This week the SK class "plugged in" and participated in an international movement known as the Hour of Code. In a nutshell, this is an effort to teach children across the globe how to type code using some kind of programming language. This is not a completely new concept for our class because we have already been actively programming using a Lego WeDo kit to make things like an alligator chomp, monkey bang on a drum, and birds chirp.
This week we learned a new programming language called Scratch Jr. This app, developed specifically for making programming on an iPad accessible to young(er) children, is a great outlet for storytelling, creativity, logic and problem solving. For an introduction to programming with Scratch Jr., we focused on the early stages of storytelling; specifically choosing a setting, picking characters and assigning them actions. In the pictures below, you will see a screenshot of Scratch Jr. that shows a script made by one of the SK students telling a character (cat) what to do when the green flag is clicked. For many, this kind of experience was exciting because it seems more like an interactive game that children learn to customize and control the characters.
Both Lego Wedo and Scratch Jr. have offered a great introduction to the world of programming. It'll be exciting to see what they come up with in the weeks and months ahead! Scratch Jr. is a free download you can get for your iPad or iPod right now.
Morning Choice doesn't happen every day but is most typical on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The choices consist of visiting the Bambini classroom, playing in the PreK classroom, going to the park with JK, or, at times, working in the TinkerLab with a combination of other children. Most of the choices include the SK children eating snack with the group that they have chosen to spend time with but sometimes, we get back together as a class to eat snack. Whatever a child chooses, we ultimately get back together as an SK class for word play and investigations before lunch.
Below you will see some pictures of the SK children involved in work, play, or snack with other children in school. Morning Choice is something the SK class has started looking forward to and gives each child a sense of ownership with their morning activities.
We started at the main entrance of the exhibit, navigated our way in, out, up, down and through the entire section full of real (and recreated) artifacts of ancient culture. We saw hieroglyphics, mummies, empty tombs (tomb robbers!), jewels, and much more. A couple of the kids commented on how spooky and scary the entire exhibit felt. I asked what made it feel like that, to which they replied by saying things like "it was dark", "it's spooky", "there were dead things", and more. After we exited the tombs we entered a recreated Egyptian market from the year 2500 BC. The children saw many of the things Egyptian people used in daily life and got to experience some things like laying in an Egyptian bed and balancing things on an ancient balance. (Yes, someone made the connection to the balance in our classroom!)
Some of the lasting impressions on the kids from the trip are this:
All of this information was shared by the SK at our Friday All-School Meeting. They were very excited to share and able to remember what they wanted to say!
This site was created by Colin Reynolds as the SK Lead Teacher for the 2014-2015 school year. Stephanie Holdridge was the apprentice teacher for the academic year.. You can contact me via e-mail or follow me on Twitter.