Monthly Archives: December 2014

4 Easy Peasy Ways to Work Hour of Code Into Your Plans

Easy Peasy Ways to work Hour of Code in (1)

Teacher friends, can I be honest? Like reallllyyy honest for a second? I’m tired. Like 9 days till Break tired. However, the workload at the end is SO heavvvyyyy. I am always so pleased to make it through the 9 weeks, but it’s inevitably SO much harder to get through the first and last week of the quarter.  I also have to find a way to incorporate the Hour of Code, I’m the Business Tech teacher y’all. So, here it goes…a few EASY peasy ways to work Hour of Code into your Plans.

made with code

1. Made with Code – Google is by far one of my favorite tools and not just because the word Google is a verb nowadays. Google finds a way to make everything just a bit easier for us all and engaging. They have created a site that we can go right to and let the kids learn, while playing! Don’t worry about plans, direct students to the website and offer them choices! It’s amazing to watch their eyes light up and see all of the ways that they can code. Want to take it a step further? There are resources for teachers to share with students and parents and perhaps even keep the Hour of Code going beyond just an hour. Super simple and quick ways to let students code, with little to no planning for you.

2.– is like the big brother to Google’s site. It offers a gaggle of opportunitiees for students to have fun and enjoy learning to code along with courses for multiple levels of learners. One that is sure to be a hit with students of various ages is the Code with Anna and Elsa activity! For others, there’s Flappy Bird which they build themselves. Equipped with video tutorials and ways to extend learning through the 20hour Intro to Computer Science Course, is a great way to host Hour of Code in your classroom.


3. Tynker– Another super easy and intuitive website for students, and teachers is Tynker. Tynker is not as “pretty” as the others,but it’s definitely useful. My son was immediately enamored with getting the dog to bark and finding his way home. Teachers are able to create accounts for the class, but again there’s no need if you’re doing this JUST for a hour.  I will say that this is  I love there’s an app students can download to continue the learning and create mobile games and tons of other things. Having the ability to direct students to the Tynker app is a winning point for it in my book and I know students will enjoy this as well. *Tynker is offering the Hour of Code activities and basic classes for free, but it is a subscription based site for more advanced options.

code academy

4. Code Academy– Got an advanced group of students who’ve already tinkered with coding and want to learn coding, for real? Code Academy is a great tool!!! Here, students can learn the basics of  Java Programming, in 60 minutes. This site also offers lessons in HTML & CSS, jQuery, Python, Ruby, and PHP along with other ways to learn coding.   I love the simplicity of the site, but this is definitely for older students bceause they’ll need an email to begin. I will definitely suggest this for my more advanced students and encourage them to try their hand at some “real” programming!

I hope you find these 4 Easy Peasy Ways to Work Hour of Code Into Your Plans as easy as I hoped they’d be. More than anything, I hope that you’ll give your students time to experiment with coding. Add the links to your blog, send them through remind and then ask them to share ways they can continue to code beyond this small amount of time you may offer.

Inspired: What it means to me


This month’s growth area came at a pivotal point in my life. I am in a new position this year, I just turned 30, and I’ve decided it’s time to do things I truly WANT to do! It seems like such an easy task, but the more I thought of it the more difficult it became. I thought back to things I did before I had two kiddos or things I did in college and I really tried to reconnect with them through some tasks I believe will get me closer to my end goal. I know it’s so cliche’, but I truly was taken aback when I began to think of what the word Inspired means to me. I chose three areas and three tools to get me where I want to be! You ready to see what they are?



1. She Reads Truth – Growing up, I was part of a seriously devout Christian church. Part of me blames my devoutness for the fact that I’m not so devout now, but I wanted this to change. I know that  it’s not always possible for me to attend a church service as I wish so I sought out a way to connect digitally. I ran across She Reads Truth via Instagram ( cc.: @babblingabby) and was immediately blown away with the content and ease of use. I also like that it was aimed toward women. Women who have busy lives. Women who are stay at home moms. Young or old women. It is aimed to US! I started with the Open Your Bible plan and was so amazed by the graphics and content. I wish I could say that I purchase EVERY plan as they come, but I haven’t and I want to. I encourage you to check it out, whether you’re looking for a daily devotion or a supplement to Bible plans you may already follow. Kudos to the women behind  SRT !!!

dd 2014

2. Project Life- A REALLLLYYYY long time ago I liked to take pictures. Not so long ago, I took up journaling again. I was on a quest to find a way to merge the two and ran across a method called Project Life. Of course, I ran across it on Pinterest and have created PLENTY of boards to help me. I have also joined a few groups on Facebook ( who’ve helped me in my classroom as well…more on that later). Scoured the internet to research the experts, Ali Edwards (love her style) and Becky Higgins (the mind behind PL). My IG is now filled with Project Life inspiration (cc: @momruncraft , @analogpaper, and @greyhouselane). I then dived head first into a project called December Daily. I did my own version of it, but I kept the focus that Ali Edwards began the project with; Take time to take in the moments during December! It’s soooo amazing to actually stop and take pictures, write, and reflect during such a hectic time. I encourage each of you to take some time and find a process that enables you to reflect and remember the memories we are creating daily!

nerdy teacher

3. Being a Connected Educator- Each year when we go into teaching, I know that we all develop goals to become a better _____. That blank may be filled with organized teacher, happier teacher, but for me it was connected educator. For me, connecting has always been a strong area of my personality and I continued this as an adult. I am “hip” to all of the social media (I think), I stay abreast of “cool” happenings, and listen to “good” music. However, this year I wanted to connect with other educators. I am so inspired by people like Nicholas Provenzano aka The Nerdy Teacher and how he’s able to truly inspire others! I find that seeing other teachers at work has made me want to do the same and I know it’s the one way I can get better day by day. I started a weekly Techie Tips email, 180 Days to Happy, and have even spoken about using Social Media in the classroom at a Metro Atlanta Conference! I don’t know what’s next, but I do know that surrounding myself with amazing examples is one way to be better.



So, what does inspired mean to me? Inspired means that I draw from others. It means that I pick people who are GOOD at what I would like to be better at. They are people who I can draw from. People who are “mentors in my head”. People who are amazing and aiming to be MORE amazing. Who wants to be like someone who’s complacent? Not me!!!!!!

Who do you look to for inspiration?

Need some help organizing your ideas for inspiring yourself and/or others? Download our December Organizer!

Inspired: December Growth Area (1026 downloads)

P.S. Shoutout to alllll you wonderful teachers I follow via IG and/or blogs…your work is SOOOO inspiring!!!!!!!