#DigCitWeek & Upstanders

October 16-22nd was Digital Citizenship Week and we were pretty excited to take part this year!

In the computer lab we learned about how to manage their online reputations, deal with issues such as cyberbullying, and conduct themselves safely online.  We spent the majority of our time on cyberbullying this past week and will continue to talk more as we work our way through the Common Sense Media curriculum.

In class we looked at in-person bullying and cyberbullying and talked about how they are similar and different.  It's pretty easy to see in-person bullying, but cyberbullying is harder to see since we use technology. Most of the time no one sees cyberbullying happen, so it's important to know what to do when it happens.

We also learned how to be an "upstander" instead of a "bystander" when it comes to bullying.  Upstanders stand up to bullies and try to help their friends realize when they are being a bully in a polite manner.

This video is pretty helpful and a great way to start the discussion about cyberbullying.  

Part of what we do is discuss the acronym "STOP" which stands for 

  • Step away from the computer
  • Tell a trusted adult
  • Only use ok sites
  • Pause and think online
It's a great thing to discuss with students and help them learn the ins and outs of cyberbullying from an early age.  

If you want more resources for digital citizenship week, check out Common Sense Media.


If my students have said anything about Bloxels and you are wondering what is going on, you came to the right place.

Bloxels is a new way for anyone to create a video game.  ANYONE!

Bloxels uses the typical assets of an animated story – the characters, environments, and challenges – and combines them into a video game to play, share and collaborate alongside friends.

Student can design directly on the app or use the app in conjunction with a a pixel board.

The bloxels website has a ton of resources available to help anyone create a game and make any character they can imagine. 

"Bloxels helps kids achieve their nearly universal desire to create video games (seriously, just ask any kid), rather than just playing them. By using the unique combination of hands-on toys and their love and understanding of classic video games, we've made video game creation accessible and fun for all ages."

To fully comprehend the simplicity and magic of Bloxels, you must first see it in action. Watch below to learn the basics of creating with Bloxels. 

Bloxels Overview from Pixel Press on Vimeo.

The Week of Code

If your children have been talking about playing Angry Birds this week, it's probably true!  Our students have been participating in the Hour of Code organized by code.org.  We have been working on learning coding skills using the computer science tutorials based on games like Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies.

Most of the 3rd and 4th grade students have created an account at http://learn.code.org/ and can sign in and view their progress and continue their tutorials from there. 

We are going to continue on with the code as more and more websites are popping up to help children learn basic programming.  We have also signed Chadron up to take part in Code Club for students age 9-11 to see just what we can come up with. More information on that can be found at http://codeclubworld.org/

SumDog Math Contests

We are excited to announce the first Western Nebraska Math Contest to be held on SumDog.  It is for students in grades 1-8, but we are just competing with 1st-4th grades.

SumDog is a free math website (www.sumdog.com) where the students can login and practice their math skills with some great activities and we can monitor their progress on any skills.

We are starting a contest on Friday for the Western Side of Nebraska.

Students just need to log in at www.sumdog.com and choose their activity.  Their points will automatically be calculated for the contest.

For their participation, every student will receive a full access account for FREE!  They will also have access to a special version of the "Junk Pile" game just for competing.

The contest starts October 25th and runs through October 31st.

All students have received a paper copy of their login information.  If a student has lost their log-in they can ask for it at school.

World Education Games 2013

We are officially underway with the 2013 World Education Games!

The World Education Games is an annual global online challenge to get all students (4-18 years of age) excited about learning, and to give the top students in all schools an opportunity to see how they measure up against the best in the world. Last year, over 5 million students were a part of what is now the world’s largest online education event.

The World Education Games are completely free to register for and participate in.

Split over three days and focussing on literacy, mathematics and science, the World Education Games is a hugely exciting and engaging way to promote learning and education across the world.  Partners UNICEF and Samsung work with to promote the key messages of education for all. 

Monday, March 5th is World Literacy Day.
Tuesday, March 6th is World Math Day.
Wednesday, March 7th is World Science Day.

The kids have been practicing and we will be competing through the next few days!  They should all have their login information, but if your student is missing theirs, email me (brandon.horst @ chadronschools.net) or call the school and we can send you their information.

Want to see a student answering facts in real time?  Here is Jasmine competing in the math competition.  Her best score was 49 questions in 60 seconds!  Great Job!