Teaching Computer Science: Your Plans

#230

Hi everyone!
Hope our school has enough computer facilities and the internet speed wont hamper what activities it may have…

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#231

As an instructional technology coach, my goal is to support teachers and students in gaining foundational skills and understanding of computer science and coding. Computer Science and code.org can be integrated into a blended learning classroom, using both digital and unplugged activities as part of a rotation station model. Learning skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, communication and creativity are all skills students need to develop in all content areas. The challenge I see in getting started is to show teachers that CS is not another content area to be added to their already busy schedules but helps develop skills and concepts that support all core content already being taught. The coding activities authentically engage students, enhance instructional content, and skills can be applied to learning across the curriculum.

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#232

Starting the second semester at my school I will be implementing CS instruction is several classrooms (teachers volunteered to be a part of the pilot year). My intention is to start by using the Code.org courses as laid out, but after reading some of the posts in this thread, I may re-imagine that plan a bit. Time is a concern of both me and my staff and the basic skills of even some of my older students may limit how we get started.

The teachers that have volunteered and I are very excited as we DEFINITELY see the value and importance of CS education for our kids to be “Future Ready” but it also fits with our school culture of being “Future Ready Global Citizens”.

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#233

I initially started using code with my students as a center in Language Arts. I didn’t necessarily teach a formal lesson and I let the kids explore. After break, I would like to continue incorporating code into our centers, but use the code.org lesson plans and give the center a purpose. In addition, my class is a bit of a “disjointed” bunch and I think using code with collaboration will help promote success in understanding a concept and working together as a community. I think my challenge with my current students will be pairing my students in a way that will work to both challenge the students (at different academic levels) and build success for each student. I am excited about exploring all of the lessons in Code.org and watch my students excitement as they are challenged and successful!

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#234

My goal for my classroom is to introduce my students to coding and basic commands. I will use the unplugged lessons and my code-a-pillar in order to introduce coding to my kindergartners! I have modeled some of the games and gotten them curious already. I know they are excited to learn more!

The biggest challenge is finding time in our daily schedule to complete our activities. I could reach out to our technology coach to see if she could work with students in small groups during our center rotations. This would be an easy way to ensure students are grasping the concepts!

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#235
  • What are your goals for your classroom? How will CS or code.org 1 resources help you meet those goals?

Currently I work with ESOL students in a variety of co-taught classroom environments. Often, these students need to make up for lost instructional time and develop English skills along with their other academia at an accelerated rate to be on grade-level with their native English speaking peers. I would like to use the code.org lessons to facilitate my students’ reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in English while also boosting their capacity for higher-level thinking and collaboration. Although I am planning to “pilot” this goal with my ESOL students in grades 3-5, due to their potential lack of prior knowledge with the coding terminology and with computer resources, I plan to start us on the kindergarten “Course A” section of Computer Science Fundamentals. I suspect the K-2 lesson sequences will only take us a month (maybe less) to get through together and then I can ease my groups into the courses for their grade level once the background knowledge has been established.

The lesson plans on code.org are so easy to follow. I love the templates and the additional “unplugged” resources to help learners get hands-on with the coding concepts. I will also be using the “Think Spot” reflection journal template to help my students improve their writing skills. I love that it has space for drawing and writing, to encompass the needs of my English learners, regardless of their ability to communicate via writing.

  • What are you most excited about when it comes to implementing some of these resources?

I am excited to see how completing these CS activities will improve my students’ overall literacy skills when combined with robust language arts instruction. Ultimately, I would like to have days when my students and I would work together or in pairs on some of the lesson plans and others when students could log in and work more independently. I am also eager for my students to develop bravery and resilience that will result from coding and solving the different puzzles in the lesson plans. Over time, perhaps the ESOL students could then pair up with their gen ed peers and teach them something new for a change!

  • What challenges do you foresee in trying to meet your goals?

The ever present challenges of time to plan both personally and with my various co-teacher colleagues as well as securing the devices to use with my students when needed. It is often a tug-of-war at my school to get consistent access to laptops/ iPads around all of the other tasks that are going on during a given school day—and during standardized testing times of year it is nearly impossible.

  • What questions do you have that this community might help you answer?

Has anyone had students access the code.org courses on their mobile devices? If students were able to use their phones to access the material from home, it would be helpful. Many of my ESOL families do not have laptops/ computers at home, but most of them do have smart phones.

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#236

I’m going to be teaching an after school Enrichment program for grades 4-5 about programming. I hope to use code.org as a great spring board/warm up activity.

There are a lot of exciting things on code.org with high interest characters!

Challenges will include having enough computers for every student to have time to individually work. We are hoping to get a more Chromebooks for our school soon.

Thank you for this great experience!

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#237

My goal is to teach students the basics of Computer Science programming to prepare them to build their own games in my Game Design Course. Code.org will help with my goal to give students a hands-on approach to learning about these different sections of coding rather than taking notes and then implementing when we start learning about creating video games.

I am most excited about is that it gives students a hands-on approach to learning with both computer based activities, as well the unplugged activities.

My challenge will be helping students who are on different levels of the learning process and trying to figure out how to provide enrichment for the students who have mastered the content.

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#238

I have finally received the approval to teach my 8th grade students CS Discoveries. This was a little work in the making. I suggested it last year and had already had great success with the Hour of Code. My plans for this semester is to do the lesson plans exactly as they are. Once I get a feel for what they are, I will add my own little personality to the mix.

I am truly excited to get this going. Who knows, I might be able to teach Computer Science to each grade level at my middle school.

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#239

My goals for our computing club is for students to gain and enhance skills in computational thinking, creativity, learn about algorithms and key concepts (sequencing, loops, functions, conditionals) in coding.

Code.org’s learning resources are well planned and easy to use. As a teacher, I feel confident and I am excited to implement the courses knowing that all I need is readily available, fun and easy to understand.

The challenges I forsee are

diversity and gaps in the students’ attitudes to learning about computer science

getting students to be equally engaged in the unplugged activities as the online ones

acquiring enough computers

Question
Any ideas on other fun ways (aside using colourful flashcards) to help children learn and remember key computing vocabulary?

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#240

Hi, I will be teaching students in grades 1-8 in an after school program. Previously we have only studies Maths and English, however this year, I want to incorporate the Code.org course. We will use kindle and I have seen by working through the online professional training that the kindles will work!!!

I like the idea of pairing students. I am also looking forward to seeing how the students adapt…This is a first time for us!!!

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#241

My Plan for K-5 Technology Classes

  • What are your goals for your classroom?

I teach grades K-5. I have already introduced coding in some way to grades 1-5. At the minimum, they have done some Hour of Code activities. My current 3rd-5th graders have used Scratch to create animations. I have not taught all of the terminology and concepts in a cohesive way and that is what I want to accomplish by using the code.org CS Fundamentals.

I am currently on sabbatical, studying computer science resources so I can revamp curriculum. When I return to school in April, I plan to spend the rest of this school year using the code.org curriculum in grades K-5.

  • What are you most excited about when it comes to implementing some of these resources?

I think I am most excited that the lessons are laid out for me and have all the resources (videos, ideas, etc) in one place. What a time saver that will be with planning! I am also excited to see how my students respond to the lessons.

  • What challenges do you foresee in trying to meet your goals?

One of my challenges will be that grade level teachers will ask me to do something in computer class that fits into their curriculum, like have students create a presentation about ecosystems they are studying in 4th grade. While that is a worthwhile project, I sometimes feel like I have to put aside my technology goals. I will have to navigate carefully if that happens.

  • What questions do you have that this community might help you answer?

One of our goals each year is a Student Learning Objective (SLO). Next year, I want to have a SLO about coding in one of the grades. The challenge is that they want us to use a standardized assessment as a pre test and post test. Standardized can be a commercially available assessment. I have yet to find something that is acceptable when it comes to tech skills. Does anyone know of a coding assessment that I might be able to use as a pre and post test?

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#242

My goals are to use code.org to enrich my remedial Algebra 1 students. We have time between testing and this would be a good addition to adding in a deeper understanding of what a function is. I’m most excited to see students applying information and developing a rigorous problem-solving mindset in a different setting. I foresee challenges in having students fully connect the process to the problem-solving method we use in math class. I think students will be successful at completing their puzzles but might struggle to connect it to previous content.

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#243

I recently moved to another country and wanted to reinvent myself. Teaching a foreign language is an interesting topic but I found it struggling that me and my colleagues knew so little about computer science. That’s why I entered this course and hopefully I’ll be able to adapt it in my future workplace.

What I’m most excited about is the playfulness of the exercises, the pair learning and the unplugged activities. I understand learning as a social and active process so I really liked code.orgs approach to make a topic you initially relate with sitting alone in front of a screen so engaging.

My personal challenge is to engage more with computer science myself and become an expert along the way.

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#244

I am a retired teacher without a classroom, but I decided to take the course to learn and hopefully volunteer facilitating CS resources in a small group. I believe in exposing every kid, especially girls, to the fundamentals in CS in a positive learning environment. I’m excited to see students discovering these new skills and feel the way I felt the first time I solved a problem and worked. A little late for me, but I am hooked! My challenges will be finding a few kids to “borrow” as we all continue to build confidence as we go. Every student should have the opportunity to experience computer science!

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#245

This is a new thing at my school and I plan to have it at the end of the year after the students are done with their national examination. I would start with smaller group to begin with as our school facilities are very limited. Plus. most of the students do not have access to internet at home. So, planning is crucial here. I’ll see if anyone shared their success in pioneering the course at their schools. I really want to expose and get my students do the course to keep them up with today’s and future challenges.

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#246

Good Afternoon,

  My goals are to actually have the opportunity to introduce code.org to my students. I am excited that these types of programs are available to students as young as kinder. My challenge will be to get computers for a class full of students so that I will be able to use this program at our school.
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#247

My main goal for the classroom is to get my students to connect their love of technology to the important skill of problem-solving and perseverance. I also want to get my students to know how to use technology in effective ways and to be great digital citizens. CS or code.org helps me meet these goals by providing me with lesson plans and an excellent platform for students to work on
I’m most excited about the fun I know the students will have. I also am excited about the different ideas that show me that one doesn’t necessarily need computers to learn valuable computer science skills
The challenges I foresee in trying to meet my goals are challenges most teachers face in the classroom daily. Challenges like burnout, lack of funding, and simple things like a bad internet connection can make a great platform like code.org frustrating.
I am curious about student input in the curriculum. Can any lessons be modified to fit individual student interests? Is there any part of the forums were I can see how different types of students feel using this platform? Are there any ideas for special education?
Thank you for all your help, I look forward to participating.

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#248

My goal next year is to help classroom teachers of grades K-2 use Bee Bots to practice basic programming. We will put mats on the floor with pictures or use blocks to build a maze. I will introduce coding using the Pre-Reader Express. I hope that the first lesson “unspotted bugs” will not confuse them when they go to use a bee to program, since a bee is an insect. That’s a challenge that I forsee. I am most excited that first grade teachers can use the bee bot to program a robot to follow a path around a map. Map skills are taught most directly in first grade, I believe. I think getting first graders logged in to Code.org will be challenging, even though you are helping us out with a secret picture being used as a password.

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#249

I’m excited to have my students think about their games and apps through a different lens. The unplugged lessons are a perfect way to introduce computer science at the beginning of the year when students haven’t learned how to “use” a laptop, computer, or iPad yet. I also don’t have to worry about having a device for all students since it is encouraged for students to work together on one device under both of their names.
My only concern is weather my school district has certain games blocked and/or if they need to be downloaded as an app in order to use them. For a few hour of code games it was necessary to download in order to actually use the game but my school district has a block on downloading apps. Other than that, I am very excited to begin!

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