Starting up, Rituals & Routines must be established; expectations for the classroom. CS is awesomely fun, but groundwork must be set. Not only do the students need to operate under a defined code, but there are guidelines that the educator must follow. Differention is a non-negotiable, therefore baselines need to be established. Once R&R and baselines are in place, and CS curriculum has been aligned to CCLS, CS teaching may begin. Vocabulary and concepts will be routinely reviewed so that students can speak to the subject. K-2, Differentiated groupings, of unplugged table groups of 4-6, may be the most manageable for classrooms upward of 24-30 students. Pair programming will be implemented once R&R are set. Lesson plans will be solid, with the understanding at any time one may have to pull-up and go around to achieve student success within this new realm in our school. There are many unknowns as this is our first year with CS K-5; in the past it’s been just 6-8. We are lucky to have a class set of first-generation iPads which are precious and protected. Our K-8 team of three is determined and supported by Admin. Looking forward to this new journey!
I love to let students learn from and create screencasts for each other. I also use pre-made movies from youtube, or create my own. This allows me more time for facilitation while students review materials whenever necessary. It also allows them to go at their own pace.
I also love using student created screencast as checks for understanding and to have student reflect on their process - great minds think alike!
Giving students opportunities to work through problems of increasing difficulty helps them maintain enthusiasm and persistence. Mixing in unplugged activities also encourages students to blend computer science curriculum with learning in other areas.
See one, Do one, Teach one
I try to follow this mantra. I show the pupils, then get them to try for themselves and then ask them to teach it to someone elsr… This could be in class or at home
Love this! So true. We don’t have to be the omnipotent one in the classroom. We are all learners in the community together!
Arrange students to study in groups, share learning ideas, and enhance collaboration.
You can also run a group competition.
In my class, students work in pairs, and they discuss the problems between themselves and if they still could not come up with a good solution they seek help from their peers. I am their last resource. I encourage students to show off their work to their parents during “parent-walk-in-time”. It is important that parents also know what the students do and what they have accomplished in CS class.
I really appreciate all of the new ideas and am anxious to try them in multiple aspects of my teaching, The “ask 3 then me”, “Remain calm and never give up”, “Celebrate Success”, and " model problem solving behaviors" suggested techniques all will be used to build a safe, community of learners within my class.
Pair programming is extremely important to introduce early on - I know (as a student who didn’t like working in groups!) that while it is difficult to get used to for some students, the advantages of working in pairs and groups are unmatched. It’s especially important because in so many academic and professional settings people work together all the time. I also think taking pride in your students’ work is so important. A little friendly rivalry between classrooms never hurt anybody, and kids love seeing their work displayed! Also: the more buzz your program or your kids get, the more excited other people get about coding (kids and admin alike)!
I love the idea of modeling a problem and having the students come up with solutions! It empowers them. I also like the idea of the “paramedics.” There are so many different learning styles and levels, that this can not only help when I’m working with another student, but it gives those leaders a chance to flex that muscle, and it gives those that area struggling perhaps a help that’s not quite so intimidating. It’s sometimes much easier to ask a friend for help, than it is the teacher.
I wonder though, about the “ask 3 then me” strategy. Has anyone found that this can create those that “do for” rather than “help” their peers?
I dislike my class. I teach kindergarten and the kids are crazy but they are sweet.
I like the Ask 3 before me strategy. I also like an idea I heard of “Tech Ad’visors’.” You give 2 students a foam visor to wear to id them. They are the students that others should ask for help before asking the teachers!
One thing that I do with students day 1 is to teach them the word perseverance. I explain to them that it is important that they try and try again, but not give up. I also explain that it is OK to make mistakes. To often the students associate a mistake with a bad grade and they don’t want to have a bad grade so they may just stop. I make sure they understand that trying again and learning from their mistakes is what it’s all about.
I agree. This might eliminate the “I need help” from some of them. They might try themselves before asking another student.
It is helpful to always have a talk time. I am going to make sure that we always meet on the rug first. In this way, we can review the vocabulary that we have learned. We can go into an unplugged activity if we need to. I can ask if anyone remembers problems they had. Perhaps if I treat problems as just part of learning, it won’t be as big of a deal.
I’ll be focusing on Design Thinking all year. Students will be used to multiple interations using a growth mindset. I was very comfortable not being the expert in the room and would constantly ask students to help figure out solutions to our problems. Students love being the experts and I hope to continue this as I move down to second grade.
Modeling thinking, especially thinking and persevering through a problem is a biggie for many of my students. I would pair them together and allow them to teach one another as well. There needs to be an atmosphere where the struggle and mistakes are welcome. It is a process!
I have used the “Ask 3” strategy in my classroom during my literacy and math group instruction. It definitely helps with kids coming to me with a ton of questions. I think this will be a great strategy during computer science instruction. The kids can help each other try to solve their questions before asking me. I also like the idea of bringing up kids’ questions that I may not also know the answer to and posing it to the class for a group discussion. This can be a stepping stone for group and partner collaboration.
I always have used the ask 3 then me approach, however if I have a student who is just trying to get my attention by being needy, I make it a point to give my attention to students who are productive and independent. The whiners will usually start working to get my attention.