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. I organize posts in categories to make it easier for you to find the good stuff faster.  This blog is a 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 Google Site! https://sites.google.com/ps196q.com/ps196q-digital-archive/home



  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.

Revisiting SCRATCH

Second graders have been learning how to use block coding in a new way by working with CSFIRST.WITHGOOGLE.COM.

We have been using Code My Hero.  This is a great starer project for beginners, and has excellent video tutorials for every new coding skill introduced.  Each student has a CS username and a password, which will be sent home when we end our A Schedule.  They can continue using this project, but more importantly they can use this login to access the entire Scratch program.  (scratch.mit.edu) which is filled with excellent videos to help  them learn how to create games, stories and animations.  I hope they will all take advantage of this great and free program!Code My Hero Cover Illustration of grandma flying over buildings.


First graders will be introduced to Code.org this year, and in anticipation of the many questions I will be asked about what Code.org does, and how student privacy is protected, I’ve attached a copy of their official parent letter.  Of course, if you have any additional concerns or questions, please let me know.  I strongly recommend you reach out to me via this blog on the Google Form which is on the home page.  It’s the fastest way to reach me and get a prompt response, especially during the hectic September start up of the school year.  

I know your children will love working through Code.org, and will feel like they are playing a game.  But they will be developing skills such as critical thinking, sequencing, problem solving, collaboration with peers and perseverance, all of which are transferable to other disciplines.

I am looking forward to getting them started with coding!   

Click on the link below to open the PDF file.


Fifth grade is Scratching

After learning coding basics with Code.org and later CodeMonkey, I decided to add to the coding mix with Scratch for my fifth graders and other students who have gotten to advanced levels in CodeMonkey and are interested in diversifying their coding experience.   For a peek at Scratch (a totally free, recently upgraded version 3.0 product from the MIT Media Labs and Mitch Resnick and Co.) check it out at Scratch.mit.edu Each fifth grade class has a dedicated Scratch classroom with their login and password (exactly the same ones they are using for CodeMonkey, to keep things simple).  Students are encouraged to experiment, explore and create original animations, stories, and games.  There is an abundance of tutorial material for them to check out, thousands of student-created Scratch projects to explore and I’m hoping it will keep their creative spark burning. Here is a sample of a very basic animation: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/302917104/


Tech Enrichment Gets Their Beat On with Incredibox

Funky Test Beat by Mrs. Phillips

Our Spring 2019 Tech Enrichment Kids were getting their beat on with Incredibox, creating original beats with this free online app.  The variations are limitless and the .wav files they create can be downloaded, listened to and used as soundtracks for other multimedia projects.  Tune in and after the break I will be uploading more student creations!

For starters here are some of today’s creations, with more to follow!

Grade 3-5 Student Work Updates…..

Students have been busy finishing up their multimedia projects over the past months and we are now beginning to upload their completed work to our Google Site 

Please check them out and let our students know what you think by posting your comments to this post! 

Fifth graders are completed their Protect The Planet comics with original art as well as clip art created in Pixie and Comic Life. Students learned how to modify and reformat clipart to suit the needs of their story, and how to create a comic book page or two (or three) to share their original stories.  They are displayed as downloadable and printable PDF files HERE.

Fourth graders have written and recorded mystery stories based on Chris Van Allsburg’s “The Mystery of Harris Burdick” and learned how to use Google docs, collaborating with peers using the share and comment features and how to use Garageband to create their unique and spooky tales including a music soundtrack to enhance the mystery.  You can start listening to them HERE.

Third graders are just completing their comics about endangered animals.  I will be uploading them in the next few days HERE. Please check back to read them.  The students have done an amazing job!  The learned how to search for and download images and create a comic book page using Comic Life.

Second Graders Create All About Me Multi-Page Books

Second graders have been writing multi-page All About Me books in Pixie.  In the process they learned out to move from page to page, forward and back, as well as reinforcing previously learned word processing skills, and use of a variety of drawing tools.  Some students incorporated clipart into their project as well.

To see their completed work click on the links below.  This is a work in progress, and new work will be added as completed.

Class 201     https://sites.google.com/ps196q.com/ps196q-digital-archive/home/18-19-grade-2/18-19-class-201

Class 202     https://sites.google.com/ps196q.com/ps196q-digital-archive/home/18-19-grade-2/18-19-class-202

Class 203

Class 204     https://sites.google.com/ps196q.com/ps196q-digital-archive/home/18-19-grade-2/18-19-class-204

Class 231     https://sites.google.com/ps196q.com/ps196q-digital-archive/home/18-19-grade-2/18-19-class-231

Class 232     https://sites.google.com/ps196q.com/ps196q-digital-archive/home/18-19-grade-2/18-19-class-232

All About Me in First Grade

First graders in Classes 104, 105 and 106 have been working in Pixie to create an All About Me news page.   They learned how to use a variety of drawing and writing tools in Pixie in the process. To see their completed work, click on the links below.

Class 104    https://sites.google.com/ps196q.com/ps196q-digital-archive/home/18-19-grade-1/18-19-clas-104

Class 105    https://sites.google.com/ps196q.com/ps196q-digital-archive/home/18-19-grade-1/18-19-class-105

Class 106    https://sites.google.com/ps196q.com/ps196q-digital-archive/home/18-19-grade-1/18-19-class-106

Tech Enrichment Tests Turing Tumble

Turing Tumble is a “just out of kickstarter” device for kids of all ages (5+)  where you can build a mechanical computer powered by marbles to solve logic problems.  It is named for Alan Turing, a British mathematician who is known as the father of the modern computer, and who created the computer that broke the Enigma code during WWII and helped turn the tide of the war.

Turing Tumble is a highly engaging device (or in our case, the free online simulator) that teaches coding concepts without words, screens or electricity.  We have one real world Turing Tumble so the students were able to see and hear how it works.  But we’ve been working with the simulator.  Here are a few of the creative layouts the kids came up with in enrichment.  Some of them were purely experimental, just to see what happens, and others were designed to create a pattern in the marble colors.


Getting Into Google Classroom

Students in grades 2-5 will be using Google Classroom in the computer lab.  We have spent a lot of time trying to get everyone to learn how to log into their Google accounts.  None of the students have an email account, but their usernames do look like email addresses.

For parents who are having difficulty helping their child log in at home here is some basic information which I hope will help.

The formula for a student username is:

first name, last initial, last four numbers of their OSIS @ps196q.com

i.e.  Jane Doe OSIS 123456789  would be:


Passwords are the full nine digit OSIS number.

Note there are no capital letters or spaces in the username.  If you use gmail at home, you want to be sure that your child logs into the school domain (ps196q.com) and NOT into gmail.  

The address to access Classroom is  classroom.google.com

Children were given class codes to join their Tech Classroom.  If their classroom teacher is also using Google Classroom, they would have a separate code to enter that classroom.  If you need the classroom code for technology, just fill out the form on  this site, let me know your child’s classroom number, and I will email it to you.

I hope this simplifies things as we go forward.  I encourage you to use the Google Form to contact me with questions and issues regarding technology class as this is the fastest and most reliable way to reach me. 


Thank you!

Mrs. Phillips