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Melanie Sylvester

  • Melanie Sylvester posted a new activity comment 4 years, 1 month ago

    Me again! I just watched the CoetailCast. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the mention. You are completely right- I jumped in blind and had faith in the process (even though at times it made my tummy ache with nerves!). I think I was never even two minutes ahead…hahaha! Thanks for chatting about it.

  • Melanie Sylvester posted a new activity comment 4 years, 1 month ago

    Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Melanie Sylvester posted a new activity comment 4 years, 1 month ago

    Awe that’s great! Thanks for sharing Kristi and for all of your support! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Me again! I just watched the CoetailCast. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the mention. You are completely right- I jumped in blind and had faith in the process (even though at times it made my tummy ache with nerves!). I think I was never even two minutes ahead…hahaha! Thanks for chatting about it.

  • Melanie Sylvester posted a new activity comment 4 years, 1 month ago

    Hi Anne. Your comments made me feel great! THANKS! I truly ventured out of my comfort level and the results were so rewarding. When you are ready to start some coding, please feel free to contact me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will be happy to TRY to help you.
    Take care and thanks again for your feedback-it was so nice!
    Melanie.

  • Melanie Sylvester posted a new activity comment 4 years, 1 month ago

    Thanks Mike! It was really powerful learning. If your 5th Grade team wants to contact me at any point I would be happy to answer any questions. I also recommend Mindy’s blog: http://www.mindyslaughter.com/coding-in-elementary (she is at UNIS Hanoi). The possibilities are endless; I feel like we only just started. I haven’t had a chance to view any…[Read more]

  • Melanie Sylvester posted a new activity comment 4 years, 2 months ago

    Thanks Karen! Thanks for watching the video! I am looking forward to seeing how/where your project takes you and remember, I am here to help (if I can)! Thanks for commenting. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Melanie Sylvester posted a new activity comment 4 years, 2 months ago

    Thank you Mindy! Your feedback means a lot to me. It’s funny how we don’t really realise that others might be reading our stuff and learning along with us. Your work inspired me! We’re looking forward to the Codeathon and hopefully our paths will cross in the “real world” at some point.:)

  • Melanie Sylvester posted a new activity comment 4 years, 2 months ago

    You can tweet me anytime! @mjsyl I have found Twitter so useful in many ways. Happy to share them with you! Thanks for your comment.

  • When I reflect back from the beginning of Course 1 so much has changed for me. I have established an online presence, have a PLN network started, am taking more risks and have become a better facilitator of […]

    • Awesome project! I recall dropping by your room a few times while this was going on, and seeing how excited and engaged the kids were. It definitely was a very creative way to integrate technology into that unit! I also really enjoyed your movie documenting the whole process from initial idea to tryout with Cade to implementation to reflection. It’s a great example as I head into the final project myself next fall–if only I can think of some way to integrate technology into our first “super-unit”. The project sounds like it’s going to be inventing a new healthy drink for Fruit World–maybe really need to call on the PLN to help me come up with some ideas for tech integration for that!

      • Thanks Karen! Thanks for watching the video! I am looking forward to seeing how/where your project takes you and remember, I am here to help (if I can)! Thanks for commenting. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thank you Mindy! Your feedback means a lot to me. It’s funny how we don’t really realise that others might be reading our stuff and learning along with us. Your work inspired me! We’re looking forward to the Codeathon and hopefully our paths will cross in the “real world” at some point.:)

    • It is amazing what these kids are learning today. Coding scares me but after Coetail, I want to learn. I don’t even know you but I am so proud of you for this project and for your first excellent iMovie. iMovie takes some time to use but once you get it, it is great.
      I feel that you have done a great job with the lesson and with the reflections. Good on you for being a risk taker and stepping out of your comfort zone. It is the best way to learn.
      Anne

      • Hi Anne. Your comments made me feel great! THANKS! I truly ventured out of my comfort level and the results were so rewarding. When you are ready to start some coding, please feel free to contact me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will be happy to TRY to help you.
        Take care and thanks again for your feedback-it was so nice!
        Melanie.

    • Congratulations Melanie. This one project touched on so many interdisciplinary subjects and was loaded with higher level thinking. I will be showing this to our 5th grade team that teaches electricity and circuits If they donโ€™t want to go with the Makey Makey and Scratch, I will definitely run it as an after school activity club. Very inspiring!

      • Thanks Mike! It was really powerful learning. If your 5th Grade team wants to contact me at any point I would be happy to answer any questions. I also recommend Mindy’s blog: http://www.mindyslaughter.com/coding-in-elementary (she is at UNIS Hanoi). The possibilities are endless; I feel like we only just started. I haven’t had a chance to view any final projects yet as we have been on a late Spring Break but look forward to seeing yours as well. Take care!

    • A true example of COETAIL success! (In fact I shared your project on the COETAIL cast.)

      • Awe that’s great! Thanks for sharing Kristi and for all of your support! ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Me again! I just watched the CoetailCast. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the mention. You are completely right- I jumped in blind and had faith in the process (even though at times it made my tummy ache with nerves!). I think I was never even two minutes ahead…hahaha! Thanks for chatting about it.

    • Geez, a simple yet effective video showing the great job you did. I took away a great deal from this project. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Melanie

      You have a wonderful final project submission! It’s so obvious that you experienced a huge learning curve along with your students. I’m so proud of how you pretty much started where I left off at my final project (I only did an after school club) and took it further all the way to integrating it into the curriculum.

      This is just a start to an incredible new trajectory in your life. I never thought I would be interested in computer programming but I find myself following web articles and learning more and more about what we can do with code. Here are some things that you might want to look at eventually: Raspberry Pi, Lego We Do, Lego Mindstorms, Arduino, E Textiles, Modding Minecraft http://www.learntomod.com, Sonic Pi (coding to make music). It’s just great fun and it’s really surreal to “play” again, as an adult.

      Congratulations again on a fantastic final project. I hope that you one day share what you did at an upcoming Ed Tech conference. Teachers are really interested in seeing how coding can be integrated into the curriculum.

      Vivian

    • Hey, the best thing about communities is that we all grow right. It was wonderful seeing Minh Ti again, hooking you up with people in Singapore after knowing you from Cambodia, such a small world when we work together. From the first project to the last one, it’s been great.

      Keep up the blogging so we can continue working together.

    • Hi Melanie,

      this is exactly how I feel : I could not have implemented a Project Based Learning on my own! I was really appealed by this methodology in course 4 but as a novice I did not know how to do it and how it would look like in a language class and without the help and feedback from teachers on google+ communities, I would not have even thought about trying it. I have to admit that I have not yet dove intoTwitter…. I still find it overwhelming but I am glad to see examples of how you used it. I might send you a tweet later for a start… Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    • And the great thing about COETAIL is we grow in our ability to find and connect with that village. AND, with the mobile lives of international teachers our villages change locations on the globe and then our villages expand in both physical and virtual realms.

  • Melanie Sylvester posted a new activity comment 4 years, 2 months ago

    The final projects are AMAZING! What a journey for me! Now the hard part is putting together the video-think I may need help from my students… but that’s what it’s all about, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Melanie Sylvester posted a new activity comment 4 years, 2 months ago

    Hi Reid. Let me know if you want to bounce any ideas around. Our final projects were very cool. As examples, one group made a “Veggie Dictionary” for young EAL students that run on actual veggies with the Makey Makeys. Another group created a game called “Earth Bouncer”, coded with created controller run with the Makey Makey. Really amazing stuff!…[Read more]

  • ThumbnailSo the Course 5 journey continued. At this point students had:

    1) Been working with coding using Scratch ย and learned some basic terms and commands.

    2) Started a Science Unit: Electricity and Magnetism. We […]

    • This is awesome. I’m about to embark upon something similar with my students over the next 2 months. Thanks for the inspiration and some of the provocative questions. I look forward to the final project!

      • Hi Reid. Let me know if you want to bounce any ideas around. Our final projects were very cool. As examples, one group made a “Veggie Dictionary” for young EAL students that run on actual veggies with the Makey Makeys. Another group created a game called “Earth Bouncer”, coded with created controller run with the Makey Makey. Really amazing stuff! Now comes the hard work of putting the final video together. The students are much quicker than me!
        Another thing we are doing is participating in the Global Codeathon hosted by UNIS in Hanoi. http://globalcodeathon.org/
        Have fun with your students and this stuff! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Sweet! Can’t wait to see the final project…what a great bringing together of materials. Love the aha moments! That, for me, is what teaching is all about!

      • The final projects are AMAZING! What a journey for me! Now the hard part is putting together the video-think I may need help from my students… but that’s what it’s all about, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Melanie

      I love the way that you left the last challenge so open-ended. The fact that the students were able to take it and run with it, and be successful with it is a sign that you laid a great foundation for them prior.

      Well done!

      I look forward to watching your final project video. ๐Ÿ™‚

      ~Vivian

  • Melanie Sylvester posted a new activity comment 4 years, 2 months ago

    Looks awesome. We are definitely going to give this a try. The kids will love it. Can’t wait to share with our tech coach and music teacher! Looks like hours of work-congrats and thanks!
    Mel.

    • Melanie, it WAS a ton of work. Unfortunately, my workshop session was last on the conference schedule, so I only had 3 participants try the materials. They all used the “beginner” booklet. I gave the beginner booklet to one of my coding club students. None of the others were interested. The beginner booklet worked fine for the student and…[Read more]

  • Melanie Sylvester posted a new activity comment 4 years, 2 months ago

    Thanks Kristi! Hope all is well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Melanie Sylvester posted a new activity comment 4 years, 2 months ago

    First of all- The Flames. Boo. Sorry. I wish I had more ammo though..Oilers are beyond terrible!

    Really interesting to hear about your conversations with the programmers. I often find myself second guessing how I came to facilitate this stuff! Then I end of just working off trial and error and logic with the students and discoveries are made!…[Read more]

  • Melanie Sylvester posted a new activity comment 4 years, 2 months ago

    Hi!

    Sorry the response took so long! Gearing up for student led conferences now and lots of other Course 5 exciting stuff! We have registered for the Global Codeathon and the coding just keeps getting more exciting.

    I will definitely share the project. I LOVE it! Please tell your students that they taught someone in Vietnam about Toblerone and…[Read more]

    • At the end of the Scratch project, you have to click the yellow star to end it and there is a little “coda” at the end. People keep on dragging the suitcase and some drag it to the yellow star, which won’t work.

      I’m glad to hear you’re joining the Global Codeathon. Maybe I’ll see you online during the event ๐Ÿ™‚

      V

  • ThumbnailAt the end of my last post, “Starting from Scratch”, I left a spoiler. To recap:

    “My plan was to start building the foundation and then integrate into the science unit (Electricity and Magnetism). That was our […]

    • You have me riveted with your cliff hangers! I love the idea of putting your notes in, but highlighting the important/impactful bits and pointing out that we don’t really need to read all the rest. Smart!

    • Hi Melanie

      I can feel the excitement building as I read this… sort of like during the Winter Olympics when the Canadians start sweeping the gold hockey medals ROFL!

      The first time I heard the word, “Makey-Makey”, I had a “HUH?! What is THAT?!” moment too. ๐Ÿ˜€

      By the way, I would love it if you would share my coding club’s “Flat Scratch Cat” project story with your kids http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/42397436/ It’s an example of expository writing with some interactive features built in.

      Everything of yours sounds great…and I look forward to hearing more soon.

      Vivian

      • Hi!

        Sorry the response took so long! Gearing up for student led conferences now and lots of other Course 5 exciting stuff! We have registered for the Global Codeathon and the coding just keeps getting more exciting.

        I will definitely share the project. I LOVE it! Please tell your students that they taught someone in Vietnam about Toblerone and the Swiss Mountains! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Ok-off to start working on the MAKEY MAKEY post. Thanks for everything!

        • At the end of the Scratch project, you have to click the yellow star to end it and there is a little “coda” at the end. People keep on dragging the suitcase and some drag it to the yellow star, which won’t work.

          I’m glad to hear you’re joining the Global Codeathon. Maybe I’ll see you online during the event ๐Ÿ™‚

          V

  • ThumbnailIt feels good to be back. A lot has happened since the end of Unit 4 in December. Although I have been documenting my final project like a madwoman, I wish I would have blogged this post about a month ago- I know […]

    • Thanks for backing up a step so we can take the journey with you. I love the teaser and am hoping that the students’ excitement took over. Can’t wait to hear if they are the ones who encouraged the integration. Authentic, that would be! (I’ve been watching Star Wars lately, thank Yoda for the syntax. – Oh a code joke to boot! – OK. Stopping now.) ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Melanie!

      I’m so sorry that it’s taken me so long to read and respond to your blog. I hadn’t forgotten but I was snowed under preparing for a presentation and a workshop at the ECIS Ed Tech Conference on “Coding in the Primary School”. If I had seen your blogpost before, I would have added “electricity and magnetism” to my presentation as one of the ways we can integrate coding into the curriculum. You’re going to have to let me look at your unit plan, when you are done!

      I loved how you spent time over Christmas to learn with your son. I told the participants in my workshop that it helps a lot to learn along with your own kids. Then, we get insight on what is really happening inside of their heads ๐Ÿ™‚ (I also end up asking my own kids when I am stuck with a question about Scratch from a student. Our kids have time to play and continue their learning while we don’t!)

      I had some computer programmers attend my workshop, interestingly enough! I told them how inadequate I felt trying to teach coding. They surprised me and said that they felt I was in a stronger position than they. One fellow said that his enormous knowledge of programming got in the way because he didn’t know where to start and how to related it to the students. I asked him questions about coding and he asked me questions about how to integrate it. I was imaging how awesome it would be if I team-taught with a computer programmer…

      It would be lovely to have a committee of teachers who had strengths in different fields and we could get together to share how we could integrate it into our curriculum area. One of my strengths is music and my workshop was how to use “coding to teach music” and to “use music to teach code”. It should work both ways if we’re integrating it well ๐Ÿ˜€ I would love to hear from people in the other subject areas and what parallels they see between coding and their passion…

      I’m so excited to see you take this on and it sounds like everything is flourishing. I look forward to seeing your final project.

      hugs

      Vivian

      PS. The Calgary Flames are on FIRE this season! (thus far lol.)

      • First of all- The Flames. Boo. Sorry. I wish I had more ammo though..Oilers are beyond terrible!

        Really interesting to hear about your conversations with the programmers. I often find myself second guessing how I came to facilitate this stuff! Then I end of just working off trial and error and logic with the students and discoveries are made! It’s pretty cool.

        I would love to share your “coding and music” with others. I think our music teacher would be interested. Can I access it? I need to check your blog! Anywhere else?

        Thanks for taking the time to comment. I always appreciate your thoughts-they push me forward.I think you are on to something-coding + passion! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Mel.

    • Hi Melanie

      Here is the link to the Creating Music with Scratch workshop booklets: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/102026543/C.%20Version%20ECIS%20Creating%20Music%20thru%20Computer%20Coding%20Workshop%20materials%20by%20Vivian%20Chow%202015.pdf

      There are five booklets in one PDF.

      There are three booklets for Scratch. All of the booklets assume no prior knowledge of coding. The booklets are differentiated by levels of music background that the students bring with them. So, beginner, intermediate, and advanced booklets. Each has a different cover page so you can tell which level it is for. Each booklet has enough content to fill one 45 minute period where students code to create music. At the end of the booklet are “extension” activities. Early finishers can start on that. Or, the music teachers can extend the activity for further periods if the students do the “extension” suggestions.

      It’s “plug and play”. In other words, the music teachers really only need to photocopy out the booklets and hand them out. Students should be able to self-direct their own learning. As your students have experience with Scratch, it should be quite easy for them to transfer those skills to making music with Scratch.

      There are also booklets for Sonic Pi which you can ignore for now. Sonic Pi has students coding using the Ruby text based language to create music. Sonic Pi is a free download onto their computers. These activities are also “plug and play” and you can photocopy them out for the students strong in coding and strong in music. You just have to install Sonic Pi onto their Mac or Windows computer before they start.

      I would love it if your music teachers tried the Scratch music activities and gave me feedback on how it went…

      Also, if you don’t want to photocopy, have the students open it up as a .pdf on their iPads while they work off their laptops/desktops. It’s difficult to copy code from one window to another window if they both sit on the same computer monitor. One can not copy and paste Scratch blocks, as we all knows. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Vivian

      • Looks awesome. We are definitely going to give this a try. The kids will love it. Can’t wait to share with our tech coach and music teacher! Looks like hours of work-congrats and thanks!
        Mel.

        • Melanie, it WAS a ton of work. Unfortunately, my workshop session was last on the conference schedule, so I only had 3 participants try the materials. They all used the “beginner” booklet. I gave the beginner booklet to one of my coding club students. None of the others were interested. The beginner booklet worked fine for the student and workshop participants, but it would be interesting to hear what students thought of intermediate and advanced, and also the Sonic Pi ones etc. etc. Thanks! Let me know how it goes ๐Ÿ˜‰

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