Friday, April 17, 2020

CS First from Google for Education

Calling all Coders!!

Google for Education has created a CS (Computer Science) First course for all students who enjoy coding or want to learn more.

At this point, this curriculum is most appropriate for students in grades 3-5, but anyone is welcome to join.

I've created one course for all BEU students. Below are instructions on how to join. They are self-paced and not for any sort of grade... just for fun!

Google CS First PD | CodeVA

  1. Go to
  2. Click "Sign in" in the top right
  3. Click "I am a student"
  4. Click "Enter class code"
  5. Enter class code: 7xbjhr
  6. From here, students can create a CS First account or use an existing one. Students could also use CPS student email address and password to log in.
Please let me know if you have questions about CS First or need help logging in. Happy Coding! 

Until next time,
Mrs. Fitch

Thursday, April 16, 2020

BreakoutEDU Live!

Throughout the school year, Mrs. Canepa and I were lucky enough to challenge most students in grades 2-5 with BreakoutEDU. This is similar to an escape room, except students are challenged to open locks to get into a box. 

The company, BreakoutEDU, has created a way for this to be done digitally at home each weekday. Here's the information from BreakoutEDU:

How do you play? 
In order to play, visit at 11 AM PT (2PM ET) and wait for the game to start. There is no login required. When you complete a game, you can enter to win a prize.

Can students win prizes? 
When a game is complete the player enters their parent’s or teacher’s email address. Winners must reside in the U.S. to win a prize (unfortunately laws and regulations keep us from offering prizes outside the U.S.).

How much does it cost to play? 

Can I play past episodes? 
Yep! All past episodes can be found at Please note: you can only enter to win prizes when you play a game the same day it is aired.

How difficult are the puzzles? 
The puzzles start easy and get progressively more difficult. Starting with middle elementary going up to middle school.

How do I know what the topics will be? 
Each Sunday we’ll send out an email with the next week’s topics and prizes. Prizes typically include Breakout EDU kits and Breakout HOME games. 

If you and your family enjoy puzzles, this will be a hit. Happy problem-solving!
Until next time,
Mrs. Fitch

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month!

Here are some websites and books that can help you and your family celebrate at home. 

And in honor of Poetry Month, here is my favorite poetry book from my childhood, Something Big Has Been Here by Jack Prelutsky. 

Happy Reading Everyone! 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Dav Pilkey @ Home!

For all of you Dav Pilkey fans, read this!

Beginning tomorrow, April 1, the author of the Captain Underpants & Dog Man series will host virtual drawing classes, readings, and more! Just one more awesome author helping us out during this challenging time. You can find the link here:

Image courtesy of Scholastic

Monday, March 30, 2020

Devices & Digital Citizenship

Needing a little help with your device? Are you experiencing unwanted chats or video calls? 

Linked below is resource made by Erin White, a Media Specialist at Midway Heights Elementary. In it, she describes ways to safely manage your device with yourself and communication with others. 

Managing Devices and Online Safety

Also is another great resource for Reading and Learning Online (in case you need more ideas!). 

Feel free to reach out! My Zoom hours are Monday through Friday from 3:30-4:30 for students and families. My meeting ID is 293-065-6705. I'm happy to take questions anytime through email and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. 

Until next time!
Mrs. Fitch

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Library is Online!

As we wind down Spring Break, its time to ramp up our eLearning... as much as we can anyway.

Although our physical space may be closed, the digital space of our Media Center is very much open! Via ClassLink, CPS's entire Electronic Library can be accessed 24/7. There are tons of popular titles in Sora, magazines in Flipster and databases for research and information.

DBRL, our public library system, continues to provide resources and ideas to beat the boredom at home. Check out their link here to get other ideas. The public library also has a lot of great resources for digital learning. You can check them out at

Until next time readers!
Mrs. Fitch

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Author Read Alouds

There's a small silver lining to our social distancing and school closures... many, many authors are reading their books and sharing their work online. My own kids and I have been watching Mo Willems' Lunch Doodles almost every day as he teaches kids how to draw his characters. Today we learned how to become animators! 

Check out this link for a full list from

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Updates During School Closure

With school closed for a while, I will do my best to post a few times a week with updates, information, and resources for students, teachers, and families.

Here are a few things to note:

I will be holding office hours for students and families beginning Monday, March 30 from 3:30 - 4:30 Monday through Friday. I'll be available for questions, book recommendations, or just to chat. You can reach me through video chat using Zoom. Here's my meeting ID: Just click the link and it should open in the Zoom app on your tablet or phone. If you're using a computer, you can download the software here:

Ms. Canepa, our half-time Media Specialist, will also hold office hours each day using Zoom as well. Here is her meeting ID: She will available Monday through Friday from 1:00 - 3:00 P.M. beginning Monday, March 30. 

If you have questions about apps, resources, or technology, feel free to email me anytime at I will reply when I can. You can also call the CPS Tech Services Help Desk at 573.214.3333.

Stay well everyone!

Mrs. Fitch

Monday, June 5, 2017

E for effort (or not)!

Well, I definitely failed on the updating-the-blog-regularly thing. Oops!

The school year finished off strong. I did a little rearranging the last day of school and I can't wait to show off the new configuration in August.

I'm also working on a few new programming ideas, one that will get our students more engaged with the Mark Twain Award Nominees and another promoting our digital magazines.

I know summer vacation just started, but I'm excited for the new year in August!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Book Fair is Coming!

The Scholastic Book Fair is quickly approaching! Our Scholastic Book Fair is a reading event that brings the books kids want to read right into our school. It’s a wonderful selection of engaging and affordable books for every reading level. Please make plans to visit our Book Fair!

Book Fair dates: February 13-16
Shopping hours: Monday, February 13: 3:30 - 7:30 PM
                           Tuesday, February 14: 10:30 AM – 4:00 PM
                           Wednesday, February 15: 2 – 4 PM
                           Thursday, February 16: 3:30-7:30 PM

If students bring money to school to purchase items from the Book Fair, they may do so on Tuesday, February 14 during the school day.

Beulah Ralph teachers will create Wish Lists baskets. Parents can choose a book right from his or her basket to purchase and donate to the classroom. Students will also have the opportunity to preview the fair with their classes and create wish lists. They will be found near the Teacher Wish List baskets.

We will also have an attendance drawing! Each student who purchases something from the fair will be entered in a drawing for a free book.

If you are unable to attend the Fair in person, we invite you to visit our online Book Fair at Our Online Fair is available from February 6 – February 19.

We look forward to seeing you and your family at our Book Fair! Remember, all purchases benefit our school.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A Long, Overdue Media Center Update

New Year, New Resolution to blog more.

There has been so much happening in and around the library, I'll start with our MakerSpace. :) I'll save another soon-to-be-written post about the other things we've been doing.

A few weeks ago, I opened our MakerSpace after weeks and months of collecting items. We started out with building materials. The goal of this MakerFriday activity was to expose students to different kinds of materials by which they could create and build.  Below, you see Brackitz and Magnatiles.

Next up, we used Ozobots! Our library has some but we borrowed more from our STEAM bus coordinator, Craig Adams. The kids loved getting to program these tiny robots! They used problem-solving skills to determine why things didn't work and how they could fix them. It was great to see their minds at work! Their solutions were great!

Before the holiday break, I introduced the engineering design process. This is the model I used with our students:
We discussed how the "Create" and "Improve" sections really repeat themselves as they build and test over and over.

Classes had to engineer snowmen, gumdrop towers, and "snowball" catapults.

After the new year, we got a little crafty, working with duct tape to make a bookmark. January is National Hobby Month, so I wanted to expose our students to a potential new hobby.

Our MakerFridays will continue throughout the school year, along with the MakerSpace and its materials being used by classes any day of the week. I look forward to all that the rest of the school year will bring!

Monday, October 24, 2016

A little more in the library...

I love books and reading, don't get me wrong, but I felt as if the Media Center was lacking a few things. I've always loved the public library and the choices it offers. Sooo... This week, we are introducing a few more choices into the Media Center.

We have 3 additional options after checkouts: Brain Games, Puzzles & Coloring. The Brain Games are meant to stretch minds and problem solve in a fun way. The puzzles are a great way for students from the same class, and the whole school, to work in a common goal. And coloring is relaxing and soothing... sometimes all I want to do is color.

Below are a few pictures from our first morning.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Osmo fun!

This week, I've had the pleasure of working in our first grade classrooms working with Osmos.

The classes are using the Numbers and Tangram apps for Daily 4 stations (math) and the Words app for Daily 5 (literacy).

I have seen so much excitement from all the students... They love interacting with them!

A special thanks to our first grade teachers for letting me spend time in their classrooms. They are fabulous. Here are a few pictures of the students at work.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Special Delivery... iPads!

Today marked the last day for deployment of 1:1 iPads to grades 3, 4 & 5. All grades were so excited to have them in their hands to start learning and creating.

Fifth grade may be taking iPads home at some point in the school year. However, third and fourth graders will keep theirs at school throughout the school year.

I will be working with these classes throughout the school year on a variety of topics, including digital citizenship, digital reading, and more. They will also dive deeper into their apps in Media Class this year.

Learn more about the CPS 1:1 iPad Program and as questions arise, feel free to contact me at any time.