Welcome To My Blog!



I hope our students and teachers will find some interesting new sites and tools here to make learning and creating content easier and more engaging.


Please look at the categories, located to the right of this post and just below the Voki cartoon.  I will be organizing  posts in categories to make it easier for you to find the good stuff faster.  This blog is a new and grsmileyowing online environment, so check back often and please add your voice by commenting and contributing! To add a comment to a post, click on the title of the post and then scroll down the page.  Also, please check out the student work on our companion wikispace! ps196q.wikispaces.com.



  1. Never use your full name.  First names (and last initial if needed) only.  You can include your class number so I will know who you are.
  2. Never put any personal identifying information like phone numbers, addresses, etc. online.
  3. Keep your comments positive and the language appropriate.  Your parents, teachers, assistant principal and principal will be able to read what you write. Make them proud of you!
  4. I will try to respond to comments in a timely manner — I’m aiming for twice a week at the minimum (but since I am such a geeky person, I will probably get back to you faster!)
  5. You can add comments to other peoples’ comments — again, keep your tone and language positive and helpful.
  6. All comments are moderated.  That means no one gets published until the comment is approved by the administrators of the blog.  If your comment doesn’t show up and you wonder why, feel free to ask me about it.

If we follow the rules, blogging will be a great way for us to communicate and collaborate safely in a great learning community online!

I’m looking forward to another great year at P.S. 196!

–Mrs. P.


Ask Mrs. Phillips A Question

If you have any technology-related questions, please write them as a comment to this post and I will do my best to answer them as accurately and quickly as possible. This is the appropriate place for students to post their questions to me.

For parents and adults who would prefer a personal response, instead of adding to the comment thread, please complete the form below, including your email.  After you complete the form. click on “Submit.” Your information will be sent directly to my email and will not appear on the blog.


This week, tens of millions of students in 180 countries around the world will be participating in the Hour of Code, an international event designed to promote student interest in coding and programming through a wide range of fun activities.  At PS 196Q we have participated in this event for the past few years and without exception, the students in all grades, from Pre K through fifth grade, are totally engaged in the activities.  This year, I’ve decided to use the Minecraft activities on the Code.org site, which have been expanded to allow students to create games using blockly code and directional arrow keys on their keyboards.  Please encourage your children to continue these activities, all of which are free, at home with you.  It’s never too late to learn code!

Click link to see video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1skr5cjzEB7OKyl-YYvRDy59DwbfsMWgX/view?usp=sharing


2017 Tech Enrichment

Our Thursday morning tech enrichment group has been busy working with Ozobot robots.  We programmed them using line programming on plain white paper with tracks we drew with washable broad tip markers.  Then we started adding the code using color dot stickers to coordinate with our master code sheet.  Here’s a link to a short video clip of our programmers and their Ozobots in action.





Hour of Code is Coming! UPDATE!

hour-of-codeSo excited to be holding our Hour of Code classes all next week!  The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries.   We will explore Code.org and students will get to solve challenges featuring familiar digital characters such as Angry Birds, characters from Star Wars and Frozen, Minecraft and new this year, Moana! Solving these challenges introduces and provides practice using skills such as sequencing, conditional statements, debugging and more.   If you want to join your child by participating just go to Code.org and select a challenge.  You might find you love programming too!


We are nearing the end of our Week of Code and almost every class has had the opportunity to try their hand at programming a wide range of challenges, even Pre-K! (We did Kodable as a group and they were awesome!).  I hope all of the students, and their families give coding a chance.  It provides a great exercise for the brain!  And it’s a lot of  fun too!  

Here are some third graders happily coding away!img_3851


Grade 3: Running Out Of Time–Endangered Animal Graphic Novels

Third graders will learn about endangered animals by researching an animal and creating a graphic novel that informs and persuades, using Comic Life.  We will be using a number of online resources to gather information about the assigned animals, and then we will be writing persuasive comics to inspire others to reach out and help save these valuable and amazing creatures.

Before we can begin, each student must complete the Google form in Google Classroom so animal assignments can be made.  I will do my best to give each student an assignment that will fascinate  and generate enthusiasm.

Here is an example of a graphic novel done previously by a third grade student. Click on the picture to see the completed comic.

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We will be using Google Classroom and a Google Doc for our research sheets, and while you can still go to the Weebly site to get some information, we will be using the Research Tool that is inside the Google Doc.  We will also be able to click to save the URL (web address) of all the websites where we get our information and add a footnote (a list with all the credit information for every website you take information from placed at the bottom of your Doc.).  By using Google Classroom we can save on paper and ink and save some trees while learning how to work “in the cloud.”  It’s all good!

Once you have your assignment, I will distribute information sheets where you can write your notes as you do your research.  You can begin your research on our Weebly website on Endangered Animals, where you will find some pictures and links to websites that will have all the information you need.

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The next step will be to start writing your story. We will learn how to use storyboards and will use the checklist below to make sure we have included all the required pieces of this project.  Below is a sample storyboard (click to make it larger).



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This is the project rubric so you can check and see if you are on track for the grade you would like to get. Click on the link to get the Word file.

Grade 3 Endangered Animal Graphic Novel Rubric