Rootstown Second Graders Explore Google Classroom, Scratch Jr & Sock Puppets

This morning in the AT&T Classroom the Rootstown second graders were introduced to Google Classroom, a learning platform designed to provide a safe digital learning space where teachers and students can communicate and share content. Within Google Classroom, teachers can create an assignment and choose how students complete the assignment (e.g., individually, small groups, whole class). The teacher is able to track who has completed the assignment and who has not and also provide feedback to individual students. Students are able to keep track of what’s due on the Assignments page and access their work from any device with a web browser. Today the students learned how to use the Stream feature of Google Classroom that allows the teachers to share assignments and work with students and also allows teachers and students to post questions and replies. This morning Miss West posted a literacy assignment for the students in their Google Classroom Stream. As part of their Book Review project, Miss West created a template for the students to guide their writing for their book summary review. Students were able to access the document in the Stream and complete each of the parts of the document and then digitally turn in their completed assignment to Miss West for her review.

Also this morning, the second graders were introduced to a new coding tool. Building from their coding lessons with Daisy the Dinosaur, today the students explored Scratch Jr,  a free coding app developed for young children by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. The app engages students in using an introductory programming language to create animations, interactive stories and games.Children combine graphical programming blocks to animate characters to move, jump, dance, and sing. Children are also able to customize the characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, and insert photos of themselves. In addition to introductory programming and coding skills,  Scratch Jr also supports the development of skills related to sequencing and numeracy while also fostering children's’ creative and critical thinking.  The app is available for free download from the itunes store and Google Play.

Later this morning, the second graders were introduced to Sock Puppets for creating digital stories. Sock Puppets is a free app that  allows young children to explore creative storytelling by creating lip-synced puppet shows that can be shared on the iPad or via Facebook or YouTube. Children are able to select from a variety of hand puppet characters as well as themed backgrounds to create their own unique show.