4th Grade Students Talk #hourofcode

There are so many great things about my job. My day today started out terrible. It was raining, the school bus came late, huge traffic, no hot water, my coffee was cold, the normal day before a Winter Break. I was not hopeful...then I remembered my first stop...Mrs. Tanksley's class, one of my favorites. We had an introduction to Garage Band scheduled. The hope was that in 60 minutes we could get them pumped up to use Garage Band to create podcasts when they come back from break. 

I thought the best way to do this was to create a quick podcast and show them how easy it can be. We brainstormed potential ideas to discuss, grouchy bus drivers, Hour of Code, Winter Break plans, taxes...taxes? I said I would like teachers to actually listen to the podcast. We decided on Hour of Code

I want to take a moment to share the lesson flow for the hour:

  1. Introduced Garage Band - 2 minute broad overview
  2. Told them about our ideas for creating a podcast to accompany their "Life of a pioneer" journals - 3 minutes
  3. Showed a student podcast from Mr. Lewis' class and played them a couple sample snippets - 5 minutes
  4. Brainstormed ideas and got ready to create our podcast - 10 minutes
  5. Recorded our podcast - 10 minutes
  6. Demonstrated how to create the podcast in Garage Band - 10 minutes
  7. Gave them time to explore and create in Garage Band - 20 minutes

I just want to stress...as a teacher I try not to give direct step by step instructions on how to use tools. I like to give them a general understanding of what the learning target is, give them just enough directions to get started, then let them explore with a partner. Every student does not have a device in this class. They have shared devices that the teacher has gotten from the district and from writing grants on Donor's Choose

The following episode of Techlandia is the podcast we created during the lesson. Fourth grade students from Mrs. Tanksley's class giving honest feedback and reflection on Hour of Code. You can find out more about the class by clicking this link for their Twitter and this link for their classroom blog. 

This class has also created a newscast with greenscreen and the Touchcast app. They finished it up today and are very proud of their work. They would love if you took the time to watch a little bit.