Kodable & Breakout EDU (first grade edition)

So I obviously left MACUL 16 feeling super inspired--because of that my kids and I had a really fun week at school trying out a bunch of new activities :) Slowly but surely we will try all the new things I learned about, so stay tuned!

Tech Tip of the Week

Have you tried Kahoot yet? It's one of the easiest ways to turn your classroom into a gameshow for part of your day! You can create pre-made games, quizzes or even let your students create games. The best part about Kahoot is that is easy to put together and has a lot of kid-friendly features (i.e. colors/shapes to make selecting an answer simple, the ability to add pictures as answers, and it's F R E E). My classroom has 6 iPads so I am living proof that you can use this in a classroom that is not 1:1 iPads :) My kiddos play at their tables and take turns submitting their answers--I take a lot of time the first time we play Kahoot to go over the rules to ensure that everyone supports each other and has fun. My kids know that (similar to every other tech activity we do) that it's important to have patience and help each other out! 

Here's my little guys in action--lots of team work happening when we play!


The first time we play Kahoot, we do just fun questions that I know they know the answers to (i.e. What color is Spongebob? What day of the week is it?) just so I know they know how to use the app. Once we do that, we use it in a variety of ways.
  • Replace your KWL charts with a Kahoot! Introduce a new topic or unit by gauging students' prior knowledge. 
  • Create a survey. Allow your students to have a voice and be involved!
  • Have students make quizzes. Kahoot is so user-friendly I have no doubt your students could create one.  
  • FUN FRIDAY! I love building our classroom community by playing Kahoot on Friday's just for fun. I like to create silly questions OR have my students create a Kahoot about themselves. It's a great way to get your kids to get to know one another. Relationships matter.

At #MACUL16 Shannon Miller shared a TON of coding resources. I decided to try Kodable with my kids because it looked easy for me to set up and manage (time is precious--especially around conference/report card time!!).  Simply sign up for Kodable online, type your students in, and print out their passwords. Unfortunately, the passwords are complicated (about 8 letters/numbers all mixed up) BUT my kids had no problems typing them in :) 

Teacher & student reviews of Kodable: We all LOVED it. Seriously...I could have just sit and watched/listen to them code all day. So many giggles, celebrations, collaboration, problem solving, and relationship building going on. They were asking each other for help, showing each other how to complete levels, congratulating each other...it was music to my teacher ears! Check out my little "coders" below.


As a teacher, it is also awesome to follow your students' progress. Not only does Kodable desribe 16 CCSS standards that your students are working on, it also tracks and breaks down your students' progress as they work through the levels. 

Breakout EDU (first grade edition)

After trying BreakoutEDU with some co-workers, I just HAD to let my students try! The wonderful and amazingly talented Sarah Wood created a Breakout specifically for lower elem students based on the story "Froggy Gets Dressed." They worked together to solve 6 clues and unlock locks and break into the box! We worked together as a class to solve the clues--most breakouts I've seen are completed in smaller groups of 8-10 people--so it was great to see that it can be done in a classroom of 22 students! My students worked at their table groups so solve each clue (Sarah had 5 sets of each clue) and then when each group was done solving, they shared their findings with the other groups. When we all agreed our findings, it was time to work on opening the locks. I called on students to type in one letter or number on the locks (a total of 19 students were able to punch in part of the code) and then I let the 3 other students have the opportunity to have a leadership role at some point during the activity. Everyone had an important role.

During the breakout, my students were problem solving, using critical thinking and working on their communication skills. I was able to see a lot of their personalities and strengths during the activity. I think my favorite part of the breakout was watching one of my special education students be a leader and totally rock it. This breakout allowed him to break out of his shy shell and be a confident leader and communicator. Seriously...I was blown away. These breakouts give your quiet students the opportunity to say, "Today, I'm not going to sit back and be a bystander. Today, I'm going to be a leader!"


and then....


If you have not had the opportunity to participate in a Breakout EDU, plleeaassseeee try to find OR create an opportunity to do so. Check out one of my recent blogposts for some resources/opportunities to try a breakout. 

On top of all this fun stuff we did this week, we also celebrated St. Patrick's Day! Wahoo! We made Shamrock Floats, Pots of Gold, and graphed with Skittles. It was a crazy, busy week but one of those weeks that made me realize I have the BEST job in the entire world.


And these two little leprechauns know my favorite kind of GREEN :)

Have a wonderful week everybody! Be back soon :)

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