Tech Snacks

Byte Sized Treats to Transform Learning - 11/28/17

Win $500! Hour of Code Week is Almost Here!!!

Fayette County is joining the rest of the world to celebrate Computer Science Education Week. As we mentioned in the previous edition of Tech Snacks, take the chance to win $500 in technology for your classroom by participating with your students. There are a multitude of activities and lessons ready and waiting for you to experience. Read on to explore just a few of our favorites! You can also visit the Hour of Code site for even more tutorials.

Ready to Participate?

  1. Visit the Hour of Code website to register:
  2. Once you have registered to do an Hour of Code, register with Fayette County to let us know.
  3. Once the Hour of Code week is over, we will ask you to submit a short summary of the activities you did and send a few pictures.

One elementary, middle and high school teacher will win a $500 classroom technology grant from Fayette County.

IAKSS Hour of Code Celebration

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, Wellington, and Carter G. Woodson! Participants were "wowed" by their creativity, knowledge, collaboration, and engineering. Check out a few "tweets" from the event (click on each card for a closer look).

Dodo Does Math

Struggling for ideas on how to mesh an hour of code with all the content you need to cover? This coding activity from CodeMonkey does double duty by engaging students to practice their math skills while learning how to code. Although it’s targeted at 2nd - 5th grade, it would be a great refresher for older grades as well. Math content includes measuring distances and angles, and it displays actual code instead of just block programming so students can really start to understand that coding is a language. Give it a try!

Direct link:

Teacher notes

High School: Explore JavaScript with Globaloria Make Quest

Geared toward high school, students can learn to edit and write JavaScript code to defeat the 'Evil 404,' as they explore computer science concepts like variables and functions. Lesson Plan includes subject-matter extension activities for English, Mathematics, Science, History and Arts classes.

Box Island

Visit the tropical paradise of Box Island on your phone or tablet to learn about sequencing, looping, and conditionals. I found this a successful game for beginners. It is recommended for ages 6+ with a suggestion that younger students work in pairs or small groups (always more fun when the teacher allows you to talk to a friend!). Pairing students allows students to explain what they're learning, and more students can enjoy this game if devices are limited. Teacher Notes include a vocabulary list and a lesson plan -- and if you want the answers, a Solution Guide is available for download.

Web-based version:

Device: Android 4.4 and iOS 9.1 or later (Free and paid version available.)

More information:

Video overview: (7:29)

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, though, 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.

Want to see more about playing the game? Click on the video below to learn more on how to play. After your students have played this app, having fun with coding will “snowball” in your classroom!

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 is a fun activity using cups. Students work together to construct an algorithm for their robotic friend to follow.

More! More! I Want More!

No matter what grade level... no matter which content level... no matter the current experience level...

Embedding Computer Science into your curriculum can spark students' interest in technology, inspiring them to become innovators. They will begin to design technical solutions to tasks in science, social studies, math, literature, the arts, and more! It's time to move beyond just "using" computers. Let's help prepare our students to be innovative and create new technologies in order to make a difference in a global society.

Take a look below at a few statistics provided by Then, look through the Computer Science Fundamentals course for your grade level. The courses are engaging, simple to follow, and fun to teach. If you are apprehensive, or don't have time for the full course, try a one hour tutorial with the Hour of Code.

Upcoming Technology Professional Development

Look below for exciting PD sessions led by the Office of Instructional Technology. Keep an eye on as Google, Canvas, Digital Learning and other PD opportunities are regularly added to the PD menu. What other topics are you interested in having training? Let us know here.
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