Saturday, April 6, 2019

Coding Across the Curriculum

Why Coding?
Coding in kindergarten seems like an impossible task, but I've found that students of this age are quite capable. I chose to introduce coding to my students for multiple reasons: it increases confidence, promotes creativity, builds community, and challenges students to be risk-takers. Coding apps such as Kodable and Tynker as well as robots such as the Beebot and Ozobot have been an important resource in engaging my students with content across the curriculum. 
Kodable
Kodable is an app, but can also be accessed on a laptop. You can easily set up your class by going to the website www.kodable.com
Student using Kodable on an iPad

Students are tasked with getting Fuzzy to the end of the maze by dragging direction arrows and putting them in order. After selecting the play button, students will see if their directions successfully get Fuzzy to the end. We also created our own Kodable maze along with the direction cards. 


After that students used their writing skills to compose a how-to piece to describing how to get through the maze. 

Beebots
Kindergarten students love Beebots! It's an easy-to-use programmable floor robot that teaches a variety of skills like directionality and sequencing. 
You can purchase a reusable mat to accompany the Beebot, but I made some of my own. One of the ways that we used the Beebot is to code our way to find certain sight words.
Students code the BeeBot to find a certain sight word.

I created another mat that contained rhyming words. Students picked a card and coded the Beebot to get to its rhyming match. Their task was complete when the Beebot reached the honey. 
Students using the Beebot to find rhyming words..
Ozobots
Ozobots are pocket-sized robots that can be programmed to detect colors, follow lines or roam freely. 
We are still experimenting with it, but my students loved using the Ozobot to match a subtraction expression with the answer. 
We used the turbo speed code "Blue-Green-Blue" to connect the problem to the solution. I also created an activity for a PD workshop for intermediate grades.  Teachers were asked to create a path for the Ozobot to travel the Oregon Trail.

Sphero Mini
The Sphero Mini is my latest coding endeavor in kindergarten. Although it's the tiny version of the Sphero, there's a lot that it can do.

Using the Sphero Play app, you can program it using a joystick, block coding or your face...yes your face. In the photo above, one of my students is using the joystick feature to practice maneuvering the Mini. 

 
After learning how to use the app to steer the Sphero we used it for our Turkey Bowling subtraction activity. 

Two students faced off by using the Mini to knock down as many pins as they could.  We put those numbers into ten frames and then circled the one that was more than the other.  This was a great way to engage and extend our exploration of more and less.
There are so many ways to integrate coding across the curriculum.  I feel as if we've only scratched the surface.  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Stop Motion in the Primary Classroom

Stop motion...in kindergarten? No way, right? That's what I thought at first.  It seemed too complicated and I never thought to try it with my own students...until this year.
 I knew right way, after playing around with the Stop Motion App, that my students could easily navigate it.
 Check out how simple it is!
1. Tap the plus button to start a new video.
2. Students tap the red button to take pictures and the bottom of the screen displays the pictures in order as you take them. 

3.  After you're done taking pictures, select the speed for your video. 
4.  Then record!
Our first stop motion adventure was in science.  One of our standards is to identify plant characteristics, but we took it a step further. We decided to build the parts of a plant with play-doh.   Then students used their play-doh parts to show the life cycle of a plant. Here's an example....
This was an easy, quick first activity. Next, I wanted to integrate Stop Motion animation in ELA, specifically reading comprehension. Retelling was a skill that my students sometimes struggled with, so I wanted to try something different to engage them. I needed a book that had simple illustrations, so I used one of our shared reading texts from the UOS (Units of Study). Super Mouse is a short, familiar, predictable text that my students fell in love with. 
I introduced the assignment and our first step was to create the "props" for our retelling. They drew their own background, Super Mouse and other items depicted in the book.  Then, I had a crazy idea to have them work as partners. Before we started, we modeled, practiced and discussed what the partnership should look like.  One would take the pictures and the other would move the props. Did it work, yes!!! Here are some pics of my students collaborating. 

The classroom was abuzz with sounds of engagement and not a single disagreement, which allowed me to serve as facilitator.  After the students finished taking their pictures, it was time to do the voice over. This was done independently in their recording spots and after that we uploaded to Seesaw, which was super easy(see below).

Voila! Here is the finished product after we uploaded it to Seesaw. 
                                   
We had such a great time with these and my only regret was that we didn't start using the app earlier in the year. If you use stop motion with your students, I would love for you to share in the comments below.  

Thursday, November 24, 2016

I can do that with Kahoot!

Do you want to make your Kahoots even more engaging? Click on the image below to check out my blog post at The Primary Peach.


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Pumpkin Pie in a Bag

This no bake activity was a hit in my classroom and it's so easy to make! It literally took 10 minutes. 
My kinders loved helping me crush the graham crackers, taking turns using the rolling pin.
Then, we mixed the vanilla pudding and milk together. We had to knead that well, so a lot of students were able to help out. 
We added the pumpkin pie, cinnamon and ginger to the mixture and kneaded again
Then we added the graham crackers, pumpkin mixture to the cups and topped it with whipped cream. 
Then we dug in! They loved it!
Just follow the directions below and you will have pumpkin pie in no time!
If you try this in your class, I would love to know how it turned out!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

How to use Post-Its for Easy Assessments

Check out my post over at The Primary Peach on how I use Post-Its for easy assessments in my Kindergarten class. Click on the image below to get there:)
I would love to hear how you are using Post-its in your classroom.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Book Creator and Seesaw

This year in kindergarten we used Book Creator to write books and stories.  By the end of the year my students became experts and decided to start typing their stories. Here a few of the stories written by my kinders and uploaded to Seesaw.
                                  
Jayden wrote about his family's trip to Six Flags. His story is a great example of our work in the UOS and telling a story across pages. 
      
This student wrote about her family's trip to the pool and she wrote across pages with a different experience on each page. 

                                 
I love this student's complex sentences and transition words. He was the one who started the typing bug in our class. After he shared his book, all of his classmates wanted to give it a try.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

End of the Year Poem Freebie

We are celebrating our 1 year Blogiversary at The Primary Peach! 
To show our appreciation, we are linking up and posting freebies for you!
Do you need a sweet and simple way to say goodbye to your kids this year? This encouraging poem would be great to attach to an end of the year gift. Click on the image below to get this freebie. 
Click on the image below to head back to The Primary Peach and enter to win an Erin Condren Planner!