How do you think teaching computer science will be similar to or different than teaching other subjects? How do you integrate CS principles in other courses? Share your tips here for successful interdisciplinary planning or team teaching here.
So far I sense that that nature of understanding a problem, set a course for solving it and collecting data along that way to modify the next move would fit into any science class. Today, while playing in the ‘20 hour coding course’ is noticed that their was a really good description computation thinking … That happens to one of the 'science and engineering practices in the NGSS… < http://www.nextgenscience.org/sites/ngss/files/Appendix%20F%20%20Science%20and%20Engineering%20Practices%20in%20the%20NGSS%20-%20FINAL%20060513.pdf > That said… my expectation are high for making new discoveries and connections between coding and science and engineering practices along with the application of math principles in a practical way.
I teach Design Thinking a lot, and these same skills fit into that model of innovation through iteration.
I also teach ‘systems thinking’ in the environment focused courses that I teach and design. I believe coding and its approach to problem solving will be similar to some of the core tools and concepts that are found in ‘systems thinking’ Here is a url for what I believe is one of the most usable documents available… http://www.fishwildlife.org/files/ConEd-Sustainable-Tomorrow-Systems-Thinking-Guidebook.pdf
I have taught both junior high math and science for many years. I find the principles very similar between all three subjects. The step by step instructions for solving a complicated math problem, a scientific lab, and working through code share many of the same features. Failure will happen and we will learn from our failures, problem solving is so very necessary, and persistence will get us through anything : )
Just read this… http://www.sciencealert.com/computer-solves-120-year-old-biology-problem-that-had-scientists-stumped … Something tells me that this application of automated computation will have a developing impact on what is done and taught in the classroom…
The College Board and CSTA are finalizing development of the AP Computer Science Principles (ADCS4HS) Course and as IT Director in a K-8 school, I have decided to engage in as many opportunities as possible regarding the keys concepts and content of the course so that I may better prepare my students for the future by using interdisciplinary planning in collaboration with the students’s homeroom teachers to appropriately integrate APCS4HS concepts and practices into our weekly K-5 Technology Center class times.
I have connected CS into writing by having students write reflections regularly to document their experiences, setbacks, and successes. I have them connect what they do with coding to other areas of their life to deepen their understanding and application of computational thinking principles. Exposing them to early pioneers in CS such Grace Hopper and Ada Lovelace help them make connections as well. CS also lends itself to integrating the engineering-design process where students learn to design, redesign, and rethink their ideas.
Reinforcing the concept of persistence and questioning are vital in the process of teaching computer science. In the GT classroom I often see students who are so used to always being right and never having to struggle that the importance of developing those skill sets are crucial for success in coding (and life!). I like to have students identify when those struggling moments are occurring and recognize themselves and fellow classmates who have engaged in problem solving, assisted with brainstorming and working through to solutions.
As in robotics, I emphasize that if someone asks for help, we don’t want to give them the answer outright, but try to ask questions that lead students to discover solutions on their own.
I am in a completely different situation. I have children from many different school districts who are giving up a week of their summer to learn to program. I’ll need to make sure we use a lot of the Unplugged sessions to move the students away from the screens.
I heard Grace Hopper speak! She was amazing.
The way code.org encourages teachers to teach computer science goes right along with my philosophy of education…students learn by doing. This program allows students to work at their own pace and encourages them to reach out to others when they get stuck. It’s not scary for them to ask for help and it’s something that has something for every student. My gamers love to create games, my readers and writers love to create stories and my artists loves to create.
In my classroom, we had this as part of math centers. I believe coding modules are 21st Century puzzles. They allow them to practice analytical skills that help improve math skills. I could go on and on about the benefits of coding…but I’ll just start with a few! Problem solving, critical thinking, cooperative learning, communication, creativity…
Teaching computer science is very similar to teaching math and science in that it’s very logical and analytical. I integrate other courses into my CS principles by referring to concepts in other classes. We often refer to the Order of Operations and symbols used in Math class and how the symbols differ in CS. When we first work on a program, we use the scientific method by defining our problem, discussing (researching) possible solutions, constructing a hypothesis (program), testing our hypothesis (program), analyzing our results using known data/solutions.
Much of what I have done over the past few years during my time with the students has followed similar best practices as outlined in the online PD.
Providing students with opportunities to question, collaborate, and persist when things get tough has become a norm in my classroom. These skills are quite transferable to a classroom that is focusing on math, science, or ela. As a matter of fact, I see many opportunities for the subjects to come together into more project based learning.
The opportunities for children to work collaboratively with each other and to look for solutions in a positive environment are essential in many other content areas such as math and of course science. I love the idea of keeping a journal to allow students to synthesize their understanding of their coding progress. It’s all encompassing and I can’t wait to incorporate it this year in my classroom.
Computer science requires problem solving, as in English, editing and correcting errors and as with many courses higher order thinking. Creating a project requires immediately feedback.
I think the computational thinking practices of creativity, collaboration, communication, persistence, problem solving are life skills that everyone needs to be successful, regardless of their life path. As I try to wrap my head around how to implement this curriculum, I am thinking that it might work well to combine mini group lessons of direct instruction, self-paced progress though the activities, no tech activities, and one-to-one conferences with students to check on their progress and suggest individual projects.
Working in a cross curricular and in an interdisciplinary manner is helpful as students see a good model (Hopeful!) of excellent collaborations between educators. This year in Grade 5, I encouraged teachers to offer the writing of a program for students to demonstrate learning objectives. which was great. If students are given the opportunity to create a slidedeck, writing narrative, report, I see no reason that they cannot complete a computer program to demonstrate their learning on a specific topic. https://twitter.com/anthonychuter/status/538078629604118529
I teach math in English in a Swedish school, and using computer science is a great way to get the students to collaborate and practice their English communication skills. Furthermore, they can reflect on their own learning and what their thought process is in written journals. The language behind it (and piquing their curiosity for more coding) is definitely an interdisciplinary skill I plan on trying to integrate this upcoming school year.
I plan on collaborating with other teachers of different disciplines in order for cross curricular learning.