Tech Snacks

Byte-Sized Treats to Transform Learning 12.4.18




The theme for Hour of Code Week 2018 is Creativity. We are encouraging all educators and student to post comments and videos and share what creativity means to them on social media using this format: Creativity is _______ What will you create? #FCPSHourOfCode2018

Share the video below with your students and continue reading for quick ideas to participate in the Hour of Code celebration.

IAKSS Hour of Code

The annual Hour of Code celebration was held on November 27th at IAKSS. The Office of Instructional Technology provided lots of activities but the real stars of the day were teachers and students from Maxwell Elementary, Leestown Middle, and Carter G. Woodson! Participants were "wowed" by their creativity, knowledge, collaboration, and engineering. Check out a few highlights from the event (click on each card for a closer look).

Dance Party

Have you ever seen your students Dab or do the Floss? In this new, fun coding activity, students can program their animated characters to dance to some of the top hits by Katy Perry, Madonna, J. Balvin, Sia, Keith Urban, Ciara, and 25 more! This activity is recommended for students grades 2 and up and can be adjusted for difficulty.

Direct Link

Teacher Notes

Compatible with Chromebooks, PCs, iPads

Code Combat

Choose your hero and code your way through the ogre patrols, lava pits, and laser beams of Kithgard Dungeon. Level up, earn gems, and loot magic items to unlock new programming powers! Geared more towards middle and secondary students, this coding site allows students to work through challenges in different code languages (python, javascript).

Direct Link

Teacher Notes

Compatible with Chromebooks, PCs, iPads

Code Spark Academy

Great for Pre-readers through 5th grade! Code the adorable Foos to solve puzzles that teach fundamental computer science concepts like sequencing and loops. Everyone everywhere can learn to code with codeSpark Academy's award-winning "no words" interface.

Direct Link

Download the free app or play online. Compatible with Chromebooks, PCs, iPads


Take advantage of the ready-to-go Minecraft tutorials created by Microsoft and the Hour of Code initiative. Students can choose one of four tutorials to become immersed in a Minecraft world such as an Aquatic Voyage, Minecraft Adventurer, Minecraft Designer, or Hero’s Journey. The tutorials lead students through the steps of solving a series of puzzles using block-based code. Complete with videos and instructions, your students will be able to navigate through the worlds at their desired pace. Along the way, encourage your students to use the “</> Show Code” feature to “look under the hood” to see how JavaScript, the world’s most widely used coding language, creates the block-based coding.

Direct Link

Teacher Notes

Compatible with Chromebooks, PCs, iPads

Yes, English Teachers, There Are Coding Activities For Your Middle and High School Students -- and Elementary, Too

When Hour of Code Week rolls around, most English teachers are baffled by how they could possibly connect coding to their classroom curriculum. However, there is one obvious connection that can be easily incorporated into instruction. Games involve stories -- or narratives -- and characters who face a series of challenges. Hmm... sound familiar? To find out more details, check out this this blog post to see how one teacher connected writing to gaming through the use of Scratch. Other language arts concepts that can be explored through coding include sequencing, cause and effect, character interactions, theater staging (the idea of blocking is essentially the same), proofreading, and considering algorithms as a process essay. Hey, you can even get a little wild and crazy and allow students to do presentations involving coding. It's the ultimate in differentiated learning!

Snoopy Snow Brawl

“Snoopy” and “snow” go together like peanut butter and chocolate, or Mentos and Diet Coke, or...well, you get the idea. Now you can get your fill of both Snoopy and snow by coding with the app, Snoopy Snow Brawl! Snoopy Snow Brawl uses a word-free interface for pre-reading young coders, and up to 4 players may join in the game. The use of problem solving and strategic thinking separates this coding app from others. Inside the game, students must efficiently sequence their steps and actions in order to win the snow brawl round. Everybody is a winner as students learn how to program the Beagle Scouts and to create code in this wintery snow activity.

To get started, download the codeSpark Academy app. Open the app and click on the “Teachers” icon in the top left corner. Now click on the “Snoopy Snow Brawl” splash screen to download the app. Alternately, you can surf to the link below to play the game on a PC or Chromebook.

Direct Link

Teacher Notes

Download the free app or play online. Compatible with Chromebooks, PCs, iPads

Hour of Code: Unplugged

No Computers? No Problem!

If you do not have access to a computer and want to participate in Hour of Code, try out these unplugged activities. No computer required.

Pizza Parlor- Lets students learn about algorithms used in the pizza business in this unplugged activity.

My Robotic Friends- A fun activity using cups. Students work together to construct an algorithm for their robotic friend to follow.

Get Loopy- Loops are a handy way of describing actions that repeat a certain numbers of times. In this lesson, students will practice converting sets of actions into a single loop.

Graph Paper Programming- By "programming" one another to draw pictures, students will begin to understand what programming is really about. The activity will begin by having students instruct each other to color squares in on graph paper in an effort to reproduce an existing picture.

Upcoming PD Opportunities

Utilize Canvas' Collaboration Tool to Increase Student Communication and Teamwork 12-5-18

There's a simple way to create student collaborative workspaces in Canvas using Google and Office 365. Learn about which types of tools are available, how to enable and setup Collaborations' spaces, and how to manage workflow.

Google for Education Level 1 Series: Chrome, Drive & Docs 1-14-19

Are you new to using Google tools? This session will get you started using Google Drive, Docs and the Chrome browser. We will cover the basics of these foundational tools so you will be prepared to use them in the classroom. This session is open to anyone, but is also part of a series for those seeking Level 1 Google Educator Certification. Those seeking certification should visit for more information.

Google for Education Level 2 Series: Google Earth, Maps & Tour Builder 1-17-19

Come and see the new Google Earth! Virtually explore our world and plan in-class trips with your students. Document agendas and trips with Google MyMaps and Google TourBuilder. We will also investigate the Google Cultural Institute and learn how to integrate these tools into the classroom. This is an advanced session and only those with prior experience using the tools should register. This session is also part of a series for those seeking Level 2 Google Educator Certification. Those seeking certification should visit for more information.