Across the last two weeks, students in kindergarten, first, and second grades have been exploring coding! All these students began learning (or extended their learning) with the iPad app for Scratch, Jr -- a program designed by researchers from Tufts and MIT. This app has been specially designed to help children learn more about coding through visual programming. You can learn more about it here. In our introductory lessons, kindergarten and first grade students began by writing scripts and algorithms for non-digital enactment by a puppet, and then for each other to act out through movement. Students then began coding for characters within the app itself. They explored with the tools (e.g., making characters move, adding characters, adding a background) and some even figured out how to add voice recordings, hand-drawn characters, and text. We will continue to explore the tools for a couple of weeks and then move on to trying out specific tasks or -- as they say in Reggio Emilia programs -- "provocations" to invite deeper exploration and creativity with connections to real world experiences. Second graders explored in the same way after first engaging with Code.org's introductory visual programming course #1. Students log-in to their own account via our district Clever app, and the program keeps track of their progress. Code.org is a non-profit agency committed to supporting computer science. You can learn more about it here. Students can explore more coding games linked in our Coding Fun page. Fifth grade GT students have been exploring Lego Mindstorm Robots with Ms. Paeir and Ms. Abell, and third through fifth grade students will have opportunity to engage more with coding in the spring semester. We look forward to seeing what students can design. Happy creating!
Our VVE choir and percussion put on quite a show last week! We are so proud of all our singers and instrumentalists, and ever grateful for the hard work they put in before and after school every Monday through Thursday for the past four months! The dialogue was witty, the choreography jazzy, decorations stunning, and the music was magical! Before the evening show, Mr. Z even conducted backstage interviews using Facebook Live and shared them via live link to the parents watching in the cafeteria -- so cool! Thank you, Mr. Z, for writing such a beautiful show! See the slideshow below and be sure to check out Mr. Z's facebook music page for the video!
Ed Tech Ashley Pampe at Barton Creek shares a coding app this week for hAPPy Friday -- Swift Playgrounds. This app is appropriate for older students who have some previous coding experience; see the app integration sheet here.
In addition, Ed Tech Marianna Ricketson shares creative ways BPE teachers are using the updated Photo app to annotate iPad photos, and the using the Notes app as an interactive white board via the drawing feature.