Hour of Code and Computer Programming

Did you and your class participate in the HOUR OF CODE last week?

The Hour of Code aimed to get 10 millions students learning how to code. More than 19 millions students participated!

This video is wonderful. A parent in my classroom sent it to me and I was instantly on board. 

Our entire school participated and now that I have a better understanding of what my kids were learning and how much they can do I'm jumping in full force and trying it myself. 

My first graders worked on Tynker during their hour of code and worked through several lessons. You can sign up your entire class for free. Each lesson has interactive animation and students drag and drop their commands to see if they can meet their goals. For example, one student was trying to make a dog jump over a pair of shoes. The informational video is short and worth looking at. Tynker has grade level specific lesson plans and uses a watch-learn-do approach with teaching. My kiddos couldn't get enough. I've requested information for the Premium Membership so I don't know how pricey it will be. 

Our school hosted a Scratch marathon too. The library was PACKED with students from all grade levels. Scratch is free and I just worked through the introductory lesson this morning. It was pretty fun making the cat change color and dance. (I'm such a kid at heart)

I showed my students the app Hopscotch too. It's a coding app that is free and also uses drag and drop commands to teach computer programming.

Another free computer programming app is Daisy the Dinosaur
Drag and drop commands to program Daisy.

The best thing about these Tynker and these apps is that EVERY one of your students can participate and be successful. Even if you don't think of yourself as a techy person or a tech-saavy teacher go try a Scratch or Tynker lesson while we are on break! Your class will be so excited and impressed if you show them how to program!


Well…I'm a few days late in announcing but as you all know the last week before winter break is completely exhausting! I still haven't even started my Christmas shopping. I have my list but haven't actually shopped at all. It just snuck up on me! It was Thanksgiving about five minutes ago wasn't it?

Anyhoo, I'm very happy to announce that the winner of a Common Core Connections workbook is Cynthia Arki!

Congratulations Cynthia! You should receive your workbook soon! A big thank you to all who entered!

Gingerbread and Pancakes?

Say what? Gingerbread and pancakes? 

I'm not talking about treats I'm talking about John Lithgow's 
Marsupial Sue Presents The Runaway Pancake!

It's similar to the tale of The Gingerbread Man except it's a pancake that escapes! The pancake sings a clever little song as he finds his way past all different characters. It's a wonderful story to compare with the Gingerbread Man with your whole class. My school has a license to Tumblebooks. John Lithgow himself reads the version on Tumblebooks and he does it with style! You can sign up for a 30 Day Free Trial of Tumblebooks here

*If you are needing an idea for a grant a license for your whole school Tumblebooks is AMAZING. They have more stories than you can count all read aloud. They even have a Common Core Portal so you can find books related to the exact CCS you need.

I've discovered many books that I had never heard of!

Another site I just discovered is Storyline Online. It's an online literacy program from the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. Actors read aloud different famous picture books for children. The stories are perfect for talking about expression too. Many of the actors read in different voices with different book characters. It's a perfect site for your students to visit during Listening to Reading or, if your my book-loving class, during indoor recess or snack.

Common Core Connections Giveaway!

A couple of months ago I was contacted by Carson Dellosa and asked to do a review on two workbooks. 

Common Core Connections Language Arts Grade 1

Common Core Connections Math Grade 1

Y'all- no lie, these workbooks are AWESOME! Each workbook has a checklist of skills and an assessment. I used the math book pages for reteaching and assessing after reteaching. They are GREAT for assessing after reteaching! 

The reading comprehension passages in the Language workbook are a little too difficult for the majority of my class. However, I used them in small group with my two highest reading groups. The passages are perfect for working on finding main idea and detail. After practicing in small group a few times I sent home some passages as homework. My students have really enjoyed them. I like that the passages are brief and the questions require the students to look for answers or use inferencing skills. One of my parents is a teacher at our school. She commented on how much she liked the reading comprehension passages!

Wouldn't you love one of these great resources? I'm giving one away to one lucky follower! Just enter using the Rafflecopter below. Winner announced next Wednesday December 18.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remembering Sandy Hook

How could someone do such a hateful thing?

Nearly a year ago as we were teaching we heard just a trickle of information through parents and on the web. We knew there was a school shooting. We knew students were killed. We didn't really have many  of the facts until much later. 
All of it broke my heart.
I hugged my kids a little tighter that day...every day the rest of December. 
I'm the kind of teacher that tells my kids that I love them. I told them I loved them a LOT in December.

The people of Newtown, CT would like us to commit RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS December 14 in order to honor the teachers and students of Sandy Hook School. Isn't that a wonderful? So simple! Pass along some kindness.

**As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School. We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children. We honor their memory with our service. Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.**

Big thank you and big hug to Greg from Kindergarten Smorgasboard who organized all of these posts bringing together bloggers from all over! XO

Get ready to get your shop on!!

Woot woot! I'm so excited for the Cyber Monday/Tuesday sale on TPT!

I've loaded my cart with LOTS of goodies including these great items:

First up is Candy Cane Creations from The Hands on Teacher in First! It's an engineering project for your first graders using candy canes!

I'm working on finishing up my North Pole Math Centers and hope to have them up tomorrow! Be sure to check out my whole store. EVERYTHING will be on sale!!

Happy Shopping Y'all!