Monday, December 16, 2013

An "Hour of Code" and Beyond...

Last week Spurgeon Technology students participated in's global Hour of Code project, with a goal of 10 million students writing a billion lines of code. By the time we jumped in to participate, around noon, there were already 3 million students participating.

Spurgeon Technology Students "Writing Code" using Blockly for the Hour of Code Project

Today, only one week later, there are 16 million students participating, and we are half way to achieving the goal of ONE BILLION lines of!!

Every Spurgeon technology student participated, and every single Spurgeon technology student was, most importantly, successful. Every student wrote 20 lines of code, using the visual editor, Blockly, to complete the various projects in "The Maze." many blocks am I supposed to use?

This week we will continue the programming lessons using Blockly and we will tackle Hour of Code project called "The Artist." Let's see what cool things we can draw by coding!

Our Tier III Vocabulary for the week:

Tier II Vocabulary for the week:

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Spurgeon Students Enjoying "Hour of Code" Project!

This week we have been working on the lessons from the "Hour of Code" project.
The students are completely engaged in the lessons, are enjoying the exercises, and are truly pleased when they successfully complete a coding exercise!

When we started the Hour of Code project on Monday, there were already over 3 million students writing code with the goal of having 10 million. By Wednesday, we were already at 9.5 million!

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hour of Code - Teacher Set Up Directions
Teachers who wish to "jump in" and start teaching students to code, will find that the "Hour of Code" project is incredibly easy to teach! There are informative videos, and engaging coding lessons for all ages of students.
We are using the middle school lessons at Spurgeon which includes 20 separate "hour long" lessons which can be taught over several weeks.

To get started, you will first need an account. Click "Sign In" at the top of the web site, then click "sign up" but don't fill in the form until you click on the "Are you a teacher" link on the right. Create your teacher account, and sign in. From here you are taken to your teacher dashboard. Teacher Dashboard
 This is the teacher dashboard. Click "Manage Students" and "add a section" to generate a class code to give to students as they log in the first time. Students will go to to fill in their name and choose a password. Teachers can manage the student accounts, and change passwords. Teachers can also monitor student progress in the program, in addition to being able to complete the lessons themselves.

The student dashboard displays the lessons that are available, and gives the student feedback about his/her progress through the 20 lessons. The dashboard also displays trophies the student earns along the way.

By clicking on the "Progress Dashboard", teachers can check students' progress in a very detailed manner including progress in the last hour. A dark green square means that the student completed the exercise correctly. A light green square means that the student used too many blocks of code to complete the exercise and may do it again. A white dot means that the student completed the exercise in the last hour. The teacher dashboard displays student trophies as well.

To see the educational resources available, go to:

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Monday, December 09, 2013

Computer Science Education Week & "Hour of Code"

Dr. Grace Murray Hopper

This week is Computer Science Education Week! CSEW takes place this week to honor Dr. Grace Murray Hopper, a pioneer in the field of computer science and who was born on December 9, 1906. celebrate Computer Science Education Week, we will be participating in's "Hour of Code" program that seeks to teach up to 10,000,000 students world wide how to write computer code to program a computer. First we'll watch this introductory video about the "Hour of Code" challenge.

To get started, go to and join Ms. Kline's "Hour of Code" class using the code on the board. After you have joined Ms. Kline's "Hour of Code" class, you will be in your "dashboard" area and you will be able to see all of the coding classes that are available to you. Start with Course #1 by
watching the video and completing the accompanying exercises.

Remember the advice: "Ask 3 then ask me". Try to problem solve with 2-3 nearby students then ask Ms. Kline if you still can't figure it out.

Tier III Vocabulary for the week:
computer programming

Tier II Vocabulary for the week:

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Thursday, December 05, 2013

Farewell Nelson Mandela

The world lost a great man today.
We are fortunate to have had him for so long.

Nelson Mandela Archive


Fun with Keyboarding!

We use the Keyboarding Online program for our keyboarding lessons.
 Keyboarding Online

However, there are many different fun keyboarding activities that can be found on the web! Here are several websites you can visit to improve your keyboarding skills:
Dance Mat Typing 
Dance Mat Typing is an introductory program for beginning typists.

Typing Club

Typing Club is a wonderful program that teaches the basics of keyboarding, and allows you to set goals to increase your speed.

Nitro Type
Nitro Type is a fun, fast-paced keyboarding race game. Players compete against each other while typing paragraphs. You need to have basic keyboarding skills to start this game.

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Monday, December 02, 2013

Computer Basics

What do you know about computers? Do you know the difference between hardware and software? Do you know what an operating system is, a computer application, or an app?

Well, not to worry, you are in the right class! This week you will be exploring these and other "Computer Basics" in a series of lessons that include videos and interactive activities.

Let's get started!
  • Log in to your Edmodo account
  • Go to the Computer Basics assignment
  • Follow the instructions for Lesson 1: "1: Getting to Know Computers" under "Introduction"
  • Take the quiz in Edmodo
After you have completed the first lesson, and you have taken the quiz, proceed to the next lesson until you have completed all of the required lessons under Computer Basics.

Good luck!

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