Share, ask for, and talk about resources to support classrooms where students have different levels of prior experience, are moving at different paces, or otherwise have need for differentiated experiences within your CS Discoveries classroom.
My students work to complete project tasks at their own pace. I tell them it is not the speed that matters when coding - it is high quality understanding (ie. I want to see all 100% comprehension and application). Every 2 weeks or so I introduce them to curriculum or an “unplugged” activity. This will be a topic or activity that benefits the whole group. For instance in the Unit for Game Lab (3) we all took a couple of class hours to complete the “unplugged” paper drawing and direction giving activity. Today we all learned about Stroke and StrokeWeight, also for Game Lab, because I noticed this was not covered in the practical applications section.
Hope this helps.
Diane Neville - Gulfstream Academy of Hallandale Beach, Florida
We utilize pair programming with ELL students. In pairing students up, it is important to find empathetic students to offer support. Also, instead of only having two students working with each other, think about adding a third student who can build understanding.
In our Nashville workshop today, we discussed strategies to use with experienced programming students. In group discussions, use their knowledge! Have them explain concept in their own words. They may explain it in a different way that other students can understand. IN CONTRAST, you may not want them to answer right away. In that case, assign them to take notes as others discuss.
One of the biggest challenges for me has been my SPED students (specifically my SDC students) and coding. It takes a certain amount of processing cognitive ability that the lower students just don’t have. I have trouble figuring out how to modify the lesson, spend individual time with the student, all while trying to support the rest of my class. I heard some good ideas from some of my colleagues, which included having student “aids” help these students along. I have also had my good coders, do general tutoring and helping in the class while I help these special needs students. I would like some more ideas on this topic, but at the moment I find myself not doing them a lot of justice if I’m modifying the activities so much that they stop being programming activities, and more busy work.