am so excited to share a free iTunesU course I created to help primary school teachers launch coding experiences for their students. You can download the course at this link
I am not a computer programer. I am just a first grade teacher who really saw the powerful impact coding and programming had in my classroom. I created this resource to help teachers just like me!! I hope you find it useful!
You will need iTuneU downloaded on your iPad ;) Below is a screenshot of my excited reaction to being "published" by Apple on Facebook!
I teach in a large independent school with over 3,000 students. We have multiple campuses on our big campus. I work in what is called the Omidyar K-1 Neighborhood (named after Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar who is a distinguished and highly successful Punahou alumni). Our K-1 Nieghborhood implements something called the "slide model". We have 25 students that enter a kindergarten classroom. At the end of their kindergarten year, the group of kids slide to a first grade classroom next door. This model is like looping without the teach moving up with the students.
The kindergarten and first grade classrooms have shared spaces. We are encouraged to have shared learning experiences so the first grade teacher can get to know the kindergarteners throughout the year. Kindergarten students know exactly who their first grade teachers will be the following year.
The "slide" also promotes teaming and collaboration between K-1 teaching partners. My partner and I plan together and discuss differentiation for our students.
My teaching partner is amazing. She is the quintessential kindergarten teacher. She also does an amazing Thanksgiving gathering. She hits on everything from family heritage to what it means to be truly thankful. She has a truly special gathering. How do I top that?
This year I decided to focus purely on friendship. We would do multiple activities that we promote teamwork and team building. I didn't have a parent gathering but rather had my students use Book Creator to document the whole process. We crafted. We cooked. It was awesome. The day before Thanksgiving Break we had a giant feast. The placemats and flower centerpieces where created by the students. We created table clothes and we cooked the side dishes. We had a generous family donate the turkey and we were set.
It was a truly special event. Our classroom environment and atmosphere improved greatly. Please enjoy the below sample of Book Creator project by one of our students.
I always love to tie learning into exciting holidays. It is a way to focus the undeniable energy of our littles during the holiday. Please watch the video below about how we coded our way to Thanksgiving!
I am a huge advocate for personalized learning. In order to do that I implement learning stations into every subject area. My goal is to deliver the bulk of my instruction in groups of 5-6 students where each student is interacting with activities, stories, games, lessons that are tailored to their developmental and instructional goals. I use this in literacy, writing, and math. My class meets on the carpet for morning meeting for about 20-25 minutes. That is the longest I keep my kids on the carpet all day. The rest of our day is spent rotating through learning stations with quick transitions and check in's in-between. I do have 5-6 minute read alouds what focus on social emotional and comprehension goals but other than that we are rotating away. I would say that minus specials, lunch and recess we have about 4 hours of instructional time in a typical day. My goal is to keep my kids on the carpet for only about 45 minutes of that time each day.
In order to do that, I need to provide the kids with engaging and educational learning stations. This post is aimed at giving you a glimpse into my current math rotations.
BEE A Problem Solver
This station is run by me. The station has a weekly math problem that incorporates our math focus that week. I use technology and classroom manipulative to scaffold the instruction to meet each child's goals and needs. In this picture, we are using the app Number Pieces to solve a problem dealing with sums of ten. They will then put their screen shots from this app and put them in Popplet to organize the pictures. They will then move their Popplet to Explain Everything to explain their mathematical thinking. The station runs for 20 minutes. This kids will have at least 3 sessions (1 hour) to complete the prompt.
BEE A Coder!
This is our "home base" to integrate coding seamlessly into our classroom. I use this station to engage students in "unplugged" coding activities as well as engaging coding apps. As the year develops, the kids become more comfortable coding. At that point, students use this station to work on coding projects using coding robots and apps such as Scratch Jr.
BEE A Gamer
In this station, children choose math games that interest them and are aimed at engaging them in mathematical concepts we are covering in class.
BEE a Dreamer
In this station, the kids play excellent math games in the website/app Dreambox. It is a great app. If you haven't heard of it, check it out. http://www.dreambox.com/
These stations are engaging and very focused. The kids build independence as they monitor their own learning. This independence gives me invaluable time to work with children in small, differentiated learning groups.
Connect With Me Here!!
Jake is a passionate and dedicated early childhood educator who truly values technology integration. He believes technology builds an open minded and entrepreneurial spirit even in our youngest learners. He has been teaching in the early childhood field for over a decade. His current educational technology focuses are coding, blogging, and digital storytelling. He has been a presenter and featured speaker at many national conferences such as ISTE, iPad Summit, and the South by Southwest Education Conference. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator and a certified Apple Teacher. He is currently an independent contractor working with students, teachers, and parents on engaging and productive uses of technology and mobile devices. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his husband and two sons.