Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's a Mario Party!

Do you remember those old Nintendo know the ones you had to blow on before they would work? Well in the lab this week we discussed old school 8-bit graphics (complete with Mario Bros music as we walked in.) We talked about the old Nintendo games and how the graphics in video games had progressed since then. We then used Google Sheets ('cause y'all know I'm a Google Girl!) to create our own inspired 8-bit Christmas graphics. They were AWESOME! The kids were amazed when they realized they were also practicing math skills. (It's all in my master plan...queue evil laugh!) Well from there we took it even farther...

The kids shared their graphics and coordinates, which they typed into a Google Doc, with one another in a huge spreadsheet so they could try out one another's designs. Check out their graphics below and see if you can make your own!

How could you use Google Sheets in your classroom other than just for calculating numbers? A map? A building? Share you ideas!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Teach Your Kids to Code!

Ok, so I am a little embarrassed to admit that I know very little about computer programming and coding. Therefore, when it came to teaching my students how to do it, I wasn't very useful. That all changed when I was introduced to the Hour of Code! The Hour of Code is a movement sweeping across the nation that provides step by step tutorials on how to code and program for anyone between the ages of 4 and 104! Students across the world are learning how to write programs by simply clicking and dragging! Best of all, Hour of Code incorporates all of their favorite characters like Angry Birds, Frozen, and this year they introduced Star Wars and MINECRAFT tutorials! My students were ecstatic! The tutorials start with the basics and move up to the more difficult which includes typing the actual javascript to create the program. We discuss what computer programming is and why it is important to learn how to write codes. My students love being able to teach each other and help one another (including their teacher) work their way through the code. This week is when we celebrate the Hour of Code! Check out the awesome video below to learn more and then visit to learn more about starting to code in your classroom!