Month: November 2016

Google Cast for Education

Google Cast for education allows teachers and students to share their computer screen wirelessly with one another.  In West Bloomfield, most grade levels are 1:1 with chromebooks, so this would be a good tool to use to project any chromebook screen onto the teacher computer, which can be projected bigger on screens and interactive white boards in the room.  This is a feature for G Suite Edu accounts.  When you are in your chrome browser, you can locate the cast feature by clicking on the three dots in the upper right hand corner of the screen.screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-7-01-59-am



Hour of Code is almost here!

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are just 2 weeks away from Computer Science Education Week which means the Hour of Code is upon us.  Below I’ve listed coding resources for you to look at ahead of time so that you can plan.  Keep in mind that you are not limited to coding during this specific week or to these resources.  Code can be integrated at any time of the year and there are TONS of tools out there!  This list just scratches the surface.

  • CS Ed Week has a plethora of resources for computer science education week.
  • has a TON of information for educators, doing the hour of code, and code courses for all levels.
  • CS For All allows you to search for resources on computer science.  For instance, I could do a search for “I am a teacher interested in middle school CS education” and it will populate resources that fit your needs.
  • lets you draw, jam, or write adventure stories.  This could be great for art, music, or writing.
  • Many of the robots on the market have lessons or activities to foster learning how to code.  Ozobot, SpheroDash and Dot by MakeWonder lessons
  • Scratch can be used to make interactive stories, games, and animations.  My kindergarten students coded holiday greeting cards to email to their parents a few years ago.  There are also a ton of scratch games that work with Makey Makey if you want to be extra fancy.
  • Hopscotch works with iPhone or iPad that lets you make your own games and art.
  • The Foos by CodeSpark turns computer programming into play.  I would recommend this for younger students.
  • Code Monkey is an online game that teaches you to code.
  • Osmo has a coding game manipulative.  This is more elementary.
  • Code a Pillar is a toy for Pre K-K age kids.  I just learned about this new toy on the news last night!
  • Snakify helps you learn Python
  • Cs first by Google has lessons and activities for 4th-8th grade students.
  • Made with code by Google has many different projects to choose from such as this personalized emoji project I made.  I especially loved the option to have a Hawaiian shirt and laptop.

How does this relate to the classroom? Students are reading, sequencing, writing, scaling, counting, measuring, giving directions, following directions, and problem solving when they code.  It’s not just a technology thing!  Below you will see how I scaffolded coding at my school last year.  In the end, it’s all coding.  Please do not think these tools are exclusive to the grade I taught them too.  Anybody can code using any tool.  Explore them all!

Kindergarten-Bee Bot
First Grade- Kodable
Second Grade-Daisy the Dinosaur and Lego Fix the Factory
Third Grade- Scratch Jr
Fourth Grade-Scratch and Hopscotch
Fifth Grade-Mozilla Webmaker, Codecademy, and Cargo Bot

In today’s classroom, video is used to teach, flip, blend, hook, whatever you want to call it.  Bottom line is, teachers use videos a lot.  They assign them to students to watch.  But do the students really watch them? How can educators hold students accountable to watching the video?

I learned about a tool last week at the miGoogle conference called  This tool allows you to view videos and take notes in real time on the same screen.  It then saves your video notes to your Google Drive.  Each note you make has a time stamp to the video.  I wonder if this would change video assignments at school.  What do you think?

From Pixel Press Floors to Bloxels

Bloxels is a a new fun manipulative that kids can use to design their own video games.  In the past, I used Pixel Press Floors to have students design video games.  Both are great for fostering design thinking.  Both Bloxels and Floors have open source lesson plans available on their websites.

2nd Grade Pixel Press Reflection from KSH Kula Ha’aha’a on Vimeo.