Saturday, April 9, 2016

First Graders Can Code!

First Graders Can  Code!


This year I have really committed myself to adding more and more technology into my teaching.  
I see how our world is changing and I think incorporating computer science into my day is a big MUST!

So... you say, what is computer science?

computer science... 
is the study of computers and computational systems. Unlike electrical and computer engineers, computer scientists deal mostly with software and software systems; this includes their theory, design, development, and application.
Principal areas of study within Computer Science include artificial intelligence, computer systems and networks, security, database systems, human computer interaction, vision and graphics, numerical analysis, programming languages, software engineering, bioinformatics and theory of computing. 
Although knowing how to program is essential to the study of computer science, it is only one element of the field. Computer scientists design and analyze algorithms to solve programs and study the performance of computer hardware and software. The problems that computer scientists encounter range from the abstract-- determining what problems can be solved with computers and the complexity of the algorithms that solve them – to the tangible – designing applications that perform well on handheld devices, that are easy to use, and that uphold security measures. 



Coding, also called programming, is a part of computer science.
  
So, what is coding?  According to (http://avc.com/2015/09/what-is-coding/), coding is
just instructing a machine what we want it to do. Anytime you are instructing a machine what to do, you are coding. That could be writing python code, that could be setting the alarm on your phone.
The point of teaching kids to code is that machines are becoming an ever more important part of our lives and an ever more important part of society and the economy.
Those who are good at instructing machines will have an easier time navigating the life that is in our future.
This seems overwhelming, right?  Thinking that first graders would be able to code?  They are too little!  They are too small!  No way can a little first grader do that.  Coding is for older kids.  Like, college kids.

I bet you have thought one of those sentences before.  Before I started looking into computer science and realizing how important it is I thought the same kinds of things.

But, then I realized...


Kids are like sponges.  
They learn so much when they are little.  They just soak up all the information they can.  Coding is like learning a new language.  We start teaching how to speak a new language early so why not start teaching my kiddos a new language too.  The language of code!
Now you may think, gosh!  This wonderful :) teacher must know how to code herself.  She must be an expert on the computer.  She must be a technology wizard.  The IT go getter!  (hehehehe)  She is teaching coding to her first grade class and she isn't afraid to do it. (ahhhhhhh)

Well, I am here to tell you that none of that is true.  I am NO expert.  Just a plain first grade teacher who is passionate about her job.  Trying to get my students to learn as much as they possibly can and willing to take a leap and try new ways of teaching my students.

We are in a technology era!

Kids LOVE technology (I do too)!

What does my son want to do when he gets home from school?  Play with his iPad, play with video games, or play on my computer.


We need to change our thinking to meet our students needs.  Using our iPads (1:1) while learning is amazing.  I have 100% engagement!  Who doesn't want that.

This year I have incorporated coding into my weekly schedule.  I started out small.  On Friday's in the afternoon, we would get out our iPads and go to Tynker.  I got the students hooked on it and begging for more!  (Mrs. Wolfe, Can we go on Tynker?  Please!!)  The students loved coding.  They thought they were just playing games but they were learning how to code in FIRST GRADE!!!

There are numerous websites to help students or anyone learn how to code.  Most of them are free or have free lessons you can do.  They have challenges or puzzles that students can complete to learn how to code.  Here are a list of some:



After my class used Tynker for awhile and felt more comfortable with block coding I knew how I was going to bring even MORE excitement to coding.
My school recently purchased Dash and Dot from Wonder Workshop.
.

Dash an Dot are robots.  First Graders playing with robots???  Yes!!!  Dash and Dot were a perfect addition to adding more excitement to coding.

My students got to see the block coding come to life.  They got to see their actions in the block code make the robot move.

I learned so much too by getting out the robots.  I knew coding was important but I realized how important it is for everyone to learn and how many skills it works on.

Here are some of the skills I found coding works on:

teamwork
reading
comprehension
following directions
problem solving skills
self-esteem


I know, I couldn't believe coding would work on SO many skills, but it does.

My students asked me if we could use the robots everyday this week.  I think they are hooked!!  (yay!!)

Check out this video of some of my students checking to see if their robot worked after they coded using the Blocky app


They get SO excited when the code is correct and Dash follows it.  It builds up their confidence.  


I told them numerous times that when they do coding that they will FAIL and that is okay.  It isn't going to be easy.  It is going to take practice and persistence.  It is going to take following directions and problem solving.

Failing is okay!!

Yes, failing is okay!!!

Just keep trying and you will get it!

Just like the Wright Brothers kept trying.  They have to keep trying.

I had some students who were ready to give up.  I just told them to keep trying.  Follow the directions and make sure your code says that.  Keep trying!  You can do it!  When the students then would figure out the issue, they were beyond excited about it.

Playing with robots were amazing this week!  First graders learning to code was amazing this week.  First graders are amazing!


Please give coding a try!!  Your students will love it and it should be incorporated into your curriculum. 


Just like Steve Jobs.  It teaches you how to think!  Isn't that what we want our students to do and be able to do?

Thanks so much for stopping by!


       Have a Wolfelicious day!

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Saturday, September 5, 2015

GoNoodle’s Back to School Blogger Blitz



Do you give brain breaks?

I love giving them to my class.


Since our curriculum is so tough my students need these breaks.  We have a long day of learning and these breaks help the students get ready to listen and learn.
 Photo of Go Noodle Wolfelicious

Have you heard of GoNoodle?

It is AMAZING!!

Not only do I love it, my students do too!

My students ask numerous times throughout the day if we can do a GoNoodle!  They love seeing their monster grow and picking out new ones.

 Photo of Go Noodle Wolfelicious

What I love about it is that brain breaks are all in one spot.  GoNoodle has a ton of different "Channels" for you to choose from.  Adding more and more excitement to brain breaks.  Plus, GoNoodle keeps adding more and more videos to their library.

 Photo of Go Noodle Wolfelicious

My of our favorites are anything by Koo Koo Kangaroo and Moose Tube.

My first grade son has started coming home and wanting to get on GoNoodle too.  

GoNoodle = Fun!!

I have some exciting news too!!  


I am going to be having a giveaway for one lucky reader.  One reader who is randomly chosen will win 25 Eraselets.  These Eraselets are SO cool.  It is a bracelet that is also an eraser!  Wouldn't your students just love these?

To enter, please leave a comment on my blog about if you have used GoNoodle in your classroom or home.  Please leave your name and email and I will pick one winner on Sept. 7th (My son's birthday).

CONGRATULATIONS CAROLYN!!!!

If you haven't checked out the GoNoodle shop, you need to.  Here is a code for my Wolfelicious reader for 15% off of everything.  Just enter code: BTSwithGoNoodle.  This code will be valid Sept. 4- 11 so figure out what you need for your class.


Thanks so much for stopping by!


       Have a Wolfelicious day!


         Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschooler, Staff - TeachersPayTeachers.com

        

                       
 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Classroom Reveal 2015-2016

Are you ready?


Are you ready to see a Wolfelicious classroom?


I have been a busy bee over the summer getting my classroom prepared.  I got new carpet in my room so everything was taken out and I had to start over.

Every year I think about what I liked about my room and what I could change to make it better for myself and my students.

I decided I liked a whole bunch of things about my classroom.  Like, the black and white, the mustaches, and most of the setup.  But, I did want to change a couple things.

Here is how I decided to make the classroom look for this year, 2015-2016 school year.

I hope you enjoy it. 

We are going to start looking into the classroom from the front door straight on.

photo of Wolfelicious classroom

Looking in from the door you see our whole group area (carpet), calendar board, computers on the left side, and library.  The computers are all against the wall this year, which is a change from last year.

Over by the computers and the library is my bulletin board all ready for my Power Pix.
photo of Wolfelicious classroom

I will add the Power Pix throughout the year.  I made new Math Power Pix for myself that go with My Math.  Check out them here and here.

Beside the Power Pix bulletin board is my new birthday board.

photo of Wolfelicious classroom

Here is where I displayed all the student's birthdays.  I am super excited about this board.  It looks so cool plus I made it so cheap.  Check out my post about it here.  I also bought a Lava Lamp.  It has black lava in it so it goes with the room.  I had a Lava Lamp when I was younger and loved it.  When I saw them in a store I knew I had to buy one for my classroom.

Beside the birthday area I have a cabinet.  This year I decided to use the Go Write on one side of it for Spelling Words.

photo of Wolfelicious classroom

I love how this turned about and it will be perfect for centers.

Looking at the back wall is my calendar area.  This is also where the carpet is for our meeting area.
photo of Wolfelicious classroom
Everything I need for calendar is on this bulletin board or around it.  I also have my classroom rules under the mustache.

The next picture is taken from right inside the classroom and looking to the other side of the classroom.

photo of Wolfelicious classroom

In this picture you see the sink, guided reading area, and my teacher area.  Also, you can see the students are in pods of 4.

Now we are looking in between the other two areas.

photo of Wolfelicious classroom

Here you can see lots of student desks grouped in pods of 4 and my teacher area.

This picture is taken from the front of the class by the Smartboard toward the back door. 

photo of Wolfelicious classroom

This picture is taken from the Smartboard but towards the front door of the classroom.

You can see the word wall and the restroom door.
photo of Wolfelicious classroom
Here is a close up of my student desks.  This year I am trying out the drawers in the middle. 
Top drawer: Math supplies
Middle drawer: Science/Social Studies Notebook and dry erase boards
Bottom drawer: Books in baggies for a browsing box.

On top of the drawer set is a basket for trash.  I also have hand sanitizer and a box of tissues on each group.  

photo of Wolfelicious classroom

On the other side of the Smartboard is this lovely wall.

photo of Wolfelicious classroom

It has decor and things I had to put up.  The red frame is for our essential question in reading each week.  Under it is where I am displaying the special of the day for the students to see.  In the middle on the black framed board are my standards.

Here is a close up of the standard board.  Click here to check out the Florida Standards Posters from here and here.


photo of Wolfelicious classroom

I got the board from Hobby Lobby and the posters are on my TPT store.  I was going to use the clothes pins to clip them on but I decided to use the rings so I could just flip around each standard and instead of taking it off and replacing.

Under the red frame is where I am going to post my special of the day.

photo of Wolfelicious classroom
The special is just taped on and I can trade it out everyday.  I am using a bucket beside it to hold the other specials.  Check out my Specials Posters.

I hope you have enjoyed your tour of my classroom.  I am excited for the year to begin on Monday!

Check out some of my previous classroom reveals.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


       Have a Wolfelicious day!


         Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Twelfth, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschooler, Staff - TeachersPayTeachers.com