Well, that seems to be another semester in the books! Although there has not been another semester quite like it for me – I can now say that I survived a full time job, parenting /family-ing, and two classes! (A feat, that I am quite sure I never would have accomplished without the support and understanding of my family, friends and colleagues)!
As in previous semesters, I challenged myself to complete a Summary of Learning outside of my comfort zone, and therefore I found a new tool to test out!
Puppet Pals is a digital storytelling tool that is quite user friendly (both of my children 4 & 8, were able to create stories). I liked the concept of creating a puppet show – and was able to purchase “full access” to the app for $8. I was slightly disappointed because I thought I would be able to insert other objects into the show (pictures of items I was discussing), but I was limited to characters and vehicles. There was some flexibility and customization available for the characters (which was fun to play with), but the types of scenes immediately available were also limited. Over all – great tool that could be implemented in a classroom! I digress…
Please have a look at what I was able to create!
In the video I mentioned The Animal School by George Reavis – this is one place I wished Puppet Pals allowed for multi-media interaction (or at least would allow me to add outside objects into the platform). If you have not heard of this story, I encourage you to watch the video version of it below. I first heard this story in my Undergrad classes, and it greatly impacted my personal teaching beliefs – and it still holds true!
Finally, I wanted to provide an update on the Maker-spaces/coding project I am working on for my school. I will be starting a Technology club this week, which will involve pre-coding and beginning coding tasks. Following the winter break, I plan to implement a couple of ‘Maker’ afternoons with stations ranging from Lego building, cardboard design, hour of code activities, a knitting station, and sphero courses. Additionally, I made a connection through a colleague, and may have an ‘expert’ (someone who codes, and develops apps for a living) who may be coming to our school to assist me in this endeavor!
I plan to start coding activities using Incredibox, once students are comfortable in that space, Daisy the Dinosaur is a great app to start with, Lightbot is another free site students can practice on, there is also Code which has countless variety of coding opportunities!
If you have any experience teaching students coding, I would love any input or feedback you have to offer! If nothing else, I will try, I will learn from this, and I will do better next time!
Thanks for a great semester everyone – I’ve enjoyed learning from and with you.