Thursday, June 7, 2018

Unplugged: Teaching Coding with Storybooks

This week I'm spending my time at a computer science workshop. Before this class, I only thought of coding for middle and high school students and maybe upper elementary. Now I see that even pre-kindergarten kids can handle basic coding.

There is a wonderful blog called JDaniel4smom. She has a list of storybooks that is occupied by a printable. A group in my class presented this as a lesson to do with kindergarten. Since Jack is starting school in August I thought I would give it a try with him. The most important skill your child will need for this lesson is the ability to draw an arrow. Jack's arrows are not perfect by any means but I can tell which direction he is pointing. 

The first time we did this activity we did the coding activity using the book We're Going on a Bear Hunt. Jack loved it so much that he asked to do another so we did The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Here is what The Very Hungry Caterpillar printable looks like:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Algorithm Activity - This is a great way to introduce children to coding. They are probably already familiar with this wonderful story.

Here is what Jack's paper looks like (you will notice some mistakes and it probably wasn't the best idea to let him use a marker but it made him happy).

It's never too early to start teaching following steps (algorithms), directional words (up, down, left, right), and sequencing. This activity is a great way to blend literacy, math, and computer science.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Jack: Halfway to Six

The first time I felt Jack move was on Mother's Day. It was my first Mother's Day gift and it meant the world to me. Time flew too quickly and now he is five and a half. The biggest reason I started blogging was so I would have a record of our life together. It's been too long since I've done a Jack update.

  • He finished up preschool on the 23rd.
  • Can spell a few words including his full name.
  • Most days he gets in trouble at school for screaming, hitting, or pinching his friends
  • Has made impressive improvements in speech therapy
  • Starts kindergarten in August and is most excited about going to a new playground
  • He is all about the number 100  
  • The later in the day it gets the more he talks and the quicker
  • If you tell him no, he will respond with "I never....". For example if I tell him he can't have a Kit Kat then he will say "I never get to have a Kit Kat". 
  • He is also using words/phrases like "you are getting on my nerves", "I'm so frustrated", and "proud". He is asking "why" a lot too.
  • The other day he said "What the hell?". Oops! That one is my fault.
  • I've always called farts "toots" because I just hate the word fart. Well he has learned fart now and it is driving me mad.
  • Would rather be outside at all times
  • Watches Thomas, Paw Patrol, Puppy Dog Pals, Shimmer and Shine, Little Einsteins, Super Why, and Blaze on tv.
  • He also enjoys YouTube where he watches kids unbox Happy Meals. Jack has always loved the classic fairy tale stories like The Three Billy Goats Gruff and The Three Little Pigs. He watches those videos daily
  • We haven't done much reading the last couple of weeks since the weather has warmed up. I do plan on trying to read him a chapter book during the summer.                            
  • I ended up taking Jack to the doctor last week. He has horrible allergies like his mama. Jack is now taking allergy medicine daily and it seems to be helping.
  • He is one tough cookie and it seems like he is always falling off something or tripping over something. He is super rough and gives his mama many scares.
  • This summer Jack is meeting with a pediatrician to possibly get on medicine or at least some tips to work on some better sleeping habits and calming behaviors. 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Start of Summer

Hello sweet summertime! We've been on summer break for a total of four days. We have made the best out of those few days. This whole week I'm in a Computer Science workshop so that part isn't great but I am learning a lot.

Memorial Day weekend four of my sweet friends and I went to Orange Beach. We were there for three nights and the whole week before we were worried how Tropical Storm Alberto would mess up our trip. We didn't even pack our beach chairs. Once we made it there we went straight down to the beach thinking we would only get a few hours of beach time the whole trip. We were very wrong. By the second day we headed to the store and picked up some beach chairs.

We only had rain for maybe an hour the whole trip. We turned out so lucky.

One of the highlights of the trip was getting to taste this delicious banana split. It was an hour wait but oh my word it was great! This place is called The Yard and has been open just over a year in Gulf Shores. The place next door was pretty great and had the best guacamole. 

Two of the few days we have been on summer vacation Jack and I have been to this pool about 25 miles away. I had actually forgotten about this gem but was reminded about it on the drive back from the beach. Jack really loves it but taking him can get a little nerve wracking because he doesn't want to wear his floaties. He had a pretty big meltdown on Sunday over it but thankfully did get over it. 

We've also been dealing with this super hot summer by playing with water in the yard. I bought a couple of water shooters and filled up a tub with water. Bennett came over and they had a blast shooting each other with water and chasing each other around the yard. 

I'm holding this summer a lot closer to my heart since Jack will start kindergarten in August. I know that once big school starts that the growing up happens entirely too quickly.