Friday, December 16, 2016

Hour of Code Week at Greystone Elementary

Greystone students had a great time during the Hour of Code Week, December 5-11. Many classrooms participated by using activities on Many classrooms also had the opportunity to code using Osmo Coding, Osmo Newton, and program Dash, and Bee Bot.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

“Special” Hour of Code Activities at BPES

Students at BPES were immersed in Hour of Code activities throughout the week during specials. Here are some highlights of the week:

Art - 3rd-5th Pixel Art using Conditional Formatting in Google Sheets
Art - K-2 - Coding with Ozobots
Library - Learning about coding jobs

STEAM - Coding activities using Bee Bots, Ozobots, and Dash and Dot

South Shades Crest and the Hour of Code

South Shades Crest students had a great time during the Hour of Code Week, December 5-11. Some classes participated in coding stations in the Tinker Lab including programing Dash, Ozobots, and Bee-bots. Many classrooms participated by using activities on Many enjoyed old favorites such as Ana and Elsa, Scratch, Star Wars, and Minecraft. The new unit, Moana, was a huge hit. Students loved the activities because they were challenging and engaging.

Riverchase Loves to Code!

Riverchase participated in the annual Hour of Code event, December 5-11. This year the specials teachers joined in the festivities. The librarian, Mrs. Rich, had the fifth graders complete a Scratch project which included animating their name. The art teacher, Mrs. Evans, picked up with the project by helping the fifth grade students add in music. The enrichment teacher, Mrs. Michoudet, had her students create binary code initial bracelets using pony beads. The PE teachers, Coach Gilcrest and Patridge, created obstacle courses and had the students program their way through the course. The STEAM teacher, Ms. Frederick, led a fun coding exploring week with all students in grades kindergarten through fifth grade. The stations included Osmo Coding, Scratch, Bee-bot, and Dash. The broadcast team showed videos for inspiration each morning for broadcast. In the classroom, teachers gave students to explore Hour of Code activities. Some of their favorite apps included Kodable and The Foos.

Coding on the Mountain

Shades Mountain students love to code! The Hour of Code week was celebrated in classrooms with students using tutorials and activities. Moana was a favorite this year! Apps such as Kodable, The Foos, and Move the Turtle were also a hit in kindergarten through second grade. Third grade used the Innovation Zone to program Dash to dance around a Christmas Tree. Dash also learned how to “ice skate” by taping a marker to the robot and programming it to draw shapes on paper using Blockly. Students in grades second through fifth enjoyed speakers from Daxko who talked about the importance of coding in their jobs complete with a demonstration on how to code in Minecraft.

Hour of Code at GVES

Green Valley students loved having Hoover High code with them last Wednesday.  Hoover students helped guide Green Valley on how to code.  The video the HS kids created really pumped every grade up.  The students have been especially enthusiastic about using coding to play Minecraft and to create music.  Move the Turtle, Daisy Dinosaur, and Foos coding iPad apps were used my many K-2 students. It was a GREAT Gator day!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Hour of Code at GWIN

Even the youngest learner can begin to code. Kindergarten students at Gwin have been learning the basics of coding language. Learning through play has never been more fun! Students enjoyed a guest speaker that helped everyone understand how coding is used in the games that they love.  They have enjoyed programming Moana to catch fish across the ocean and making the Minecraft characters move around their world.   One student reports, “I like coding because it is challenging, and I like a challenge!”  Students have also enjoyed learning about other children all over the world who code. One 3rd grade teacher said "It empowers them to believe that they can do anything. They have enjoyed creating new projects and also playing each of the games created by classmates. We will continue to utilize programming and  computer science in the classroom." Music, Art, PE, and Library also had great activities planned out for the kids.
It is clear that Gwin students have some computer scientists in-the-making! Students and teachers were all smiles during Hour of Code Week.

Hour of Code Week at DVES

Deer Valley Elementary students this year participated in Hour of Code during their library time.  Librarian, Raquel Lieber, started each session with a lesson on various types of computer science jobs.  Students then spent their remaining time coding using the Kodable app.  

Hour of Code Week at RRES

The students at RRES were CODING away.  Students listened to guest speakers, made bracelets and ornaments from Binary Code, and worked on coding websites.

The guest speakers were from Daxko and IBM. They talked to the students about all kinds of information on coding in the “real world” - everything from how simple computers really are to how complicated creating an app can be. 3rd graders got to hear about what computer science means and had a tutorial on Hour of Code courses. The fourth graders learned more about the Scratch coding program and how to build a game. Fifth grade got to explore a little more in depth from our speaker about the inner workings of code. Several classes “Broke Out” for in advance to prepare for this techy week!

Many classes learned how to read binary code and created a bracelet and/or ornament that displayed a word or phrase.  The students were so excited for their families to figure out their mystery word.

Students have been busy using

Monday, December 12, 2016

Thursday 12/8/2016 code campers from 1st to 4th grade presented their final project to parents and community leaders. From Bee Bot robots, programmed drone spiders, Minecraft presentations, MOSS robotics, Makey Makey circuits and Blockly code students did a fantastic job culminating a two week after school coding camp led by Amanda Stone and Dana Joyner.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Dell Green Monday Offers!

Green Monday deals are here! Starting December 12 at 7am EST, you will have access to another round of door busters and standing offers ALL DAY LONG! Plus, enter TENOFF to receive 10% off of ALL PC's on Tuesday, 12/13, and Wednesday, 12/14. Be sure to order by 12/22 at 1PM to ensure delivery by 12/23.*

Green Monday Highlights:
XPS 13 for $949: Intel i5/8GB/256GB SSD (11am CST)
Inspiron 15 7000 for $799: Intel i7/8GB/1TB
Alienware Aurora for $1,249: Intel i7/8GB/1TB/VR Ready
Inspiron 15 3000 Non-Touch for $299: Intel i3/4GB/500GB Touch Screen (8pm CST)
Inspiron Small Desktop for $249: Intel Celeron/4GB/1TB

Who do you still need gifts for? Check out these specialty packages for each person in your family!

Movie Buff: VIZIO 50" 4K Ultra HD SmartTV with Logitech Harmony Remote, $399 (regularly $679) @5pm CST: 12/12
+ All-New Vizio SmartCast Wireless Sound Bar System: $229

Gamer: Alienware Alpha: i4/4GB/500GB, $449: 12/12
+ Dell UltraSharp 24 Monitor, $180.49: 12/12
+ Logitech Mechanical Gaming G410 Atlas Spectrum USB Keyboard: $49 (regularly $129) @7pm CST, 12/12

Fitness Enthusiast: ActiveOn Underwater/Wi-Fi/Mountable Action Camera 1080p: $129 (regularly $249), 12/12
+ Jabra Sport Pace Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds $99

Phone: 1-800-695-8133, with your Member ID: US133505885

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Did you miss Google's Virtual Conference?

Did you miss Google's Education on Air? Click HERE and you will find each session's archive.

Session including hacking the classroom with Google tools, Google certifications, formative assessments, portfolios and more!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dell Deals


Still looking for great gift ideas?  Hoover City School District students, faculty and staff will have access to special offers as part of our Days of Deals starting on 12/5 with deals every day through 12/12.  Be sure to shop early and often as there will be several special offers each day.
Below are just some of the exclusive offers on Dell PC's.

*       Inspiron 15 3000 Non-Touch for $244.99
*       Inspiron 15 5000 Touch for $734.99
*       Inspiron Desktop for $470.39
*       Inspiron 15 5000 2-in-1 for $538.99

Don't need a PC this holiday season?  We still have other great deals on electronics and accessories, including an LG 55" 4K Smart Ultra HDTV for $699.99 plus a $250 Dell Promo eGift Card.


Follow link by clicking on image below.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hour of Code Resources for Specials Teachers

From the Elementary Tech 4 U Newsletter

Hour of Code is Here!

Hour of Code is next week! Here are some options for our specials teachers:

Specials Options-
P.E. Option:
Non-Computer Option- Getting Loopy

Music Option:
Non-Computer Option- Songwriting with Parameters.

Chromebook Options- Made with Code Music Mixer and

Art Option:
Non- Computer Option- Functional Suncatchers

Chromebook Options- Pixel Art with Spreadsheets (Note: I have taught this at some grade levels. You may want to let me know if you plan on using it and I can tell you who has had the lesson. Honestly, time to work on it never hurts even if they already know how to do it.)
  • Ozobots

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

EdPuzzle-Oh the Possibilities!

If you ever use YouTube as a resource in your classroom, then you need to check out EDpuzzle. This really great FREE tool allows you to add questions directly INSIDE the video that your students must answer as they watch the video individually. These questions allow you to make sure your kids are paying attention and learning what it is you expect them to learn from the YouTube clip.

It works like this. You find the video you want your kids to watch and bring it into EDpuzzle. You can get videos from YouTube, Khan Academy, NatGeo, TED, Vimeo, etc. Next, using the EDpuzzle editor, you can trim the clip to just what you want your students to view, insert questions-m/c or short answer and even add your own voice notes into the video. You can even set it to not allow the student to view the rest of the video until they get the question correct. And best of all, you can add your students directly from Google Classroom, which students simply sign in to EDpuzzle and see the videos you have assigned to them. It keeps track of lots of great data including their score, item analysis and even time spent watching. Below is an example so you can see just how it works. This video has Audio Notes as well as several questions.

Go to EDpuzzle to get started!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Berry Middle School is Common Sense Certified!

Students signing the Digital Citizen Pledge
Thanks to a commitment to DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP, Berry Middle School is now a Common Sense Education Digital Citizenship Certified School for 2016-17. Berry spent a week in October focusing on the importance of digital citizenship and used various resources from Common Sense Education to educate students, teachers and parents. In the classroom, students and teachers completed 3 different lessons dealing with topics such as cyber bullying, digital drama and online identity. These lessons culminated with students signing the Digital Citizen Pledge.

The Student Panel
Parents also participated by attending an event where a student panel shared their voice on what it's like being a teen in the digital world. This event was well-attended and proved to generate relevant conversation and thought among the parents.

Overall, Digital Citizenship Week was a huge success at Berry and acted as a catalyst for both conversation and action. Because digital citizenship affects everyone, BMS will continue to bring awareness to the topic through engaging opportunities for ALL stakeholders with the primary goal of making sure our students are prepared for the digital world.

Several other HCS schools are in the process of being certified through Common Sense Education for Digital Citizenship with a goal of district certification.  

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Hour of Code is coming... #hcseli

Why Participate in Hour of Code?

Hour of Code week is quickly approaching! Mark your calendars for December 5-11. So the big question I have been asked lately is, "Why should my class participate in the Hour of Code?" As former classroom teachers, we have all signed up our students to participate in the Hour of Code at

Children are curious and want to learn how to make things such as computers and robots do useful things. And while coding is fun, what really matters are the lasting benefits of building skill sets such as logical thinking, problem solving, persistence, collaboration, and communication. Computer science will be needed in all future careers.

~~Elementary Tech Coaches 
Sara Carpenter
Karen Darroch
Melanie Haynes
Jamie Nutter

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

AETC 2017 June 13-15, 2017

June 13-15, 2017
Hoover High School

Applications to present at this year's AETC conference are now open. Go to and click Applications to Present.

Tech 4 U

Newsletter: Enjoy this edition of Tech News 4 U!  Link: can find past issues in the link below in my signature.
  • Inside this edition:
    • Tricks
    • Treats
    • Tweets around the district 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

AETC applications now open!

Now accepting Applications to Present for one-hour sessions and hands-on workshops! Go to, hover over Applications to Present. #AETC2017


The K-12 CS Framework will launch to the public on on Monday, October 17. The new website will contain all of the guidance and development chapters in addition to the concepts and practices, viewable in three different formats.
There will be a webinar on Wednesday, October 19 at 3 pm ET (12 pm PT). Use this link to watch the live stream:

Digital Citizenship Teen Panel: Berry Middle School 10/17 6:30PM

You’re Invited!
Digital Citizenship Teen Panel: "My Digital Life"
Monday, October 17
6:30 - 8:00pm
Berry Middle School Choir Room
Many parents share an interest and even a bit of concern about their kids’ digital lives.  As part of Berry Middle School’s Digital Citizenship Week we are hosting a Teen Panel.  You will hear from some current 8th grade students as they share perspectives, insights, and possible pitfalls that they or other peers have experienced in social media and in their digital lives. And even though the topics will be focused on what middle school students are facing, it's never too early to start thinking about these topics for your children because they are living in the digital world. SO, even though your kids may just be in elementary school, we would love to have you join us because digital citizenship affects us all!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Google Education on Air: December 3

Join Google Apps for Education for a free, online conference. Share with and learn from other educators. Hear from inspiring speakers. Get tips and tools to help boost student engagement, collaboration and productivity and in the classroom.

Share your thoughts with #ItTakesaTeacher and #hcseli on December 3! 

Register now! 

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Several People have asked about buying sleeves or cases for the Chromebooks we are currently using. Please use this link as a reference. 

Use these steps.

Half way down the page click this link.

You may purchase from that link.

2 Important Points to Make

     We do not recommend this product more than any other, but this is an option to purchase. We do not control pricing here, this is a dell website and is not maintained by Hoover City Schools. 

     If you wish to purchase your own Chromebook, this is the model we use. It will not be filtered or monitored by HCS, and using it in the classroom will be slightly different because of that. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Upcoming 100 Girls of Code Events

Computer Programming Workshops for Girls Ages 8-17!

Seats still available for our October 15th Event!
Girls ages 8 -11 

Want to learn about computer science, get exposure to programming/coding and learn some basic
programming skills. 

Girls ages 12 -17

Want to learn more about the IT worlds fastest growing and most in demand subject? 

This introduction to SQL will set you on the path to open new doors to some of the most innovative and exciting projects in a multitude of different fields in technology. This workshop for girls ages 12-17 who already have experience with programming and a strong desire to learn more.

Cost: $5.00 non refundable. Space is limited to 50 girls per workshop.

Join us for Super Code Sunday at the McWane Center.
This event is for BOYS and GIRLS who want to learn to code and work on fun coding projects with other kids. Super Code Sunday is presented by TechAlabama (our statewide focused nonprofit) and the McWane Center. For more information or to reserve your spot, click on the link of one the dates below.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

What is on the horizon for K-12 Education?

The NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2016 K-12 Edition examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in schools. This guide helps Hoover City with short-term and long-term goals and planning. 

Click HERE to read the full report. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

BrainPop Educators: Become a Certified Educator

BrainPop has recently launched a certification program for teachers.

From the website...
The Certified BrainPOP Educator Program is a free certification program offered to teachers who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to and creativity using BrainPOP resources with students.
To become a Certified BrainPOP Educator, attend an in-person or blended training workshop with the BrainPOP Educators team, fulfill supplemental requirements and participate in our online community. Certified BrainPOP Educators are the first to know about new developments at BrainPOP and may receive opportunity to beta test new features, provide advice to developers, and more.
Most CBE workshops are held in a classroom setting at larger conferences around the country. In these sessions, led by our BrainPOP Educators team, attendees learn about BrainPOP’s latest and greatest features through hands-on exploration and modeling via large-group, small-group, and partner activities.
Check it out HERE

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Evaluate an App: Common Sense Media

HCSELI is proud to be a partner with Common Sense Media in evaluating websites and apps for use in classrooms around the world. 

Check it out!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Google Classroom: Invite Guardians

Teachers can now invite a student's guardian to Google Classroom. Guardians will receive a summary of what is happening in their student's classroom.

To Invite a Guardian
  1. Click the class.
  2. At the top, click Students.
  3. Next to a student’s name, click Invite Guardians.
    To invite additional guardians, next to the student’s name, click More More and then Invite guardians.
  4. In the text field, type a guardian’s email address.
  5. Click Invite to send the invitation or Add Another to add another guardian email address.
If an invitation has been sent and the guardian hasn’t yet accepted, you’ll see “(invited)” after the guardian's email address. After a guardian accepts the invitation, you and their student will receive a confirmation email and the guardian’s full name will show next to the student’s name. For privacy, students don’t see the names of other students’ guardians.

Click HERE for full details on how to use this feature. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Google Cast for EDU

What is Google Cast for Education?

Google Cast for Education is a free Chrome app that allows students and teachers to share their screens wirelessly from anywhere in the classroom. Cast for Education carries video and audio across complex school networks, has built-in controls for teachers, and works seamlessly with Google Classroom.
The Cast for Education app runs on the teacher’s computer that’s connected to the classroom projector, and it doesn't require new hardware. Teachers receive casts through the Cast for Education app, and students share their screens using the latest version of the Cast feature in Chrome.

Elementary Tech Weekly Newsletter: Tech 4 U

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Low Cost Home Access from AT&T

The Access program from AT&T provides a low-cost option for home Internet access to low-income households in the 21 states where we offer wireline home Internet services. Just passing on this information. We are not directly involved. 

Click here to take a look at the possibilities. 

We do not accept liabilty for our websites being accurate, complete or up-to-date or for the contents of external links. We distance ourselves expressly from the contents of the linked pages, over the structure of which we have no control. This statement is valid for all of the links on the websites and for all contents of the pages to which the links or banners lead.