December 14, 2013
by Mrs. Hamman
4 Comments

Hour of Code 2013

Hour of Code 2013

Most of us use computers and handheld devices every day. Did you ever think about what makes computers work?

December 9-15 is Computer Science Education Week, and our class decided to participate in the Hour of Code Challenge. The challenge asked people all over the world to spend an hour learning about computer programming and writing code. At first we thought it would be hard to do, but we found out it was challenging, interesting and fun!

Before we started we talked a little bit about computer science and decided what we wanted to learn. We wanted to focus on gaming because that is something that interested all of us, and after we watched this video we realized kids can learn to create computer games all by themselves! We looked at some tutorials online and learned a few tasks as a whole group. To practice individually, we used iPads. There are lots of apps that help teach about programming and game design on the iPad. Here are the ones we tried:

Codecademy

Kodable

Hopscotch

Daisy the Dinosaur

Cargo-Bot

Createrria

Here is a video showing us trying each of these apps:

We decided that the really great thing about learning to code is that instead of searching for a game or program that does what you want, you can create it yourself! We want to continue learning more about coding all year. We’ll post helpful websites on our Links page as we find them.

We would encourage everyone—kids and grownups—to try coding. It’s fun and really teaches you a lot about the technology you use every day.

Have you ever tried coding?

Do you know of any other apps or websites that help teach coding?

November 13, 2013
by Mrs. Hamman
1 Comment

New Friends in Honduras

Skype Honduras

Today we had a chance to learn about a different country by going on a Skype visit. Our class got together with Mrs. Carney’s kindergarten class to make a special Skype call.

Mrs. Carney has a sister-in-law who is serving in the U.S. Air Force. Right now she is stationed in Honduras, which is in Central America. She told us about what it is like to live in Honduras, and we made notes of the similarities and differences between Honduras and Arizona. She said that it is warm there right now, like it is in Arizona, but much rainier. One interesting thing she told us is that skunks are a very common sight on their base, so they have to be very careful to avoid them when they are walking at night!

One of her jobs while serving in Honduras is to work with the local people, and they often visit local orphanages. Here is a link which tells about one of the orphanages which they visit. She told us about what it is like at the orphanage and what the kids who live there like to do. It sounds like they enjoy the same types of things we do here, like reading, drawing, playing sports and using computers! We are planning to work with Mrs. Carney’s class to send some letters and cards, in Spanish and English, to the kids who live there. We look forward to making friends with the kids in Honduras!

It was very interesting for us to learn about what it is like to serve in the Air Force and to live in another country. Every time we Skype we learn more about our world!

Have you ever visited another country?

What other countries would you like to visit?

October 5, 2013
by Mrs. Hamman
5 Comments

Global Cardboard Challenge 2013

On October 4, our class participated in the Global Cardboard Challenge. We started last week by watching the video of Caine’s Arcade. Because we have been studying character traits in our reading class, we talked about some of the traits we thought Caine must have. We brainstormed a list of our Morning Meeting words to describe Caine’s character traits.

traits

Our word of the week was initiative, so we talked a lot about how Caine showed initiative in designing and building his own games. We decided to try to build our own games too. We all agreed that we would not use materials from home except tape, because we wanted to challenge ourselves to use only recyclables that would have been thrown away otherwise.

We had a great time building our creations and playing them with our friends in Mrs. Moore’s class! Here is a video of our afternoon:

At the end of the day, we shared our reflections about the Cardboard Challenge. Here are some of our comments (we learned our “feeling words” in Morning Meeting):

  • I feel jubilant because I had an idea and it worked.
  • I feel proud because I didn’t know I could make a game all by myself.
  • I feel ecstatic because my team is going to share our invention.

Have you ever made something out of a cardboard box?

What other things could we make?

September 16, 2013
by Mrs. Hamman
7 Comments

Welcome to Quadblogging!

This fall our class has been matched with three other classes to participate in Quadblogging. We are excited to visit the blogs of the three other classes and to get to know kids from other parts of the world. Our class is the focus of the quad this week, so our readers may see more posts than usual from us.

Here is a map showing the places where all of the schools are located. If you double click on the place marker you’ll see a satellite view of the town or city. You can definitely see that the other three places are much greener than the Arizona desert, where we live!

View Quadblogging in a full screen map

In our class we have been talking about time zones and why times are different in different parts of the world.  Here is the current time where we live:

What time is it right now where you live?
What is the difference between your time and our time?

July 27, 2013
by Mrs. Hamman
3 Comments

Back to school!

It’s almost time for our new school year to start! I’m excited to get to know all of you and introduce you to all the interesting things you’ll learn in third grade. I hope to see you at our Back to School Fair, which will be held on Saturday, August 3, from 9:00-10:30 a.m. Our first day of school is Wednesday, August 7. The countdown timer has started!