New Hampton Elementary and Middle School is Coding More Than Ever

This fall, the students and teachers at New Hampton Elementary and Middle School were lucky enough to be in person. Jeff Monteith, K-12 Extended Learning Program (ELP) Teacher, is taking full advantage of his physical classroom by keeping his students busy with all sorts of fun and interactive activities for learning. One gadget that's a big hit in Mr. Monteith’s classroom is Unruly Splats. Splats are codable floor buttons that light up, make sounds, and collect points

when they are stomped on. Students code the rules to create active games with the Splats app
on their iPads and get the whole class on their feet by playing student-coded games like relay
races and 4 corners. Mr. Monteith is having a blast challenging his students to expand their
coding and problem-solving skills while having fun! Check out this video of his students doing a
fitness circuit! “My younger students are excited to use the splats as a game challenge and my older students are excited to write the programs and bring the games they envision to life.”
Said Mr. Monteith. Most recently, New Hampton Elementary and Middle School participated in the Unruly Fall Fitness Challenge. This was a nationwide fitness extravaganza where schools competed to earnt he most fitness points by completing certain weekly fitness challenges with physical or virtual Splats. For three weeks, students engaged in different activities that combined fitness with coding. They coded countdown timers, stopwatches, and fitness circuits! Mr. Monteith captured the three week journey on his Twitter account, highlighting his students in various fitness activities like air punches, jumping jacks, crunches, and more! At the end of the challenge, Mr. Monteith’s classes had the most “virtual stomps” of any school who participated in the Fall Fitness Challenge, with 1,287 stomps! 

Splats are now a staple in Mr. Monteith’s classroom. The class uses them to analyze code to find the “bugs”. Students solve the problems in the code and re-run the programs to test if it is the corrected solution. Students are really enjoying the Splats activities so far. In addition to the Fall Fitness Challenge, 5th-8th grade students did the Splats Hour of Code activity in the first week of December. Hour of Code is Computer Science Education week and classrooms around the globe celebrate by participating in coding activities. Students completed a series of coding quests that got them an Unruly swag box that includes supplies for pieing their teacher! (Yes, pie is coming Mr. Monteith's way.) 

“I presented the Hour of Code Quest Challenge as an option to my 5th-8th grade students and almost everyone of them wanted to participate in the optional activity” Monteith said. 

Mr. Monteith has an abundance of plans for Splats in his classroom this year. He is planning to have older students create their own games for younger students to play. The younger students will give feedback on the games so they can modify and improve them.Once the game is complete, all the students can share and play it!. Additionally, he plans to use the SEL (Social/Emotional Learning) lesson plan to address growth mindset. He wants to teach his students that when something does not go as planned, that it is okay! He plans to teach them different strategies to stay positive and work as a team to overcome problems. 

Mr. Monteith says, “I have really enjoyed working with the Splats this year, both with students, programming games myself to share with students, and introducing them to other staff and brainstorming ways they might be able to use them.” 

Mr. Monteith is impressed with how his students have really gone above and beyond by taking on the challenge of block coding. He continuously encourages his students to think outside the box and is leading by example. Check out “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, a Splats game Mr. 

Monteith invented. The first year has been a blast in STEM and everyone is looking forward to continuing to grow their skills while having fun!