This week is Computer Science Week and to celebrate, Dorothy Grant Elementary is participating in the Hour of Code. Yesterday my class had a special lab time to explore programming and they had a blast!
I shared the Code.org website with them and there they got to choose from three tutorials: Star Wars, Minecraft, or Frozen. I had them share their selection with the class via an Edmodo poll and after the hour in the lab, they were to return to my post in Edmodo to share their experiences.
The Hour of Code website has been added to the class website on the “After School Links” page. I also wanted to take a moment to share Tynker, one of the more widely known coding apps for tablets. I know it is available in the App Store (for Apple devices) for free and it may be in the Google Play store as well. I will be installing it on the classroom tablets this weekend for the class to continue exploring coding. I recommend it for any personal tablets for students who particularly enjoyed the coding experience.
I just wanted to share an app I found to use with the class for our work with fractions (it will also work with decimals and percents, so it will certainly come in handy for more than one use.)
The app is simply called “Virtual Manipulatives” and is absolutely free.
I found the app very intuitive and easy to use. I demonstrated it with the class today as we compared fractions. I will have them using it on my Apple tablets as I am able. (I wish I had 31 tablets so they could each use it during a lesson!) I did look for this app in the Google Play store on my Android tablet, and unfortunately it was not available. There was one called “Equivalence Tiles” (also free) but it is not as nice as “Virtual Manipulatives.” It does get the job done though if you need manipulatives to help your child with their fraction work.
The interface and usability was perfect and made the app very fun to use. The kids were excited to see it and definitely made the fraction lesson a whole lot more fun.
Please don’t hesitate to message me on Class Dojo, send me an email, or make a comment below if you have any questions.
The class has been so excited to create their avatars, so of course I have to share them all! Each one of these was created by the individual student one of 3 of my own iPads that I bring to school to share with them, because I believe in the power of technology to engage and inspire.
In an effort to make the class website and online activities more fun, I have decided to have the class make avatars of themselves that I can use when sharing their work publicly while protecting their identities. We are using the free iOS app called “Avatar Creator” in the Apple App Store. I did look in the Google Play store for it for those students who may have an Android tablet at home and was unable to find it. Students are welcome to use the app at home on their Apple devices and email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) their avatars. Students are taking turns on my iPads making them in class, but not all will get to make them today and some students may want to play more with this at home. Stay tuned for our collection of creative avatars!