Saturday, March 10, 2018

Reflective Post 3: Coding in the Classroom

Hi everyone!

I'm back today with another reflection post for my technology grad class!
Yesterday my district had a school wide improvement day. There were 3 different sessions that I attended. The one that I found most interesting was about computer sciences and using coding in the classroom! I have started doing some of this on my own, but it's always great to hear about new resources! I'd like to share some of those with you today :)

Image result for kodable images
This is an app that my students have been using this year...and they love it! Kodable is geared toward kids 5+.  I was able to set up a class account for FREE and each student has their own section to work in and progress. As they complete levels, they can upgrade their "fuzz" character. It's very engaging!

Image result for codespark academy with the foos
This is another app that I use with my students. It is geared toward students ages 5-9. Teachers can sign up for the full program for FREE and students each have their own account to work in. This app allows students to work on automation, sequencing, loops, and more!
Last semester I created a presentation all about this app! Check it out below!

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This website was mentioned at my district SWIP! On this website, you can setup a FREE account! Then you can input your students names and you're ready to go. Setup is super easy...I just did it and it only took a few minutes! If you have multiple classes, you can create a section for each of them.
When students are ready to login, they use your class 6 digit code and then find their name.
That's it!

I'm planning to post our 6 digit code by the computer area, so that it's easy for students to find when they need it. For first grade, my students will start with Course A. In this course, students learn about sequencing, loops, and basic programming. It guides them through the activities and they increase in difficulty as the students complete lessons!

Image result for scratch images
Another FREE option for teaching computer sciences that I learned about yesterday is Scratch! Scratch provides learning activities for elementary through high school students. Students use scratch to learn to code animations, games, and stories! Scratch has teacher accounts that make it easy to setup classes and student accounts. It took me a couple minutes to fill out the form and then get approval for a teacher account.

Image result for tynker images
Another website that was mentioned at my district SWIP yesterday was Tynker. The free aspects seem to be geared toward older students (grades 3 and up). There are lessons for K-2, but they are not free. If you work with older students, this might be a great free option! I signed up with a teacher account and was able to get some lessons for free, but beyond that you have to pay to upgrade and get more lessons. Through Tynker students can learn about minecraft mods, building apps & games, controlling robots, and more!

Bee Bots
Image result for bee bot
These little guys are SO cute! We were able to get hands on and use one at our meeting yesterday. Basically, these work with a grid. You can control the Bee Bot with the buttons on top.
There are SO many ways that you could incorporate these into classroom could put letters or numbers on the grid spaces and have students navigate to to the letter/number that you specify. You could put larger numbers on there and have students solve addition/subtraction/multiplication/division problems and navigate to the correct space. How fun would that be AND they would be practicing coding!

Blue Bots
Image result for blue bot
This is just like the Bee Bot...but he has a see through body so that you can see the insides! It's kind of cool to look at!

Sphero Ball
Sphero Mini App-Controlled Robotic Ball in Orange
The sphero ball comes in a few different colors! It works with an app that you use to control the sphero ball and tell it where to go!

Do you use any of these with your students?
Do you have any recommendations that I could use in my classroom or include in this post?
Let me know in the comments!
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