Monday, 5 December 2016

Hour of Code in Grade 1

The resources around Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code are just begging to be used. There are so many developmentally appropriate entry points for every age level - it's a no-brainer!

In Grade 1, we began with an unplugged activity. As a class, we created a code to use, and in pairs, they took turns being the coder (who created the code) and the robot (who carried out the code). It was great to see them role-play being the robot, and carry out the instructions the coder had left for them on whiteboards.

Following that, we got our iPads and explored Course 1, Stage 4 of's amazing resource for 4-6-year-olds. To say they enjoyed the Angry Birds Maze activity would be an understatement! Many of them reached Stage 7 in only a very short window of time, so it was impressive to see their computational thinking skills strengthen!

Below is a short video of our exploration with Coding. We would love to hear what you are up to with Coding in the Early Years. Please leave us a comment below.

Digital Bytes - Dec 5th, 2016

DK Find Out

DK Find Out is a fantastic site for kids to look for age-appropriate information. There are articles, diagrams, videos, fun facts and quizzes.
Like the DK books, the website is visually rich and students can use a combination of text, images and video to learn more.
How Should Reading be Taught in a Digital Era?

Writer Liana Heiton states that the nature of reading has changed significantly in the past decade, however questions whether teaching practices have developed alongside. In the article How Should Reading be Taught in a Digital Era, she explores different online reading options and finishes with a quote from Katherine Hale: "But reading isn't just reading print text anymore. Reading is reading the world."
YouTube Kids

Learning something new often involves watching a video these days and our go to video site is YouTube.
YouTube kids is a free app which allows kids to search and find videos and not have to worry about advertising or inappropriate content/links.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Friendly Friday Advice: make your holiday great, with Goodreads

Faculties who read together...learn together.

My quick Friendly Friday advice is about using the hidden Listopia feature inside of your Goodreads account:

If you aren't following Katie and Stuart on Goodreads--it is a wonderful idea to do so, they've curated shelves to keep your 'to-read' tally healthy.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Ideas for Shared iPads

How lucky are we? We recently added 6 iPads to each G3-5 class, augmenting their existing 1:1 Macbook Air laptops.

Planning for valuable use of shared devices requires some creative thinking, particularly when you are used to 1:1 devices. That said, the small number of devices provides a great opportunity to differentiate for powerful learning, maximise small-group rotations and engage in collaborative activities.

Together with some of our wonderful Digital Literacy Mentors (Mike & Jocelyn), Dave and I developed some ideas about how to best manage shared devices and use them effectively to support learning.

We hope you find these tips for shared devices useful.