Thursday, January 18, 2018

Teach 4 Basic Coding Concepts Through Music and the Code It Series!

Coding and computer science is such an important part of education and the world around us.  

According to the Code.org website, Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science.  We need to support our students in computer science by reaching them at the skill-level, location and background they are and find ways to inspire them to keep learning, growing and excelling in such an important and essential concept.  
We brought coding through Hour of Code to all of our students in kindergarten through twelfth grade at Van Meter. 
It was amazing to watch them become engaged, passionate and inspired by the different apps, websites and connections we made through Skype with computer programmers, authors and others passionate about computer science.  I loved watching them create something new from everything they were learning about coding and with these resources.  

Through this work with teachers, students, families and my own learning over the last several years, I always wished there were books and songs for teaching basic coding concepts to our young learners. 

Well, guess what?  

Cantata Learning just published the perfect set of coding books for teaching basic coding skills through music and so much more!

This series supports the future-ready skills we want our students to possess such as being critical thinkers, creative, problem solvers and responsible digital citizens, while connecting to real-world situations and solutions.  
The Code It! Set introduces four basic coding concepts through music giving students a fun first look at....
 Loops: Repeat, Repeat
 Debugging: You Can Fix It, 
 Sequences: Order Matters,
 and Algorithms: Solve A Problem!  
Nadia Higgins, Blake Hoena and Patricia M. Stockland did such an amazing job writing this series.

The hip hop styled songs arranged and produced by Drew Temperante makes learning how to code so much fun.  Listen to Algorithms above and see what I mean.  

As Cantata Learning shared on the Code It Set page, these titles support future-ready standards for responsible digital citizenship and innovative problem solving.  

Let me show you inside this special series.  
All four of the coding terms are explained in the front of each book.
Throughout the books, illustrator Sr. Sanchez brings each book to life with engaging and brightly colored illustrations that truly do help children understand these four coding concepts.
I love how easy directions are demonstrated with real life examples...
 
...that give children the confidence to learn how to code.
As with all of the Cantata Learning books, the music is available online for streaming or downloading.  

You can get to the coding songs online here or by scanning the QR code on any of the four books. 
In the back of the book, you will find the song lyrics and...
...sheet music, which can also be downloaded online too.
You will also find the Guided Reading Activities and...
Glossary important resources in teaching and supporting these skills, along with lessons and projects you teach.
On the Cantata Learning site you will also find a Lesson Plan for Code It!, which is filled with...
a step-by-step plan on how to use the series and extension activities for art and technology.  
Don't forget to play and share all four of the Code It series on the Cantata Learning YouTube Channel.  

You will find all of the Cantata Learning titles and seasons here. 
Loops! Repeat, repeat.  Each task is a step. When we repeat s step, we loop.  This loopy beat has pep!  Loops! Repeat, repeat.  Each task is a step. When we repeat a step, we loop.  This loopy beat has pep!  

Over the last week of playing and reading these books, I learned so much as I sang the songs over and over.  I know about sequences, debugging, algorithms and loops now!  

I can't wait to see what you and your students learn about coding with Code It too!  

Making New Connections With #inTLchats & Librarians In Hong Kong Today!

This morning I was on the look out for tweets from an amazing conference in Hong Kong with several of my librarians friends.

My dear friend Joyce Valenza is speaking, collaborating and sharing with all of the wonderful librarians and others.  In fact, they even started a new hashtag today that we can all follow as we make connections with librarians in other parts of the world.
Now when I look at my TweetDeck, I see #futurereadylibs #inTLchats and #TLchat, along with several others that live on my TweetDeck too.  
I loved watching Joyce, Danny, Kurt, Kendra, Stoney and others as they shared and inspired the people in Hong Kong, and also all of us following along on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other places made possible because of the way we are all connected.
I loved sharing with them today, especially hoping to get them connected with others in the United States and other parts of the world for World Read Aloud Day coming up on February 1, 2018.

Let's see how you can get connected in 2018.  What connections will you make?  What will you do with your connections?  How will you learn together?  What will be the impact these connections make on your students? 

I can't wait to hear!  And I can't wait to connect with even more of you in 2018!  

Art, Song, Science, Cooking, Books, Games, Puzzles, Technology and More In This Special Valentine's Day Collection!

Valentine's Day is only a few weeks away on February 14.  

I love seeing all of the art projects, a new Valentine's Day story and song, science, cooking, books, songs, games, puzzles, technology projects and more being shared by librarians, teachers, families and others.  

I thought it was time to bring them together in a very special new Collection by Destiny where you will find....
 new books, like Cantata Learning's story and song Valentine's Day you can listen to here
the Global Virtual Valentine's Project from the Buncee blog last year;
the fun and engaging Valentine's Day displays being added to libraries, hallways and classrooms; 

You will find the Valentine's Day Resources Collection here.  It is a public Collection so please share it with others in your school, your students and families too.  

And, as always, let me know what else we should add or if you'd like to be a collaborator on the Collection too.  

Happy Valentine's Day, friends.  Enjoy the season and creating lots of love and fun in your spaces too.