That is great that you have a team at your school working and planning together! I think it really helps to have support from others. Perhaps Code.org can also facilitate a teacher support group to connect teachers from all different schools as they go through this process.
My main concerns will be finding the time to properly introduce the students to coding in a general way. The advanced 8th grade pacing is packed and doesn’t leave too much time for lessons spent on other content.
My second concern I realized while filling out the implementation plan is that some students may really dislike or be indifferent to coding.
I am confident enough in my coding abilities, but could definitely use more time to be many levels ahead of my students, so that I will be able to handle their questions and concerns.
As always time and space to insert the coding in my science curriculum. However, I am positive that Imay find a spot in my crowded pacing for 8th graders.
I feel confident beginning to teach the students computer science, because the first few lessons you showed us in the in-person sessions were very well done. I also feel confident about how to incorporate it into my ecosystems unit, and engage the students with it. I still feel like I will run into issues with the students that I am not prepared for and that I can’t anticipate at the moment. Something I’ve been struggling with the whole time is how to use the blocks to create a realistic model of an ecosystem. I have not been able to keep the ecosystem balanced. The whole point is so that students can create a realistic model and then manipulate different factors in it. But I always find that one of the species of the ecosystem suddenly starts to reproduce really quickly and/or another species dies out. In order for this to be an effective tool, I need to know how to fix this problem, and I feel quite limited in my knowledge of how to do that. I also think I need more practice with the ideas of the scales and conditionals. Particularly how to teach conditionals. I found it confusing at first the idea that if something is less than or equal to the number on the scale, then something will happen as a result. What I mean is, it took me a little while to fully understand the connection between this and rolling a die. So I need to think more about how I will teach that concept. I also need more help with how to change the terrain and make that affect the agents. I noticed some other people did that, and it looked really interesting.
I feel ready and confident to document everything that I am doing in order to implement the project. I am thinking about creating a blog just for this purpose. The blog is the perfect platform to document my lessons, show evaluation results, showcase my students’ works and progress and record my own reflections.
My source of anxiety, just like some of my colleagues in this forum, is my lack of understanding and deeper familiarity with the language of coding. It is taking me too much time to “figure it out,” and I am doing a lot of trials and errors. I will set aside time for this, in order to master the coding process.
Code-org has enough resources online that might help me with this, in the form of video tutorials and instructive articles.
I feel very confident to tackle the curriculum. I want to put more into the coding part so I can be a better source of help to them. It could become problematic if the student and the teacher came across an obstacle that slowed the whole class.
I need to build confidence in working through the modules as well. I think this will be more manageable when I receive my manual. My confidence lies in the kids! I think they will love it and working with them will increase my confidence as well. I was new to the whole thing, I have gone on and played the games for the younger children. This has given more some more experience and understanding of what they might have done before coming to me.
I feel ready and confident in preparing lesson plans for basic coding in Life Science. For example, the epidemic modules and ecosystem modules, etc. I am trying to prepare myself by focusing on practicing to use the more advanced coding such as using the slider, creating procedures, etc. I am also getting to know the codes and which drawers to find them in. However, the challenge that I face is trouble shooting to identifying certain problems and fixing them. For example, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why my setup and forever buttons disappeared. Further, I have a challenge with how to pace the lesson, seeing it is the first time I will be teaching it. Also, I am not sure how the program will be introduced in our class schedule.
I also feel confident in using computer simulations in my ecology unit. The challenge I might face is the unknown. I have had many challenges after everything went well; one mistake and it is difficult to troubleshoot and find the problem. This is because the program is on autosaved, therefore you run the risk of loosing the working module. We need to find a workable solution. Any suggestions out there?
I do agree the challenge we will face is troubleshooting, trying to help the children solve problems with their modules. However, we need to be honest with the children and let them know we are learning together. In fact they may be able to help us in many situations.
I agree with some of the posts. I will definitely need more practice to have the confidence I want to have.
I need more practice! July feels like so long ago. I am teaching a science class that has a technology component this year and our school has agreed to let science prepare for NGSS vs. the CST so I have time! The plan made me realize that I will need that time for sure!
I would like to collaborate with a more experienced teacher to help me with areas of weakness.
I feel ready to teach the majority of module 1, especially the paper based lessons. For the most part I feel confident teaching less demanding lessons in module 1.
This is an area that is new to me and naturally I feel hesitant to present the material to my students. The more I practice the better my confidence will be and my students will definately feed off that.
I feel confident in implementing what I have learned into my classroom. I have already planned to use this for the second half of the semester with my computer applications class. One thing I know I will need to do before I fully implement the program is to memorize the drawers. I still don’t feel as confident as I would like to. Sometimes when I try to make the models word they freeze up or are a total disaster. I don’t mind sharing this with my students because sometimes it is good for them to see you struggle and get through it. I feel that the teachers manual will be a great help and I like the cheat sheet for the drawers and I am going to make sure that each one of my students receives one of these.
I feel confident about the support I am receiving from my district. I am a little nervous that we will be doing SBAC testing during the project window and may not always have access to computers.
I am mostly concerned with making it through the lesson plans with the kids in a period. I only have them for one class a week with the computers and I want to make the most of my time.
I feel pretty confident in my ability to implement the modules. I know that computer problems will arise and I know that it is important to stay patient and work through the problems as they arise. I teach with computers on a daily basis and I would advise other teachers who do not to try to designate students who are good at trouble-shooting everyday computer issues. I have some student “experts” who I have prepped to be my assistants with an assortment of computer problems. Some of these issues include the browser not working or freezing and student keyboards not operating correctly. Sometimes simply restarting the computer can fix such issues. I feel it is important to mention this because it is a big obstacle that some teachers may not foresee.
I see some of my students for 42 minute periods and others for an 84 minute block. I have learned from experience not to rush through the lessons, but simply remain flexible. There is nothing wrong with stopping halfway through and starting where students left off. I have found it helpful to have students document their progress each class so that they know where they left off.
I am fairly confident that I will be able to implement the relevant modules. I realize that there have been issues with saving work so I will remember to tell my students to save often and to refresh if their save doesn’t work. Of course there are other issues to work out, but those will be on a one-by-one basis.