Author: Eva Harvell

Posts pusblished: 2
Biographical Info:
~ Technology Integration Specialist for the Pascagoula School District in Pascagoula, MS ~ Educational Blogger and EdTech Presenter

Hour of Code – iPad Resources

December 8-14th is Computer Science Education Week. During this week, students around the world are encouraged to learn more about coding and computer science through the Hour of Code.

There are several tutorials students can work through online, offline, and with mobile devices.  Below we will briefly discuss a three of the free resources you can add to your classroom iPad this week.

daisy_dino

Daisy and Dinosaur

This is the perfect app for students in the lower grades (PreK – 2nd).  The goal is to program Daisy by selecting various commands.  You can play either Free Mode or Challenge Mode.

 

cargo-bot

Cargo-Bot

With this app, you have to teach the robot how to move crates. Again, the students have to create a program the robot, which can be harder than it sounds. Like most games, you the puzzles get harder and harder as you progress.

 

hopscotch

Hopscotch

Hopscotch is a good app for upper elementary students (3rd-6th). Students create a program by selecting a variety of commands. There are some in-app purchases, but the app itself is free.

 

Although these three apps seem simple, it begins to introduce students (at a young age) to the world of programming/coding.  I hope these three resources make your Hour of Code event even more enjoyable this week!

The Importance of the Keyword

Yesterday morning, I had the opportunity to work with a group of 4th graders start their research on various civil leaders. The students came to me with their questions and were ready to find the answers.

The first group was researching Abraham Lincoln, so I asked them what would be a good keyword to start off with, and they said (of course) Abraham Lincoln.

 

We looked at their first question, which was where/when was Abraham Lincoln born, and the students began to look around the screen for the answer. The keyword they selected wasn’t good enough. So we brainstormed and the students decided to use Abraham Lincoln and the word born.

 

The students were amazed to see the information they needed just appear on the screen. We continued searching and exploring various keyword combinations.  The basic information was easy to locate, birthdate, birth place, and family. Things like personality traits and life obstacles were not so easy. Thankful this was not a one day lesson!

One of my goals was for the students to gain a better understanding of just how important keywords can be when you are looking up information online. So why is this important? Without the right keywords, you may never find the information you need. Students need to learn how to take a large amounts of information and sort through it to find just what they need.  Had the students stuck with the first search “Abraham Lincoln”, we would have had a too much information to sort through.

If your personal searching skills are lacking, don’t worry there is a great collections of resources for you to use with your students (and yourself).

Google’s Search Education

Google provides great resources to teachers to use in the classroom! Be sure to click on the Lesson Plans and Activities area. These lessons are great for all grade levels and can be taught over multiple sessions if needed.

Teaching Channel

Do a search for “research skills”. You will find a variety of videos that show how teachers are facilitating activities with students on things like keyword selection and website selection.

Read*Write*Think

You can find some great lessons and activities within the International Reading Association’s website Read*Write*Think. Be sure to search the learning objective “inquiry/research”.

These are not the only three resources, but they are a great place to start! Do you use a great resource on keyword searches? If so, share it with us!

**Originally posted at Techie Teacher Thoughts

written by Eva Harvell – @techie_teach

Technology Integration Specialist; Pascagoula School District, Pascagoula MS