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December Activities for the Computer Lab



December Activities for the Computer Lab
December has to be my favorite month in the computer lab because we have Computer Science Week and the Hour of Code! I do also have some other fun and engaging activities planned to work on our everyday tech skills too. Check them out.

How to use this blog post: find the grade level you're interested in and then read about the activities. Click on any images to go to the product description to learn more about it. You'll see some activities in multiple grade levels. This either means that differentiation is provided to make the lesson appropriate for multiple grade levels, or it includes multiple grade levels of activities for the tech lab.

Kindergarten Activities for December

For Hour of Code, use these sorting matrix activities to teach the concept of conditionals. Both print and digital versions are provided, making it an excellent activity to fill a class period or two. This can be used with both Kindergarten and First Grade students. 
For the rest of the month of December, Kindergarten students work on Timely Tech. I have them do the slides for letters, numbers, patterns, and word families as long as they have been introduced to it in class. 

First Grade Activities for December

For Computer Science Week, 1st graders can work on their if/then/else thinking with sorting mats on paper and digital. The paper ones take a bit of prep time so plan for that. 
Next up for 1st grade is digital pixel art. Depending on whether or not students have done this type of activity before, 1st grade students can do either level 1 or 2 of Pixel art. The December themed designs are motivating for students to complete. They always beg for more!

If there is time left, 1st graders can complete the rest of the Timely Tech slides. It works well as early finisher activities for the whole month. 

Second Grade Activities for December


For Hour of Code, 2nd graders can master algorithms! This set is all about decomposing and understanding algorithms. Both paper and digital activities are included so you can set it up as stations for students to work through. 

 2nd graders love to make presentations. These presentation projects are perfect because they come with all of the facts already done for you, so all students have to do is turn it into a Google Slides or PowerPoint presentation. This set includes 10 different countries' holiday traditions. 

If there is time, 2nd grade students do really well with coding robots. This holiday themed set of task cards for any moveable robot are great for this time of year. 

Third Grade Activities for December

Starting with Hour of Code, 3rd grade students complete the first few slides from this set of digital activities. They will decode a Christmas message in binary code. 
To help them really master binary code, they can complete these digital flash cards as early finisher activities all month long. 
After Computer Science Week, 3rd graders can make their very own digital ugly Christmas sweaters! The skills they are working on by doing a digital glyph activity are important to practice all school year. 

Fourth Grade Activities for December

4th grade students can complete the middle few activities from the Christmas Coding set during Hour of Code. 
There are also coding puzzles in Timely Tech for December that would work great for Computer Science Week. 
After that, it is always a good idea to review keyboarding. The text formatting activities here have a design for every month of the year, without holiday themes. The December design is an evergreen tree, to signify the beginning of winter. 

Fifth Grade Activities for December

5th grade students finish up this set of coding activities for the Hour of Code. Early finishers can do the same binary code digital flash cards as 3rd grade. They are great practice for grades 3-5+. 
Speaking of early finishers, the classroom teachers really appreciate when we can integrate some math and ELA into the computer lab. Digital Mystery Pictures are a great way to do that. This set reviews multi-digital multiplication and long division, which makes it a great activity for 5th grade students. 
January is the typical time of year to kick off a research project with 5th grade, but it can be done earlier with guided research projects. This one has students research Christmas traditions for an assigned country and then fill in a PowerPoint or Google Slides template with the information about their country. 

There you have it, activities for grades k-5 for the month of December. Be sure to pin this blog post to get back to later!
December Activities for the Computer Lab

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Brittany Washburn
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Technology Gift Guide for the Holidays


Technology Gifts for Kids organized by prices. Click on this image to go to the PDF Gift Guide.
Technology Gift Guide for the Holidays


The PDF format makes it really easy to share with your students' families via email or a link on your website. 

The gifts are organized by budget. To see specific age recommendations, click on the individual product. The Amazon listings have all of the relevant information, including reviews. 
Technology Gift Guide Organized by Budget

Technology Gift Guide Organized by Budget

Technology Gift Guide Organized by Budget

Technology Gift Guide Organized by Budget

Technology Gift Guide Organized by Budget

Technology Gift Guide Organized by Budget

You can also save these Pins to come back to later!











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Hour of Code Classroom Kit


The goal of this kit is to provide everything you need to make your classroom ready for the Hour of Code event during computer science week.

Computer Science Week just might be my favorite time of year in the computer lab. It certainly helps December go more smoothly because students are very engaged by the Hour of Code activities we complete.

We all know there are a ton of great free resources out there for Hour of Code (and we are so grateful for them!). Sometimes all of that choice can feel a bit overwhelming. This year I decided to put together a kit that will hopefully bring everything together for us.

The kit includes:
•Vocab Posters
•Pre and Post Assessments
•Encouraging Quotes Posters
•Links to HoC Resources
•Letter to Parents (editable)
•Bulletin Board Letters

The goal of this kit is to provide everything you need to make your classroom ready for the Hour of Code event during computer science week.
The goal of this kit is to provide everything you need to make your classroom ready for the Hour of Code event during computer science week. I know most of us that teach technology have a week long or even month long event in order to complete the Hour of Code with all of our classes of students. Plus, there are so many free activities available that we can keep it going for weeks! 

Vocabulary Posters
Completing the Hour of Code with grades K-5+ means that we will be covering a lot of vocabulary. I put posters together with the terms from the code.org glossary. I specifically matched the colors of this whole kit to the Technology Themed Decor Classroom Bundle so that it would fit seamlessly with your current decor. 
There are 60 terms included plus a blank in each color so that you can make more of your own if needed. 
The goal of this kit is to provide everything you need to make your classroom ready for the Hour of Code event during computer science week.
Pre and Post Assessments
Grading coding is not something I advocate, but I understand that a lot of schools require student progress tracking. This kit includes 3 levels of assessments that can be used before and after the Hour of Code. Choose the level that most closely matches your students' abilities. If you're not sure, level 1 could be used for grades K-1, level 2 for grades 2-3, and level 3 for grades 4-5+. 
The goal of this kit is to provide everything you need to make your classroom ready for the Hour of Code event during computer science week.
I always recommend reading tests aloud in the computer lab. This takes out most of the need for accommodations for individual students, plus it allows you to set the pace. 
Encouraging Quotes Posters
One of my favorite parts about participating in the Hour of Code is that it encourages students to develop a growth mindset. Coding is hard and requires perseverance! These 5 posters are some of my favorite quotes about coding and computer science. 
The goal of this kit is to provide everything you need to make your classroom ready for the Hour of Code event during computer science week.
Links to Hour of Code Resources
While there are a TON of HoC activities out there, I picked a selection of them and turned them into digital choice boards. Feel free to use whatever you find, but if you know you have students who are overwhelmed by choice, maybe have them start out with this selection. 
There are 2 choice boards provided. The first one has activities appropriate for non-readers and the second has activities for grades 2 and up. The non-reader option also has a printable QR code version to make it a bit easier to get students to the websites. 
The goal of this kit is to provide everything you need to make your classroom ready for the Hour of Code event during computer science week.

The goal of this kit is to provide everything you need to make your classroom ready for the Hour of Code event during computer science week.
Letter to Parents
You can use this letter to parents to share information at the community level about Computer Science Week and the Hour of Code. The file is provided in PowerPoint so you can edit the text to meet your needs. You could even turn it into something you share with other teachers at your school to help them understand what you're doing. 
The goal of this kit is to provide everything you need to make your classroom ready for the Hour of Code event during computer science week.
Bulletin Board Header Letters
If you have time to set up a bulletin board for the Hour of Code, I'd love to see it! Tag me on social media or email a picture to me. This kit includes letters for your bulletin board in PDF and SVG format (so you can use a cutting machine if you have one). Print on color paper to make it pop!

So there you have it. Everything you need to complete the Hour of Code with your students this year. 
Want it for your classroom? 
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