I’ve heard about it. I’ve supported the teachers in my school to try it. Now… it’s time for me to sit down for an “Hour of Code”. OK friends, maybe longer than an hour!
The Hour of Code movement is a grassroots movement that has already introduced over 100 million students worldwide to the basics of computer science. The program was started to give every student an opportunity to try computer science for one hour. In an hour anybody can learn the basics of “code” by participating in computer science activities. Computer science helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. All skills that are important to pursue a 21st century career path. Our elementary school first participated in an Hour of Code in 2015 during Computer Science Education Week (held in early December each year).
Today, Hour of Code activities are available year-round (tutorials and activities). The one-hour tutorials are available in over 45 languages. The tutorials are self-guided, and all materials are free of charge. Planning guides are easy to read and available for every age and experience-level, from kindergarten and up. Schools can enroll their class and enjoy the fun. The tutorials work on all devices and browsers and there are also unplugged activities for groups that can’t accommodate the tutorials! Code.org is the ultimate resource if you are learning about an Hour of Code or you are already working on it with your kids.
Hour of Code: One Hour Later….
Well, it was longer than an hour but……I worked on an activity to code my characters to dance! See Dance Party. No experience necessary, easy to do and fun! Can’t wait to have my grandkids try it!
Thinking about giving it a try? Computer Science Education Week 2019 will be held December 9-15. Be part of the largest learning event in history. Certainly, worth a look. However, it you can’t wait until December, try some of the links. Have fun!
Recently while observing student teacher lessons I realized that each of them used Exit Tickets as their closure activity. Although they each teach different grades and subjects, they all used Exit Tickets as the “go-to” strategy to check for understanding. And it worked!
What are Exit Tickets (slips)
An exit ticket is a formative assessment tool used to assess student learning and to plan future lessons. Typically, a prompt or a question, it is given to students at the end of a class that is tied to the objective of the lesson taught that day. They are usually in a multiple-choice format or an open response. These mini assessments are meant to be no more than 1-5 minutes and not graded.
10 Exit Ticket Benefits
Allows students to self-assess
Clarifies main concept of the lesson
Keeps students engaged in the lesson
Assesses student understanding
Creates an additional review and reinforcement opportunity
Invites students to ask questions or clarify thoughts
Guides teacher lesson design based on student understanding
Helps organize small group instruction
Provides data on student progress.
Opens a communication channel between teacher and student
Exit slips are easy to use for teachers and students. They can be used at every grade level. So, why not give them a try?
We all know the importance of marketing in selling things. It’s all around us every day! A great marketing campaign that has entered the school doors is the STEAM movement. Yes, it may be the catchy name but kids, parents and teachers now think STEAM is cool! Some of us have known all along about the cool factor of science but now the word is out. Now, we are all “living and loving” science. And, that’s OK!
What’s STEAM All About?
The rebranding of Science and Math is a result of the need to better prepare students for higher education. Students in the 21st century workforce need to have the skills and knowledge to be innovators. The acronym was first introduced as Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and is now often referred to as STEAM with the inclusion of an A for Arts. STEAM lessons include the following:
Makes connections between standards, learning objectives and assessments.
Focuses on real world problems
An integrated approach to learning
Crosses all 5 disciplines (science, technology, engineering, arts, math)
Teaches kids how to ask questions, experiment and be creative.
STEAM projects aim to spark an interest and life- long love of the arts and sciences in children starting at an early age. Lessons are designed to teach skills to be good learners, therefore, the skills can be translated into almost any career. Teaching kids to think critically and solve problems will help them to thrive in the 21st century.
For kids in school, knowing historical dates helps them relate to history and builds their general
knowledge. Knowing these dates
can help teachers engage students in conversations and students may even be
impressed by their teachers historical knowledge!
Knowing historical dates provides opportunities for students to learn history and build their general knowledge. Take a look and impress your students!
Answering open-ended response questions is an important task in third and fourth grades. Looking for evidence is the key and organizing your thoughts. As the length of reading passages increases, many students struggle locate information. Teaching kids a “list of steps” and pairing it with an acronym helps students respond to a written article. Kids like acronyms because they are easy to remember. Three strategies to try in your classroom are: R.A.D., R.A.C.E and C.E.R.
R.A.D. (Restate, Answer, Details)
RESTATE the questionto start the beginning of the answer.
ANSWER the questionby going to your notes and looking for the answer. Read and circle any information that you have in your notes that will help you answer what is asked.
DETAILS should be included from the text as evidence.
R.A.C.E(Restate, Answer, Cite, Explain)
RESTATE the question.in your topic sentence.
ANSWER the question that is being by including it in your topic sentence.
CITE evidence from the text to support your answer.
EXPLAIN how the evidence from the text supports your answer.
C. E. R. (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning)
CLAIM – A statement that responds to the question being asked using words from the question.
EVIDENCE – Provide (facts) from the text as evidence to support your answer (claim). (No opinions, just the facts)
REASONING – Explain how these facts support your claim. You may need to include background knowledge along with the facts to explain your reasoning.
Using one of these strategies will help students answer open-ended questions. It will also be helpful when students face high stakes testing. Having an acronym to hang on to will help reduce test anxiety.
I LOVE this site. ReadWorks is Amazon shopping for EVERY type of teacher! Everything that you need to support your student’s comprehension. It’s all in one place and FREE.
ReadWorks is a nonprofit that provides K-12 teachers with nonfiction and literary articles that support reading comprehension and vocabulary learning. Resources are easy-to-use, research-based, and FREE (I guess I said that enough). Articles are leveled for reading instruction and can be printed, used digitally or projected on a Smartboard.
Over 5000 K-12 passages
Search by grade or by Lexile
Written by experts, curated by educators
On curriculum topics
Multiple choice and written answer questions
Explicit and inferential questions that build a deeper understanding of the important elements of a text
Carefully selected, high-impact words
Multiple definitions and authentic sentence examples
Practice with word families and metacognition
A 10-minute daily routine that dramatically increases background knowledge, vocabulary, and reading stamina
Two texts related by topic or theme
Question sets to draw connections and comparisons
Less complex versions of original passages.
Designed to provide access for struggling students.
Preserve the integrity of the original text, including vocabulary, knowledge, and length.
Lessons and Units
Based on trade books.
Support instruction of longer texts.
Include complete lesson plans with guided practice and independent practice.
Audio versions of all reading content
Ability to highlight, annotate and adjust text size.
ReadWorks encourages teachers to share their resources with other colleagues. Pass it on!
Nine months down in 2019, how are you doing on those New Years Resolutions? If you are still working on catching up on professional development, take a look at this month’s newsletter. All 13 September posts are below, as well as ALL the posts since I started the blog in September 2018. My New Year’s Resolution to get the Threeringsconnections’ newsletter out on a timely, consistent schedule is accomplished: 9 down and 3 more to go! Have a great month!