Everyone Can Code

We were delighted to have the Apple Professional Learning team in Bellevue Public Schools last month to provide two Everyone Can Code workshops for our building technology coordinators, instructional coaches, blended learning coaches, and our high ability learner team. Bruce Ahlborn, Apple Professional Learning Specialist, did an excellent job leading the sessions and opening the dialogue about a K-12 coding curriculum.

Over the course of the two days, attendees learned how to use the Swift Playgrounds curriculum materials and walked away with a plan to implement the curriculum in their schools. The Everyone Can Code curriculum provides a logical path for all students and the time is already built into the schedule. I want to thank Apple for making it a priority and providing tools to make it possible for every student everywhere to have an opportunity to solve problems by coding.

In addition to the workshop content, we personalized the training to meet our own district needs by adding a guest speaker on day 1 and a robot playground on day 2. On the first day of the workshop, guest speaker, Michael Feldmann, teenage app developer, shared his coding testimonial. Teachers enjoyed hearing his story and felt his passion for coding as he delivered his message. The message that resonated with all of us was the necessity to provide coding opportunities for our students and the need to start now.

On the second day of the workshop, our blended learning team provided a robot playground with Spheros, Drones, Dash, and Lego Mindstorms. The coding playground was a hit! Attendees worked in teams to program Dash through a maze of PVC pipe. Laughter filled the room as their programs made the robots come to life and move through the maze. We wrapped up the robot playground with a station containing Osmos, Spheros, and Drones programmed and controlled by the Tynker, Tickle, and Sphero EDU apps. It was fantastic to have our teachers leading these rotations. So much coding and robotics experience in one room.

Resources:

Apps iBooks and PDFs
  1. iBooks
  2. iTunes U
  3. iMovie
  4. Pages
  5. Keynote
  6. Code Spark -The Foos
  7. Tickle
  8. Tynker
  9. Swift Playgrounds
iBooks:

  1. Swift Playgrounds: Learn to Code 1 and 2
  2. Get Started with Code 1
  3. Get Started with Code 2

PDFs

  1. Getting Started with Code Curriculum Guide
  2. Swift Playgrounds Curriculum Guide

Written by: Ann Feldmann |@annfeldmann1

How the In-class Flip and Classkick Transformed My Classroom

As a math teacher, one of the most important components of my classroom was the independent practice for my students. By implementing an in-class flip model, I was able to free up time for my students to get more independent practice while still in the classroom. This allowed classmates to support one another and allowed me to provide more personalized support. Previously, before iPads, I would teach a lesson for about 30-40 minutes, depending on questions, disruptions and distractions. Then, I would give my students 5-10 minutes to work on independent practice and they would take the rest home for homework and turn it in the next day. Sometimes I would go over the homework or I would have them turn it in and then I would grade it and give it back to the students the next day. This meant that at least 48 hours had passed from the time students learned a topic to the time they would receive feedback. No matter how hard I worked and how personalized and descriptive I made the feedback, it no longer had meaning. My students had then potentially spent two days doing their work wrong before receiving any feedback. This just did not work for me or for my students. By implementing the in-class flip, I was able to present that same 30-40 minute lesson in a 5-7 minute video, made using Explain Everything and uploaded to Schoology. The students watched these videos individually at the beginning of the class. This was great for every level of student. My students, who I sometimes went too fast for and those who struggled learning the content, were able to pause as often as they wanted, rewind and listen to the lesson as many times as they needed to understand the material. At the same time those students, who picked up on material quickly or had previous knowledge on the topic, did not have to sit for 30-40 minutes bored and not learning anything new.  They were able to watch the video, move on and extend their learning by the end of the day.

 

This left me with just one question, how could I offer independent practice for my IMG_4247students and get them the personalized feedback they needed and deserved immediately? Getting that feedback immediately not only would allow me to see who is mastering the concepts and who is struggling, but the students would also get that information. This is where Classkick came in. This app quickly became my favorite and most used app. The app itself is almost like a PowerPoint presentation with multiple slides, but unlike a PowerPoint, this app is self paced and provides me real time data! This app simultaneously allows me to see students working while providing personalized and in the moment feedback. I was able to provide my students multiple practice problems and they could complete the work at their own pace. While students are working, I could look at my screen and see the work they were doing in REAL time! The app has a feature where I can not only see their screen in real time, but I can open their screen and collaboratively work on it with them. I was able to see students making mistakes and help fix those mistakes before they went onto the next problem, let alone the next day.

 

The app has a feature where the students can raise their hand if they need help or they can choose Please Check so I knew they wanted help from me or that they wanted me to check their answers. This helped me reach those students who always behave and are never a disruption, but are so quiet that sometimes their voice does not get heard. They were able to ask for help privately and no one in the class knew who was getting help or who I was working with. I was also able to pull my small group of students who needed extra help from me and I could still work with students all around the room. My students who picked up on the material quickly were able to go through the independent practice and, rather than waiting for the rest of the class or for me, they were able to move on to the rest of the agenda to extend their learning, which previously I never had time for.

IMG_4904Now, in one class period my students were learning a topic at their own pace, practicing that topic, getting immediate and personalized feedback on that topic and ensuring they knew it before leaving for the day. Classkick gave me the instant feedback I needed to see where my students were each day. I was then able to target my instruction using that formative data, know who I needed to work with individually, what small group I needed to pull, and what students needed extension materials. If the entire class struggled on a specific problem in Classkick, I knew that immediately, and was able to stop the entire class and reteach.

The in-class flip model was beneficial for my students and truly transformed my teaching. The mentality that every child learns the same way and at the same time was gone. I was able to personalize my student’s learning and provide real time feedback. The best part of this model was that it gave me the gift of time. It got me out of the front of the classroom and it allowed me to work side by side with my students while they mastered the concepts.

Written by Chelsea Hoglund
@choglund87 

Opening Game for the BPS BlendED Professional Learning Season

We officially kicked off our BPS BlendED Professional Learning Season with our two day refresher training for 20 teachers! This marks the beginning of our journey to a 1:1 over the next four years.  I felt like a little girl the night before Christmas. All night long I kept waking up with a jolt of excitement. Is it time? Is it time? Is this really happening?

As soon as we said “Welcome to iPad Academy” the twenty teachers burst into applause. This was the highly anticipated time when they became a 1:1 iPad classroom. Armed with a classroom set of iPads, our newest iPad Academy members were ready to investigate the driving question, “What is blended learning?”.  Our team of five iPad coaches each took a group into the field to find the answers in our very own BPS classrooms. Teachers used the Camera and Notes apps to capture evidence of blended learning. In the evening, they used the Clips app to reflect on their field experience and share their creations in a discussion board in Schoology.

As I watched our teachers passionately sharing with their fellow teachers how they use iPads and blended learning strategies to transform their classroom, tears welled in my eyes and a shiver ran through me. Our teachers rocked it!  What a gift for our teachers to learn from one another! Teachers had a rare opportunity to observe, question, and experience a blended learning culture from our own professionals in our own district. Our new iPad Academy teachers were amazed to see and feel the blended learning culture as they moved from elementary to middle school, to high school classrooms.

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Returning to the training room, we took them for a deeper dive into blended learning over the next two days where they learned the secret sauce to transforming their classrooms.
Tomorrow, 450 iPads will be in 450 students’ hands in these 20 new classrooms. Teaching and learning as they have know it will be forever changed as blended learning strategies are implemented right away. Along with the iPads, they will also have one of the five of us as their iPad coach for nine weeks. I am beyond thrilled for every single one of them. Our district is doing it right. Our teachers and students are empowered with the right equipment, training, and coaching support to race down the field. On the way to a touchdown, there are a lots of plays and many first downs. Each day they are all moving the ball down the field and the touchdown will happen for each of them in their own time.

I am grateful for the right people in the right place at the right time to make this happen. It is a result of a relentless desire to transform teaching and learning and the leadership and support of an incredible staff, administrative team, school board, and community. 

Written by Ann Feldmann
@annfeldmann1

 

What’s Your Word

It’s 2015 and time to rejuvenate attitudes, outlooks, and energies.  We have written posts in the past about taking care of yourself as an educator or tips and tricks for staying relevant in the new year.  We kicked off this year by showcasing a video by Jon Gordon (@JonGordon11) as part of a recent training with our iPad Academy members.  The concept involves deciphering your personal obstacles and dreams, then settling on one word that will help you move forward.  

It is difficult to live up to a list of goals throughout the year, but our hope is that one word will help teachers reach their goals within their classrooms.  New Year’s resolutions are made and often times broken within a few months. According to CBS News, research shows that 88% of Americans fail to follow through with their goals because they take on too much. So why not try a one word focus for the year? Instead of making things so complex, keep it simple says Dan Britton and Jimmy Page, Authors of “One Word That Will Change Your Life.”

Recently, at our iPad Academy collaboration, we had our teachers ponder their word, share it, and then write their one word on a clothespin.  They clipped their pins on the wire frame, which created a wreath similar to the one we used earlier in the year.  The words included anything from inspired to collaborate, to overcome, trust, believe, and innovate.  Forty three words as unique as the 43 educators in the room.  

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We plan on using the wreath throughout the year as a reminder to our group of their words.   It will be fun to reflect throughout the year to see if our words are still the focus of what we do. Jenny’s word is faith, Ann’s is together, and Jeanette’s is balance.

These words are meant to be shared! Next month, we will be following up with our teachers on a creative project using the words. We hope to create an alphabet book of one words, make creative projects in Canva, blog about the words, and send one word happy-grams to our teachers. We will also be sharing the words with the world via Twitter.  We have posted our words boldly where they can be seen every day as a reminder of the one word that will transcend all we do this year.

As John F. Kennedy stated, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

What’s your word?  If you have one, please share it and leave us a comment.  We love hearing from you!

Written by, Ann Feldmann, Jeanette Carlson & Jenny Krzystowczyk

@annfeldmann1, @mrsjcarlson,  & @jennykbps

Screen Shot 2017-08-26 at 9.51.11 PM.pngShout out to Laura Kroll (@mandery) for sharing the CBS clip and one word inspiration.