Friday, December 13, 2013

First Graders Learn to Code!

Mrs. Hall's Hoppers and Ms. Wilson's Wizards had a great time learning how to code this week - without even using a computer! They began the lesson by discussing vocabulary words such as "algorithm" and "debugging", and learning what it means to write code.

Ms. Wilson's Class Learning the Commands

After working on a whole-group program, students were divided into coding partners. The students were given a specific set of commands they were allowed to use in their programs, and began to write code that would enable a "robot" (really just a teacher!) to create a specifically-designed stack of cups.

Coding Partners

Partners then had a robot execute their program to check their code. This involved a lot of debugging at first, but they soon became quite proficient at writing accurate code!

Writing Code

The Debugging Process

The students had to work together to solve problems and communicate their ideas, think critically and logically about how to get their code working, and then evaluate their work and make changes. Lots of good learning was taking place! 

Check out this video for one example of the many good conversations students were having:

Way to go, first graders!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

LME Participates in the Hour of Code

This week is Computer Science Education Week, and LME is celebrating by participating in the Hour of Code initiative. The Hour of Code is designed to introduce students to computer programming by allowing them the opportunity to do some basic coding for one hour during this week.

Many teachers on our campus have written lesson plans this week that will include the Hour of Code, although the activities and lessons they've chosen vary widely. Mrs. Ferriola's TAG class, for example, will be working on a Khan Academy lesson. The Tech Club students will be given a variety of self-directed activities to choose from, ranging from JavaScript lessons to Scratch to coding with Angry Birds!

Why are we getting involved? Most schools don't teach coding, but we want our students to be ready for the future!

To learn more about the Hour of Code, check out this website: CSEd Week - Hour of Code

Monday, December 9, 2013

Google Research Tool is a Hit!

LME students all over campus are working on research projects with a wide variety of topics and products in mind. Now that we've gone Google, many students have chosen to create products from their Google Drives, and almost all of them are using their Drive to create and organize their research.

One tool that everyone LOVES is the Google Research Tool! Students can conduct research and find photos from within their documents. They can drag and drop photos easily, and the source is automatically cited for them! The research tool makes it super easy to cite online sources too, which is a difficult skill to learn.

The teachers love the research tool as well, and are doing a fantastic job of utilizing it along with the other methods of research they already teach their students!