Today’s conference offerings embraced two of my passions; collaboration and coding. The 2C’s of technology continue to spark my interest and the engagement of the learners in my room. I am excited about all the projects my class completed this year, however I look forward to even more with this coming third grade class.
Last year we hosted the first annual coding camps in our grade 2-3 elementary building. Students were paired up with partners from a different grade level and worked to complete Hour of Code activities. This year I intended to extend our class coding endeavors to include the coding camps and a daily 5 center for coding. I would love to obtain some ozobots, or another programmable object for the kids to extend their knowledge of coding into a hands on application.
I’ve also gathered an impressive list of elementary friendly coding tools for students to learn more and grow their passion for coding.
coding tools for elementary students
This year I felt like my classroom collaboration gained some wind in its sails. Not only did my classroom work with other classrooms in my building and district, but we were able to reach out to classrooms throughout North America via Twitter, Padlet, and Google Forms. Through the use of a common read aloud, my class and several Canadian classrooms collaborated to share our thoughts on a Padlet after our readings. We also did a common Google Spreadsheet to evaluate our students’ thoughts and feelings about the book. Through Twitter we “met” many classes around the world and shared our Padlets and our blog with them. Nothing excited my kids more than getting a comment from somewhere around the world! We also loved our first taste of Mystery Hangouts. We had a ball exploring geography, map skills, and utilizing Google Earth to locate the whereabouts of our neighbors to the North. Manitoba came alive for my classroom, and my students were definitely engaged learners for that half hour period!
This year my goal is to extend my collaboration to other continents, trying a few global projects, and completing more Mystery Hangouts. I am also exploring some more 3-5 grade collaborative projects.
Elementary Global Projects
So, ISTE 2015 has been a big hit! I am super psyched about the possibilities I have seen and will continue to explore for my classroom. My question is; what are you doing to code and collaborate in your classrooms K-12? Please share. Your ideas are always welcomed. If you are looking to collaborate, hit me up!
Perhaps the most poignant moment of today’s activities was getting a tweet during the keynote from ForestHillPortable5 asking where I was. At first I was perplexed, and then I realized a classroom teacher whose class participated in one of our Padlets was following my posts from ISTE and was in the same room with me. Granted we were among thousands of other educators from around the room, but 5 tweets later and lots of hand waving brought us together. How cool is it that technology breaks down both classroom walls and borders. Amazing!