Building Our Future-Ready Skills

Technological opportunities to help you grow! @MVeLearn

November 7, 2018

Even dinosaurs LEARN at MSDMV!

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Getting Ready for the Hour of Code!

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Sarah O'Risky's Grade One Students Use Block Programming

From Hadi Partovi at


Hour of Code season has arrived, and we’re excited to unveil new activities from our partners!

With over 150 new tutorials, and the ability to filter by grade, experience level, and classroom hardware, everyone can find the perfect activity. We even have new activities that work offline or without computers. (And, your favorites from last year are still here.)

But that’s not all—in a few weeks, we’ll announce a very special new tutorial. Stay tuned (and get ready to groove)!

And, today we’re unveiling a brand new activity from and Microsoft: Minecraft Voyage Aquatic! Voyage Aquatic takes learners on an aquatic adventure to find treasure and solve puzzles with coding. Minecraft teamed up with four YouTube creators–AmyLee33, Netty Plays, iBallisticSquid, and Tomohawk–for this year’s Minecraft Hour of Code. These creative YouTubers guide participants through 12 unique challenges through caves, ruins, and underwater reefs to solve puzzles and learn coding concepts such as loops and conditionals, two fundamental concepts in computer science. Voyage Aquatic encourages students to think creatively, try different coding solutions, and apply what they learn in this mysterious underwater world!

The tutorial also includes a ‘free play’ level for participants to apply what they learn in the prior puzzles and use coding to build imaginative underwater creations. And of course, Minecraft Designer and Minecraft Adventurer are always available to play!

Sign up your classroom to get posters and robots
Be sure to sign up your Hour of Code event, because when you do, you’ll receive a discount on a set of new, inspirational posters and stickers for your classroom. This year, we’re shipping through Amazon Prime in the U.S. to make delivery simpler and cheaper. Internationally, we have all the files available to print your own.

Want to introduce robots or physical computing kits to your students? Our generous partners Ozobot, littleBits, Kano, Thimble, Giggle Bot, and Roots Robotics are donating sets to over 100 U.S. classrooms. Sign up your class for a chance to be selected.

Find the right activity for your class
Our teacher committee has tested every activity on, and they’re listed in a teacher-recommended order.

You can find activities designed to reinforce math, language arts, science, social studies, and art. Or try some of the favorites from our partners:

For beginners of all ages. Start coding with blocks...
An Unusual Discovery (from CS First with Scratch)
Two characters meet in a world and discover a surprising object. What happens next? With Scratch and CS First, anyone can create their own unique story with code.

Animate an Adventure Game (from Scratch)
Send your favorite Cartoon Network characters on a quest, from the farthest reaches of the universe to the edge of Craig's creek. Unlock secret treasures and discover new characters while creating an adventure game.

Go further with Python or JavaScript
Landscape Generator (from Tynker)
Use Python's pen drawing feature to compose a landscape using code. Use the landscape items already created for you or design your own structures. Publish and share your creations!

App Lab (from
Create your own app in JavaScript using blocks or text. You'll make a simple app with buttons, images, sounds, and multiple screens that you can share with your friends or publish to a public gallery. If you've already done some coding with blocks, take your skills to the next level.

For Pre-Readers
Make your own mazes with Kodable
Kodable now includes a digital Maker Space! Make levels, design games, or build characters. Choose your activity and start creating with Kodable! Featuring JavaScript for upper elementary.

codeSpark Academy with the Foos: Create Games
Ever wanted to design and code your own video game? Choose from two game kits that guide you through creating and coding a Mario-style video game using codeSpark Academy's no words interface. Beginner coders and pre-readers welcome!

Don’t have computers? Or reliable internet access?
Try these Hour of Code activities or any of’s unplugged activities with your class!

And there’s more...see the full list of activities on the Hour of Code site.

Kendra Buchanan - Little Bits Coding

Kendra Buchanan’s class has been working each week to learn coding as part of the computer science standards. This week they used the Little Bits Code Kit to code text and images.
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Second Grade students in a design thinking activity

The ships set sail for the New World this week (The hallways of West Elementary)!

The ships set sail for the New World this week (The hallways of West Elementary)! while Neil Diamond sang "America." student explorers sailed their ships through the hallways in parade fashion in order to honor early explorers. Students in Mrs. Zoller's social studies classes have been busy the past few weeks studying the Explorers. Each group researched information about a famous explorer and then designed a ship, flag, and banner for the parade based on their research. Their collaboration with one another created a fantastic parade!

Consider Being a Part of the Thanksgiving Story Corp Listen

Each fall, StoryCorps provides a Teacher Toolkit with multimedia resources, lesson plans, and an app guide to support you in bringing this assignment to classrooms, after-school programs, or any context where young people are learning. We hope these multimedia pages and downloadable materials will provide you with an educational framework to support young people as they learn to interview, record, and listen to the stories of their elders.

Connect directly with other educators and StoryCorps staff in our StoryCorps in the Classroom Facebook group, and find answers to your technical support questions in our Help Center.

The Great Thanksgiving Listen

Courtney York - Dia de los Muertos

After watching a short video on what the holiday is and it’s history students tried Pan de Muerto (bread of the dead) and made their own sugar skulls out of marshmallows and edible markers while watching Coco.
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Did You Say "BREAKER" Space?

Students in Mr. Russell's and Mrs. Johnston's Prime Time Class were involved in a "Breaker" Space activity. Using computers from the recycle center, students removed the inner workings and labeled the parts. Mr. Russell explained the purpose of each of the parts so students could understand how a computer works.
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Kendra Buchanan (West) and Riley Anspaugh (JH) engage students with Breakout games.
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Harry (Riley Anspaugh) Potter

How to Insert Equations and Special Characters Into Google Documents
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Ava and Don Wettrick

Semester II - Twitter Book Chat

Beginning in January, we will be hosting another Twitter Book Chat where you will have the opportunity to earn PD points for participation, learn more about building a culture of innovation, collaborate with MSDMV peers, and chat with, author of Pure Genius, Don Wettrick and his daughter, Ava Wettrick!

We invite administrators and staff to join this opportunity. Be with us for all virtual chats or come when you can! The more you attend, the more PD points you earn.

Our first Twitter Book Chat will be from the SHARP Lab for anyone new to Twitter chats. This will help you get comfortable with Tweetdeck and Twitter Chats!

Don will be with us, virtually, for most of the chats, and his daughter is planning on joining us at all our chats!

Each chat (#MVeLearn) will be on Thursday night (7:00pm) for an hour before the #INeLearn state chat (8:00pm)

  • Jan. 10 - Chapter 1 - Why Innovate?
  • Jan. 17 - Chapter 2 and 3 - Creating a Culture of Innovation and Leadership / There is no Plan
  • Jan. 24 - Chapter 4 - Six Building Blocks of Innovative Learning
  • Jan 31 - Chapter 5 and 6 - Social Media and Teachers / Social Media and Students
  • Feb. 7 - Chapter 7 - Getting Started with Social Media
  • Feb. 14 - Chapter 8 - Opportunities are Everywhere
  • Feb. 21 - Chapter 9 - Student Voices (Special Guest Ava Wettrick)
  • Feb. 28 - Chapter 10 - Moving Forward

If you want to join this Innovative opportunity, Please fill out the Google Form below to get your copy of the Pure Genius book for your Holiday break!
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