Coding Club – Session 1

Mrs. Lynch and I just finished up the first session of Coding Club. Using the free Hopscotch app on the iPads, students were practiced their programming skills. This session focused on creating art and designs. Below is some of what the students worked on. They did some fantastic stuff!

A drawing program that allows you to change your pen color.
A wave of water emojis.
File_000 (1)
Rotating keys of random sizes that follow your finger around the iPad.
A sunrise.
An emoji wave.
Pixel art.
Colorful swirls.
Repeating code to draw a snowflake.
Pixel art.
A working piano (the keys play notes on the iPad).
A spinning wave where emojis toward the bottom are smaller than at the top.
An emoji wave.
A drawing program where you can select the pen color.
A colorful pattern.

All of this was accomplished with repeating code, if/then statements, variables, and some creativity.

Teaching About Plagiarism

IMG_7035This week we’ve been talking about plagiarism in 3rd and 5th grade (4th will come soon). As we move to more digital content and research, it becomes easier and easier to just grab a photo or a paragraph off the internet and reuse it. But do you have permission to use it? And did you give credit to the original creator? These are both questions we’ve been exploring.

Whose Is It, Anyway? by Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media is a great resource for digital tools. We use some of their lessons and handouts, such as “Whose Is It Anyway?” (pictured) where students explore scenarios where children borrow someone else’s work. Common Sense Media has great information and ideas for educators and parents. And their resources are all free!

Photos For Class is a resource we share with students to help them find images. All of the photos you find there have been tagged by their creator as okay to use, and when you download them the author and copyright information is attached directly to the image so you don’t have to keep track of it.

As more information is shared and easily accessible online, it is important to remember that just because we can see something online it does not mean that we can take it.

The Start of a New Year

IMG_6912It’s been a good start to the 2015-2016 school year. iPads are out, and students are learning how they will be used in their new grade. The hurdle this time of year is getting students logged into all their Google accounts so they can move in and out of them seamlessly for the remainder of the year. That’s been a focus lately.

IMG_6915In between helping classes with that was been able to introduce Explain Everything, one of our Core Apps, to Mr. Stead’s fourth grade class. They were using it to diagram the forces that affect rockets.

BEF Grant: 3D Printer

With the help of the Burlington Education Foundation‘s grant program, Francis Wyman was able to purchase a 3d printer this winter. It’s an amazing new technology that allows users to take ideas that exist only in their head, print them, and hold those ideas in their hands.

replicator_default - EditedThis spring we’ve been focusing on workflow: what’s the best way for students to design on their iPads and then get print files to the printer. We’ve experimented with apps such as 123D Design, 123D Sculpt+, Blockify, and MakerBot PrintShop. Each has it’s pros and cons. Generally, the more advanced programs (123D Design and Sculpt+) allow you to do much more, but are more difficult to learn. Blockify and PrintShop are limited in their abilities, but are quick to learn – making them ideal for our younger students.

Here is some of what we’ve been up to:

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And when a few boys wanted to make medals for their mothers for Mothers’ Day, I just couldn’t resist.


We’re about to start using the printer to help explore area and perimeter with third grade.

BEF 5K Road Race This Weekend!

On Sunday, May 31, 2025, the Burlington Education Foundation (BEF) is holding their 11th Annual “Exercise for Education” 5K Road Race and ½ Mile Family Fun Run at Burlington High School . Check-in for the event begins at 8:00am with the Family Fun Run beginning at 9:00am, followed by the start of the 5k which begins promptly at 9:30am.

Please visit BEF’s website for more information on the activities as well as online registration. All pre-registered participants are guaranteed a free t-shirt. NEW This Year – Chip Timing! – with instant results.

Run, Walk, Volunteer or join us as a spectator! Don’t miss out on this great community event or the chance to win a Grand Prize Raffle!!

BEF’s Mission is to channel donations from businesses and individuals to provide Burlington educators with an additional source of funding for creative and innovative curriculum enrichment programs. Help us make a difference in the Burlington Public Schools!

Parent Tech Night: PARCC


The BPS EdTech Team will be hosting a Parent Tech Night on Wednesday, March 18 from 6-8PM at Marshall Simonds Middle School. Join us to learn about the 2015 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessments for grades 3-8 in Burlington schools. Participants will be able to explore practice tests and experience features of the PARCC TestNav application being used by students during the assessments.

Please register to attend the March 18 PARCC Parent Tech Night here.

Burlington students in grades 3-8 will be completing the PARCC assessments for English Language Arts and Math during the week of March 23-27. Students will be using their 1:1 iPads for the tests. The BPS EdTech and IT Teams have been preparing student devices and helping to support teachers and students for the upcoming assessments.

Coding Resources

Last night I was able to work with some Burlington parents on STEM and an introduction to coding. Below are some of the great coding resources we used. There are different resources depending on whether you are on an iPad or working in a web browser, or whether you are looking for a progressions of challenges or you want a blank slate to work with.

 iPad Apps Browser Based



All of these resources are free.

Tech Savvy Parenting Night: STEM

The BPS EdTech Team is excited to announce our next Tech Savvy Parenting night, “Branching Out with STEM.” This is the third installment of our Digital Bootcamp Series and this time our focus is on STEM – science, technology, engineering and math.


Members of the BPS EdTech Team, along with BHS Help Desk students, will provide parents and their children with information about the current state and future trends of STEM, including opportunities for young women. Parents will receive an overview of the K-12 STEM curriculum offered in Burlington and learn about potential college majors and STEM related career paths. We will also provide a list of FREE resources designed to keep children of all ages engaged in STEM activities year round. The evening will conclude with hands-on Hour of Code activities for the entire family. Parents and students will select from a variety of free coding tutorials and explore the basics of computer programming with support from the BPS EdTech Team and BHS Help Desk students. This fun and educational event is one you don’t want to miss!

Please register to attend by completing the registration form below. We look forward to seeing the whole family on Monday, March 2nd from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Any questions about this event may directed to BPS Mobile Learning Coach Jenn Scheffer at

Hour of Code 2014

We had a very successful Hour of Code last week. All students grades 1-5 had a chance to explore programming!

As I explained to a lot of the classes, Hour of Code isn’t about getting everyone to become computer programmers. It’s about understanding the world around us. We spend a lot of time in science class learning about the world around us: ecosystems, plate tectonics, photosynthesis, the solar system, plants and animals, simple machines, electricity, weather… In the last 20 years we’ve gotten to a place where we’re surrounded by computers, so having an idea of how they work is important.

We used a few apps. Good ones to check out are Lightbot, ScratchJr, and Hopscotch. The LightBot app we used had a series of tasks to teach programming concepts. ScratchJr and Hopscotch are apps where you start with a clean slate and can program whatever you want.

One of my favorite things about this activity is seeing kids working together. We have this  myth that programming means sitting alone at a computer, not interacting with anyone. It was great to see kids forming ad hoc groups to solve common problems.

And it’s always great to capture moments of success on video.