Create “Home Row Pumpkins” in Pages


Want a fun way to get kids inspired to practice their typing skills? This activity allows students to learn some of the formatting features in Pages (you could modify this to use Microsoft Word, as well) and gives students the opportunity to practice typing using the home row keys. I encourage students to practice without taking their eyes off of the paper and to practice looking at the screen and paper rather than down at their keyboard. When they are finished following the directions, they will love to see what all of the letters have created!

Click on Home Row Pumpkin to download the instructions.

Here is an example of what the pumpkin will look like once finished.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 1.14.04 PM

Happy Halloween!!


Fun with Place Value in Base Ten

Place Value

Teaching kids place value can always be something that may or may not prove to be difficult. I remember teaching students to use base ten blocks as hands-on manipulative in my classroom years ago. Today, I had second and third graders create objects (houses, creatures, or people) using base ten blocks. This particular application (Number Pieces) can be accessed through a web browser or iOS device. Click here for the web link and click here for the iOS app.

I love this on either the computer or iPad because students are able to click and drag (or tap and drag) the base ten blocks to create a picture. Once their picture is complete, they count up the blocks and write the number with the pen feature. It’s always great to give students the ability to be creative in math and I was very happy with what they created. This activity allowed students to interact with base ten blocks and revisit the place value system. Another option would be giving students a list of numbers to create and have them create the numbers using the blocks and have a friend check for accuracy. It’s all the fun with base ten blocks without needing the real blocks!

Here are a few samples from my class today:









The Key(note) to Coding

Key(note) to Coding

I am a huge fan of Keynote, both on iOS and OS X devices. I love the versatility in this tool. I enjoy using Keynote to demonstrate how this application goes way beyond a tool for presentations. When a tool constantly amazes you and allows you to learn over and over again, it becomes one of those that you cannot live without! Keynote is that tool for me and I love uncovering new ways to bring learning to life with the use of a technology tool such as Keynote!

I am really excited to share with you all that my iTunes U course called The Key(note) to Coding is now live in the iTunes U store! You can access the course by clicking here. Here is the introduction from the course:

There is a misconception when it comes to thinking about coding; some think it’s only for computer programmers and others think it’s too difficult. While we all weren’t created to be professional coders, we can encourage kids to understand the basic premise of coding. To put it simply, coding is giving a set of instructions to the computer to create an action. In this course, you will learn how to create a project with your students by using Keynote to create tangram shapes and learn the variety of ways to format shapes while taking note of the shape’s placement, size, and rotation. Once the tangram is complete, students will write all of the “code” so that another student can replicate their tangram. It would be very difficult to teach someone how to recreate a particular shape with precise measurements, but when given the exact “code” students are able to follow it and replicate the tangram with ease. In addition to coding skills, this project helps students develop positive feelings about geometry as they classify and short shapes. In addition, students learn vocabulary for working and manipulating shapes, such as arrange, flip, size, position, and rotation. It’s perfect as a stand alone project targeting STEM or within your geometry unit. This course is designed for the Mac because of the advanced tools in Keynote, however, students can use this course as a guide for building and creating tangrams on an iOS device as well. This course is geared for grades second and beyond, but can most certainly be modified for even younger students. Have fun as you learn the Key(note) to coding!

Hope you’ll download it and give me your feedback! I’d love it if people tried creating codes and shared them with others to try!