Title 1, Grade 6, 50/50 boy girl; Phoenix, AZ
A big thought I had when heading into CSS was how to make the connections to the first three lessons on evaluating and creating websites more clear and transparent. I feel like content, structure and style are the three concepts/words that are important to emphasize from Lesson 1 and then when html and css comes up, students have a clear understanding already of where they are headed and where html and css can 'hang' in their cognitive structure if that makes sense. Perhaps having students study the websites and using the words content, structure and style as they examine and create websites from the beginning would be useful. Having them examine websites while identifying the content, structure and style on the websites would help them as they design their own. I am also thinking about human-centered design, designing with empathy and wondering if this is an opportunity to highlight this aspect - that websites need to consider the audience, the business needs, etc. and designers then use content, structure and style to design with these in mind.
With the debugging lessons, I've tried to bring back Unit 1 and the problem-solving process. I've tried to debrief with the students and question them on how they identify and solve the bugs they come across. Always trying to make these connections so that the course is really coherent is important to me so that they are not just learning isolated and discrete skills, but leaving with a foundation in computational practices and dispositions.
I've had my students pair-programming for a few lessons now and they continue to do so. I like how the directions in codestudio write in and indicate for them to talk with their partner or to ask their partner a question. I then followed up and asked them how the pair-programming was going and we created a plus/delta chart. Many students struggle with being the navigator and not being able to touch a computer. They didn't like that the navigator did not get the puzzles to count. They did like sharing ideas with one another and that having a partner helped them get 'unstuck.'
Another major thing I've been facing is working with outlier students who are either on the advanced/quick end or the end that needs quite a bit of support. For the one who needs a lot of support, I've been his partner for pair programming every day. For those who are ahead, I continue to have students work at their own pace. I anticipate that I will need to have additional resources available for these ones though, before we all finish the unit.