As an ESL teacher, I am always looking for ways to incorporate technology into my instruction. I co-teach mini lessons with a classroom teacher and then we both meet with students in small groups as they work in literacy centers. I think coding, especially Code.org Unplugged lessons, would be great to integrate into Language Arts and Math. It connects well with learning how to sequence a story’s events in the right order, and patterns in Math. I also think it would be a great addition to Science. I kind of envision using Code.org Unplugged lessons one day a week – maybe on a Monday in Science and then allowing the students to apply what they learned on Code.org by playing those games – this would be a center they could do in rotation and as an activity they could do when they are finished with their work. I would use Partner Programming because the number of computers is limited in my classroom – this would allow for more students to practice coding at once and it would encourage them to work as a team. I think having my ELLs learn how to code will teach them the perseverance they need to tackle reading and writing in English – if they can solve a complicated computing puzzle, they can decode and comprehend the higher-level texts! I also want to encourage them to pursue their interests and realize that they don’t necessarily have to be high readers to be good at something. Early success can lead to lifelong learning and possibly a career in computer science!
What are your goals for your classroom? How will CS or code.org resources help you meet those goals?
Code.org has so many resources that I would really just rely on them for pretty much all of my lesson planning needs and prep. The unplugged activities, the videos, the journals, and of course the coding courses! As for a goal for my classroom, I want to get the students excited and interested in computer science - I want them to make the cross-curricular connections.
2. What are you most excited about when it comes to implementing some of these resources?
I am excited to see them GET it and to hear them shout about it! Their enthusiasm usually fuels mine. The puzzles are fun so I want them to have fun! I also look forward to them learning how to work with a partner with specific roles and to solve problems on their own without me having to intervene.
3. What challenges do you foresee in trying to meet your goals?
Pretty much the same challenges as Sylvia: time, a space to do it in, computers/ipads to do it on, and a co-teacher who is willing to do this during language arts.
4. What questions do you have that this community might help you answer?
I am a specialist/support teacher - an ESL teacher. How can I incorporate coding into the language art block while still fulfilling the DOJ agreement? How can I teach the computer science standards when I am supposed to be focused on the Reading/Writing standards? Is this really more of an ITC/STEM teacher's responsibility than mine?