Thursday, May 28, 2015


Our class has been learning about poetry.  We have been reading and writing poetry.  Here are some of our shared writing poems:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Kids Who Code: Robotics with Bolts & Mini

Thanks to inspiration from watching the movie Big Hero 6 and from seeing some interesting robotics posts from Edtech Baton teachers, I decided to order our class a robotics kit this spring!  Since we have learned to code this year as part of the Kids Who Code project, I thought that programming a robot would be a great way to continue developing our skills in the final weeks of our school year.

So... I'd like to officially introduce our new class robots, Bolts and Mini:

Bolts & Mini came from and they were made by Wonder Workshop

Getting robots has been a lot like getting a class pet, which was something we have talked about (and wished for) A LOT in our class!  So when we got our robots, we had a lot of fun with our new "pets".  We  discussed names, submitted our favourites and voted on the best robot names.  It has been hugely exciting for us to work with the robots and extend our coding skills.  As a class, we have discussed appropriate use and we are learning to take turns working with the robots.  In addition to developing our problem solving, critical thinking and collaboration skills, programming Bolts and Mini will help us to meet important science outcomes related to position and motion.  I'm sure we will learn a lot as we explore robotics in Grade 2!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Kids Who Code: Scratch Jr. Tutorials

The Kids Who Code project continues in our classroom.  My grade 2s have become proficient coders using a number of student-friendly coding tools.  We wanted to help others learn to use Scratch Jr., especially our Kids Who Code partner classrooms - Mrs. Lowe's Class & Mrs. Caldwell's class.  Since these students are in Kindergarten, my students tried to pick coding activities that would help them learn about numbers, letters and colours.  Students chose the learning activities they would like to design tutorials for and they used Book Creator to develop their instructions.  Here are the finished products: 

How to Change the Background Color
by Wyat & Peyton

PDF instructions:

How to Create a Picture using Scratch Jr. 
by Addison, Sev & Martin

PDF Instructions:

How to Code a Character to Count - Recording
by Haily, Connor & Charlie

PDF instructions:

How to Code a Character to Count - Speech Bubble
by Kylynn

PDF instructions:

How to Code a Character to say a favourite colour - Recording
by Landon & Jaxen

PDF instructions:

How to Code a Character to say the Alphabet - Recording
by Kayleigh, Madison & Sarah

PDF instructions:

How to Code a Character to say the Alphabet -Speech Bubble
by Camryn

PDF Instructions:

Friday, May 8, 2015

Riding the Wave 2015 Conference day 2

After presenting about the Kids Who Code project with Mrs. Caldwell this morning, I attended two sessions.  

Global Read Aloud #GRA15
Presented by:  Jennifer Young

The project is a global reading collaboration which brings classrooms around the world together to focus on common texts.  Educators nominate books and they are short listed for a final vote.  There are different book choices for each age group. The 2015 read aloud starts October 5 and I am excited to join this interesting book study collaboration!

For more information:

Kids Can Code
Presenter: Meagan Chopek

It was great to hear from another Manitoban early years teacher who is also teaching coding!  Meagan shared a lot of great ideas for "unplugged" activities and for using Kodable, Tynker and Scratch Jr. in the classroom.  Her blog is 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Riding the Wave Conference 2015

 I am attending the Riding the Wave of Change conference in Gimli, Manitoba.  It has been an inspiring and productive day of professional learning. 

We kicked off the conference with an engaging keynote from Richard Byrne,a teacher and notable edublogger at

Richard shared many good points about teaching students in a hyper-connected world.  This quote that he shared really resonated with me:

Richard also shared some tools that can be useful in the classroom: 
Run a backchannel or chat room with
Contribute local wildlife photos to
Learn and practice vocabulary with this student-developed tool

I also attended a great presentation by Darren Kuropatwa today.  There were several parts of his presentation that made me think deeply about our connected world and how we can use technology to empower people and make a positive contribution. 

Some important points that resonated with me:

"Citizenship isn’t just what we should NOT DO.  It’s thinking about how we can make a positive contribution." 
 - Darren Kuropatwa

  • The internet does not forget.  For example, websites like document the history of the web.  That means that even websites which are now taken down can be viewed.  
    • The internet can empower you.
    • Choose what you share in the digital world.  What are you good at?  How can you help a problem?  How can you share your passion in a positive way?   How can you make a difference?  
  • Here are some examples of people sharing their passions and talents
      • Sean Quigley - sharing his musical talents "Little Drummer Boy"
      • Maria Aragaon - sharing her musical talents performing Born This Way (Cover) by Lady Gaga
Darren shared two powerful videos that got me thinking:

Can we autocorrect humanity?    You do have a choice (about how and when you use technology and about what kind of citizen you are in this world).  "You need not delete your social networks or destroy your cell phones, the message is simple, be balanced, be mindful, be present, be here. :)" -Prince Ea

The Kindness Boomerang watch how one act of kindness can lead to another.  This video definitely made me feel happy and it made me appreciate the kind, supportive students, families and community members that I'm fortunate to work with!

I also checked out a variety of cool (and useful!) tools in Lori Emilson's session today: