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Monday, December 3, 2018

Code Folders

Code for Kids

Each year
 in December we celebrate Computer Science Education Week by participating in coding activities during IT classes. Hour of Code is an international effort to get kids creating computer code and many of the resources we use come from Students in grades one through five have a code folder on their home screen. Even though these apps look like games and kids have a lot of fun using them, they are in fact learning some great skills.
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Hour of Code LINK
“The 'Hour of Code™' is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week and to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming.”

This year students in grades 3-5 had a great time creating dance routines with Dance Party

Here are some other programs we used:

Image result for kodable icon       Image result for code spark academy 
First and Second Grade

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Third and Fourth Grade

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Fifth Grade
Swift Playgrounds

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We read, How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funke to all students in grades 1-5. This simple book provided a basic overview of how code works and introduced us to sequences, loops, and conditionals. 

If you would like more information about code or would like to collaborate on more coding projects please stop by.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Student Reading Folders

Student reading folders can be a source for free reading materials and for classroom research. Many online libraries provide opportunities for unlimited numbers of students to read the same book so they are also great for small group reading. Some digital libraries include digital as well as audio books. Folders should include the following:
For information on how to create a classroom account you can watch the "Getting Started" video. LINK

You can also learn how to create a student quiz (multiple choice or true and false) to check for understanding, create a collection of books and use the student reading logs. 

Storyline Online Free, No Login

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Storynory Free, No Login

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Destiny Discover Our South School library collection of digital books as well as access to the online library catalog and personal account information. Students (and teachers) can put books on hold here and see what they have out. 

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Monday, June 4, 2018

Video Sources

Kids love to watch videos, and if videos are carefully selected, children are closely monitored, and screen time is used sparingly, videos can be entertaining and educational. Watch together as a family, follow up with a discussion, and you’ve changed a passive activity to a fun family event. For guidelines on screen time for kids visit,

YouTube for Kids

This is an app you can install on your iPad or iPhone. It is geared for kids up to second grade. You can limit age level to preschool or school age, turn the searching option on or off, set a passcode, and monitor history. Recommended channels: Piano Guys, National Geographic Kids, PBS Kids, Peg & Cat, All Things Animal, Crash Course Kids, Big Wide World.

Brain Pop and Brain Pop Jr.
We purchase this educational video resource for classroom instruction and as a student
resource. Parents can login at home using RSU13South for the Username and learn for
the password. There’s a featured video everyday. Kids can watch it and take a quiz after to
see what they learned.

YouTube You can learn about everything under the sun on YouTube which is
good and bad. Children should be very cautious when using YouTube or they may
stumble onto content that is not appropriate. We teach our students to 1) Only go
on the internet with an adult, 2) Stick to sites that are just right for kids, 3) Only talk to
people that you know. You can restrict searches by clicking on your profile, scrolling to
the bottom and selecting “Activate Restricted Mode”. Create “Playlists” of content that
you want your kids to be able to watch by clicking on the + button just under the video.

Search for appropriate content by searching for reputable channels and subscribing.
Here are some recommendations: Ted-Ed, Cartooning 4 Kids, Patty Palmer (Deep
Space Sparkle), San Diego Zoo, Flocabulary, Sick Science, Crash Course Kids,
Smart Girls.

Create Your Own Video
In a world where videos are such a powerful tool to communicate and learn,
it only makes sense that we know how to make our own. These are a few video apps
we used this year.

Adobe Spark Video
Spark Video is not a tool designed for kids but it is super easy to use and
very intuitive. Kids can create slides using their own illustrations and photos or images
they get from the internet (as long as they are choosing sites they have permission to
use for photos). Each slide can be narrated, text can be added, as well as theme music.
Videos have a very professional look to them with little effort or special tools. Spark
Video can be used online through a browser or on a tablet or iPad.

Stop Motion Studio Pro
This is an app we purchased for South School students in grades 3-5
but it could be used with younger students as well. If you want to create Gumby or
claymation style videos, this is the app you need. Our students creates simple
2 dimensional characters from paperand shot their footage from above, moving
characters and settings in small increments. With the paid version you can add theme
music and sound effects as well as narrate with
your voice.

Toontastic is a fun animation app that lets kids choose premade settings
and characters and compose their own stories. If you have a creative child that just
wants to tell their imaginative stories without the fuss of creating characters and
settings this is your app. Characters can be customized. Stories are told through
audio narration, not text.

If your children are making video creations, remind them not to
include any personal information in their work. We teach them not to
share their full names, birthdates, addresses, personal photos, email
addresses, phone numbers.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Teachable Moment- Cinco De Mayo

From Pebble Go

Holidays provide wonderful opportunities to model use of websites and databases. Consider asking your students questions about Cinco de Mayo and modeling how to search for the answers using KEYWORDS and RESULTS PAGES. 

Use links from the learning commons website to go to places that South School students are familiar with. LINK You will find articles in Britannica and Pebble Go as well as Brain Pop Jr. (the video is about Mexico but mentions Cinco de Mayo). If you need help getting to Britannica, Brain Pop, or Pebble Go, please let me know.
From Brain Pop Jr.

From Britannica

You may also want to consider creating a free PBS Media account. PBS is a respected educational resource and PBS Media is specifically designed to provide teachers with videos, lesson plans and activities. For Cinco de Mayo, they provide a short video describing the holiday as well as word finds for Kindergarten through Grade 3. You can search their database by keywords or by standard. If you need help with locating these materials or setting up an account, please let me know.

Sample Questions:
  1. What country celebrates Cinco de Mayo? (Mexico)
  2. What does Cinco de Mayo mean? (fifth of May)
  3. How do Mexican people celebrate Cinco de Mayo? (parades, dancing, food)
  4. Why do Mexican people celebrate Cinco de Mayo? (victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

MEA Information

MEA Testing Information
  • Any staff members that will be testing students in the classroom, in small groups, or one on one, need to watch a 16 minute "Test Security video and the "Test Administrator Webinar" which is about 15 minutes long. 
  • There will be two opportunities to watch the required videos and to ask questions about the MEA test. They are Thursday, March 15th at 7:45 am and Tuesday, March 20th at 7:45 am. You may also watch the videos online at your convenience. All teachers must sign a Test Security Agreement and give it to Justin.
  • It is recommended that students have an opportunity to learn test taking strategies using the "Sample Booklets" that were distributed to classroom teachers. 
  • It is also recommended that students have an opportunity to learn the digital tools that are part of the testing app. There is a scripted "Student Tutorial" manual that was distributed to classroom teachers. The student login information will be distributed on a "MEA Cheat Sheet" as soon as it is complete. Follow the tutorial with your students to review how to do the test online.
  • Links to all of the necessary MEA materials are provided on the lower right side of this website.
Please email Monica or myself if you have any questions.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Groundhog Day Resources

PBS Learning Media is a site where you can locate videos and teacher materials on a variety of different subjects. You can create an account for free. You can search for materials by Common Core Standard or Next Gen Standards.

Britannica Encyclopedia has an article
DLTK has activities for younger kids
DLTK Crafts

Books in our Library
Kept at my desk for short term check-outs so everyone can use them.