Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Is It Just You?

You ever wonder if the website you are trying to view is down for everyone or is it just you, doing something wrong? Well there is a handy little site that will answer that question for you....

Down For Everyone or Just Me is a site I was reminded of while reading  Richard Byrne's blog, Free Technology For Teachers.

Down For Everyone or Just Me is great!  I have to say that it has come in handy in the last month that I have tried it out.  Unfortunately,  the problem seems to usually lie on my end! :-) But at least I know where the problem is!

Once you enter the URL you are trying to check in to the Down For Everyone or Just Me site, you press enter and the site will let you know if it is just you. I tried sites that I knew were working just see what happens and the site actually lets you know that it all you...

Down For Everyone or Just Me is definitely a handy little tool, worth checking out...even if it is just to see if it is really just you!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Youngsters Coding? Yes They Can!

So after hearing about the Hour of Code event last year, I thought to myself, my 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders can do that! I decided to give it a try this week and used the website

The site is a nonprofit site, dedicated to giving every student the opportunity to learn about computer science and experience coding.   Every child has access to coding activities through offers fun activities that are appropriate for our younger students.  This week I have my students experiencing coding with the Angry Birds activity.

This activity teaches students coding and is great for my 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  The lesson has short instructional videos that introduces students to each new level of coding and then provides an interactive lesson in which the students choose the code to create the appropriate actions for their angry bird.  After the student has chosen the code they then run the actions and the lesson will give them kudos for a job well done or a hint on how to make the code work.  It is a very positive experience.

The students were engaged and having fun!  They talked about the activity well into the afternoon. They enjoyed the feeling of success and felt that they have created their own gaming system!  The whole experience was a positive one.

This was something new for our students as well as for me.  I went through the lesson and have to say I probably had a harder time than many of my students.  They really took off with it. They required very little to no instructional help.

As a teacher, it was very satisfying to see the students engaged and enjoying the lesson.  I had many students tell me how cool the activity was and asked if they were going to do it again next week.  Loved seeing the kids enjoy computer class so much!

So I am planning on having our students participate in the Hour of Code during the Week of December 8th through the 14th.  The site has several lessons and activities that teachers can choose from.  The site even offers elementary lessons on coding for grades K-5.  This site is definitely worth checking out.  Don't think your ready for the Hour of Coding?  That's okay!  Start small and work your way up but definitely give it a try!

Hope you have fun coding! :-)