Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Parent Communication

While we all want to have timely, effective communication with our parents, many teachers struggle with the upkeep of a website.  Some teachers communicate with families via a blog.  Blogs can be anything you want them to be!  It can be an ongoing personal journal about something you are passionate about or a place to share information.  All of my tech tips are curated on my Technology in the Classroom Blog.  

Some teachers have switched over to a blog instead of a traditional website.  The added bonus of a blog is parents can sign up to receive an email each time you update your blog, resulting in better school to home communication. Updating your blog is an easy as sending a quick email! Blogs can be updated weekly, monthly or as needed.  They can include pictures, videos, calendars, etc.  The announcements can be a short reminder about an upcoming event, or a more detailed description of your curriculum.

Check out some of these great blogs by our colleagues!  Karlyn Lazazzero's Live, Laugh, Learn, Little Blog or 
Stef Carpenter's First Grade with Mrs. Carpenter.  I am sure there are many, more great examples. I would love to check your blog out!

Happy Blogging!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Hour of Code

The week of December 5th - 9th is the "Hour of Code" Week sponsored by Code.org. During this week, students around the world will be introduced to computer programming or coding.  There is no prior experience necessary on the part of the student or the teacher!  Students (or teachers) will choose how to spend their hour of code by completing game-based activities online or on an iPad and will receive a certificate upon completion.

If you would like your students to participate in an Hour of Code, you can dedicate a full hour during the week of December 5th or you can break it up into mini sessions as long as the total time is one hour.  You can use computers, Chromebooks or iPads.  If you do not like the activities provided on Code.org, you can try apps like HopscotchKodable or Scratch (especially appropriate for the younger grades).  Code.org has some wonderful, engaging activities including Frozen, Minecraft, Angry Birds and Star Wars themed activities.  

The goal of this week is to promote interest in computer science.  Over 100 Million students have tried an Hour of Code.  It is available in 40 languages!  We hope to peak the interest of both boys and girls to explore coding in the future. 

If you are interested in exploring coding options or activities, I would be happy help you plan or teach these lessons.  These lessons can be completed at any time - not just next week.

Happy coding!