Tuesday, November 19, 2019

New Coding Resources, Books, Songs, Sites & Activities for Hour of Code & All Year Long!

As we get ready for last few weeks of 2019, we are going to be focusing on a lot of things around computer science, including robotics, virtual reality, digital storytelling and coding. 
This is also the perfect connection for Hour of Code, which is coming up December 9-15, 2019. 

For the coding piece, we have put together a newly updated Coding Symbaloo that you can find here. It is filled with awesome books, eBooks, resources, digital tools and apps, and so much more that you and your school community will find useful and informative too.

In this post, I would like to show you around the Symbaloo and all of the treasures it holds.
 First, the Coding Symbaloo is a piece of our Coding, Coding, Coding Collection by Destiny.

Please feel free to use and share this public Collection with your school community too. If you would like to collaborate on this Collection, just let me know and I will add you.  I would love that! 
Next, are the wonderful resources from Code.org, which is the organization that started and supports Hour of Code every year. 

As shown circled in the Symbaloo, I will kick off our work in coding with the students by showing this new video for this year, What Is Creativity? #Hour of Code. 
In fact, there is an entire What is Creativity Series from Code.org can be found here.  These will be such a powerful way to kick off the work we will do for Hour of Code.
I am must excited about what the CS First curriculum from Google has to offer.  It not only includes an entire curriculum and lots of activities for all ages and subject matter,
they have created a special new Hour of Code activity, Code Your Hero that you will find here.
And on the Symbaloo in the right hand corner, along with a few other Google coding activities, Santa Tracker and Made with Code, that I will talk about later in this post. 
Next up on the Symbaloo are the terrific resources found in the right hand corner.....books and eBooks! 
I love all of these so much and I can't wait to share them with our students, teachers and families. 
A favorite is my new book from the Capstone Adventures in Makerspace series, A Coding Mission. You can read all about this 4D graphic novel and the other three in the series here
Four other favorites are the Code It! series of stories and songs from Cantata Learning.  You can read all about this super fun series and the resources available here

It will be awesome using these four books as we teach them these basic computer science/coding concepts in the library and ones they can take home to practice too. 
A Coding Mission, all four of Code It! and this sweet Code Play series with Adi and Gabi are all available within Capstone Interactive, which is a great way to share when learning something new as all of our students can listen to them anytime at school and at home. 

I also included EPIC and the new....
...Coding Collection I put together together to share on the Symbaloo. You can find it here. 
I LOVED finding my friend and author, Ruth Spiro's book, Baby Loves Coding! and... 
...this coding series from Lerner. 
And last, but not least is the Computer Science article in PebbleGo which, 
covers coding, along with other important information. 
There is a Share What You Know Activity Sheet available with the PebbleGo article on the site too.  
On the Symbaloo, I have added a lot of coding games and simulations. There are several new ones including....
Dance Party from Code.org and Amazon Future Engineer, 
and Create a Holiday Emoji from....
Made with Code Google,  
These join lots that have been around for a year or two but that are still awesome and ones that our students love! 

They include Tynker,  
Vidcode and more. 
With all of the Hour of Code Activities on the Code.org site, it is helpful to be able to search by age/grade level at the top. 
One of my favorite resources for teaching specific coding skills are the three lessons that I have included towards the top of the Coding Symbaloo. 
As you start thinking about and planning your Hour of Code, go to the Code.org to sign up.  
It's truly amazing to see how many young people and communities are involved in this important event each year.  

I hope you join us as we celebrate and find these resources helpful to use, share and celebrate coding within your library, school and community too!  

And remember, you can get to all of these resources and more at the Coding Symbaloo here

Monday, November 18, 2019

The "Best Books of 2019 Collection By Destiny" Is Here!

It's crazy to think we are coming to the end of 2019.  The year went by so fast. 

One of my favorite things that just started popping up with the end of the year are all of the Best Book lists!
To bring these lists all together in one nicely curated place, I have started the Best Books of 2019 Collection by Destiny that you will find here

If you have a list to share or would like to collaborate on the Collection, please send me a message at @shannonmmiller on Twitter or Instagram or to my email at shannonmcclintockmiller@gmail.com 

Thank you, friends.  This will be a wonderful Collection by Destiny to build and share as we end another amazing year of books. 

Giving Our Youngest Learners An Amazing Place To Share What They Know Within Pear Deck

One of my goals this fall was to start using Pear Deck with our youngest learners.  With our TK and kindergarteners all having their own iPad, I really wanted the teachers and I to give it a try. 

Last week for Veterans Day, we did just that!  
All four sections of our kindergarten classes used Pear Deck, as the teachers and I collaborated on a special lesson tying in what they had already learned and a little research with PebbleGo, while drawing, writing and sharing with their friends. 
We created a Google Slide presentation and used the Pear Deck Add-On features circled above.

You will find a link to this Veterans Day Google Slide presentation here.  Please feel free to make a copy and use it with your students too.
These allow you to ask students a question using Text, Choice, Number, Website, Draw and Draggable features.  It also lets you choose from the Template Library, which makes it very easy to create an awesome slide deck to use with Pear Deck. 
As we set up the slides, we pulled from the Template Library to have them draw and share background knowledge;
set up a slide where we added the url to PebbleGo where we would listen to the Veterans Day article;
added an interactive drawing slide where they would draw a picture of what they learned from the PebbleGo article about Veterans Day;
added an easy matching activity focusing on their vocabulary words from the week with another drawing slide; and...
...chose a slide where they would write this sentence with their finger in the box.

We definitely tied in a lot to see how this format within Pear Deck would work with our littles. 
As we first introduced the Pear Deck activity, the kindergartners did an amazing job drawing what they knew about Veteran's Day. 
Next, they listened to the Veterans Day article...
...in PebbleGo and drew one thing...
 they learned. 
 It was really neat seeing what they heard, learned and drew.  
Everyone was very special and unique. 
As they drew, we used the iPad with peardeck.com/dash to turn it into a remote....
to show the screen and what all of the students were drawing in their Pear Deck slides. 
This gave the teachers a chance to have the students share what they were thinking and drawing.
It's such a good way to check in with all of them too.
Next, we did the matching activity on a Pear Deck drawing slide.  We took four of their vocabulary words from the week and four images we found on Google Images to create this slide. 
They used their finger to do the matching.
As they did this, the teachers showed the students slides individually and also the....
...overlay of answers to show comparisons in similar and different answers.
The last thing we had them do was write We have parades on another drawing slide.  Since they were going to be writing with their finger and not typing the words, this worked perfectly. 
In the PebbleGo Veterans Day article, it talked about how we commemorate this day with parades, therefore that was the sentence they wrote using Parades and two of their sight words.  
Again, the teachers showed individual and...
...classroom work as they were writing.
I was really excited to see how this worked for the kindergarteners and it worked out awesome! 
As you can see, the kindergarteners loved learning and sharing about Veterans Day using Pear Deck.  It gave them a place to be independent and creative while sharing their learning, curiosity and voice. 

We can't wait to use Pear Deck again with all of our learners at Van Meter through these wonderful opportunities and more!