15 Replies Latest reply on 25-Oct-2017 7:44 AM by ms.e

    Part One -- Discussion #1

    teachontario.team

      What are some of your thoughts about coding in the classroom? Were you able to resolve any misconceptions?

        • Re: Part One -- Discussion #1
          kmaggirias

          What are your thoughts?

            • Re: Part One -- Discussion #1
              christygarrity

              What are some of your thoughts about coding in the classroom? Were you able to resolve any misconceptions?

               

              I was hooked on the book from the author’s statement in the introduction.

              “Teachers shouldn’t fear learning computational thinking skills alongside their students in fact they champion this open stance toward lifelong learning to be an essential behaviour for teachers to model for their students.”  You had me at….. teacher’s shouldn’t fear! I consider myself a science geek and have been my whole life. I spend my free time reading Scientific journals and follow my student’s lead and provide hands on science learning in my classroom. I see coding as an extension this. I have also been hooked on the AMC program Halt and Catch Fire and loved the collaboration and excitement (and heartbreak… spoiler alert: They Killed Gordon off!) that coding brings to the world. I was also inspired by a former student who visited me last June, to let me know that he was going to Guelph University for computer science. So proud! He mostly remembered our classroom science work and remarked that “you let us do science all day long.”  I was able to do this because I saw how the subjects are integrated and I could assess the learning more authentically. Coding is like that too. Breaking things into steps or segments of learning. In Kindergarten we use this as a basis to support all experiences. I see how coding occurs naturally in my classroom when my students make a plan and execute it. They are great builders and see how each individual piece in their structure plays an important role. I see coding like thinking when they retell or revise the steps of their projects.

              My next steps are to nurture this thinking and name the learning but also begin to see it from a “coding” lens. The clarifications of misconceptions were eye opening. Chapeter 1/2: Coding is simply the process of creating logical instructions. I can do this. I did have some fear of again, breaking the traditional educational culture. I have done this before and will again. Our new role is to share what expert knowledge I gain and model curiosity about what I don’t know. I can do this too! Encouragement: when the fear of tackling coding in your classroom rears up, take a deep breath and do it anyway. Just do it! I wear Nike’s everyday. I can do this. Growth= how we use technology. Create instead of consume. (Interesting) Teaching coding=teaching thinking. Need a growth mindset. Play is crucial to learning. I (we) do this. Break old patterns and increase innovation to change the world. This is my mission! 21st Century jobs will be Tech based driven. I have to do my part to plant the seed and nurture this learning in my classroom, school and beyond.

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                • Re: Part One -- Discussion #1
                  kmaggirias

                  Hi Christy,

                   

                  Thank you for your response! I like you comment and connection to "teacher's should never fear!!!" Understanding our students and having a growth mindset, is the first step to supporting our learners. Your comments and reflection about what this means, for your pedagogy and practice, are thoughtful and very motivating! Through the steps that we take to support students, we are able to provide our students with strategies and a capacity to understand problems through different perspectives.

                   

                  I find your connections to Kindergarten and the innovative learner to be true. Success in coding, and especially technology integration comes with an interest in learning, but also acknowledging that we must do this for our students! As teachers we need to uncover and acknowledge our fears and misconceptions. When I started with coding, I had no idea where to begin. I found that my best supporters and cheerleaders were my students and my children! If we are able to look at coding through a lens of curiosity and adventure, I think we are absolutely on the right path to learn.

                   

                  Kelly

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                  • Re: Part One -- Discussion #1

                    Hey Christy,

                     

                    I am so inspired by your message here! Let's hear it for SCIENCE! I think we're going to be in for some major shifts in education with the growth of artificial intelligence. Computers are going to get pretty good at delivering knowledge and skills, but kids are going to need us to to learn along with them and demonstrate how to become a good learner. Coding is a great way to join that trend!

                     

                    Thanks for the very kind words!

                     

                    Kevin Brookhouser

                • Re: Part One -- Discussion #1
                  aking

                  Before I was a teacher-librarian, I taught drama, media arts and English so when I encountered p. 12 of making a robot successfully follow instructions, I could imagine doing this as a drama exercise.  Whether we're speaking orally or typing in code, I think there is a lesson to be learned about using explicit language.  As a literacy specialist, I really like the focus on the vocabulary of coding. 

                   

                  I see coding as a continuum and I really get freaked out when I think of taking this exercise on p. 12 to the level in the job description on page 35.  In fact, as techie as I think I am, I had to ask my nerdiest friends what CSS, JS and jQuery are!  I don't know how we go from Ozobots to Python and I'm really hoping this book can get me there. 

                  3 of 3 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Part One -- Discussion #1
                    mattlet2002

                    The book starts with a great header - The Great Leveler.  Coding is a way to view our students in different ways.  I am always amazed to see that some students, who we would not usually consider strong students, excel at coding.  I have worked with students on IEPs who can take a simple coding lesson and use this knowledge expand their coding creations.  On the flip side, "strong" students often have struggled with coding because of the effort and trial and error approach needed.

                     

                    The one misconception I am working on their year is finding ways to incorporate coding into the curriculum.  The summer coding course here this summer gave me lots of ideas for using coding as a tool to teach and evaluate the curriculum.  Currently, my students are working at using Scratch to code different shapes.  We start with a square and our knowledge of right angles and equal sides.  The then use this knowledge and trial and error to code other shapes like rectangles, triangles and circles.

                     

                    The other misconception that resonates with me is that only programmers can teach coding.  It's all about attitude.  You say that you can't teach Math and that thinking will impact your Math program.  There is also no difference between learning to code and learning to play the recorder to teach your students this instrument.

                      • Re: Part One -- Discussion #1
                        kmaggirias

                        Hi Matt,

                         

                        Your response, brings up many key points. Levelling the playing field is one of the main reasons I enjoy coding with students. I find that regardless of your abilities, exceptionalities, language acquisition or grade that Coding can apply to all students. When our students see us taking risks and having a positive attitude to new learning experiences, then our students will gain confidence to develop and share their ideas. I started my coding journey with scratch as well. I found Scratch user friendly and was able to apply it to different grades. I also found that students were engaged, when they realized that they could apply their Scratch games to Makey Makey.

                         

                        Kelly

                        • Re: Part One -- Discussion #1

                          Thanks for your comments, Matt. I am really inspired by your message! With a little bit of planning, coding can fit into any curriculum! It is such a great tool to deliver content while including project based learning, collaboration, and critical thinking!

                        • Re: Part One -- Discussion #1
                          anneshillolo

                          First of all thank you for bringing this book to our attention!! It is fantastic. Before answering the prompt. I want to talk about the Foreward. This is a great read, and inspiring due to the perspective of the author as a self-described non-expert who delved into computer programming with great success. I also cannot say enough about the Introduction. I would love to see this alone more widely read. I like how it points the way to themes developed in the rest of the book, such as the ease of introducing programming, the rationale for doing so in 2017, the social justice motives and the importance of curriculum integration. In answering the prompt, my thoughts on coding in the elementary classroom align with those of the author. As a classroom teacher, prior to taking on my present role, I brought in coding activities and bought my own robot:) to share with the kids. This would be 4 through 7 years ago. Since then we have used both Learning Connections and Coding Quest support to broaden knowledge and practice in our board. But there is still a long way to go!

                          My absolute favourite part of Chapter 1 was the list of the six major misconceptions. It is a huge help to me in my role to see these articulated and argued. I especially enjoyed the counter-arguement for Too Much Screen Time. Also helpful was the How To Distractify Your Classroom. A particular interest of mine is exploring classroom management and tech - because teachers frequently identify this as an important concern.

                            • Re: Part One -- Discussion #1
                              kmaggirias

                              Hi Anne,

                               

                              I agree with your comment about the 6 misconceptions. I think every school needs to read this book!!! It gives us insight into the minds and reasoning of why one might not want to integrate technology, but gives us inspiration that anyone can do this!!! I find that my students truly are engaged and are focused when using technology. The learning environment that we create can help support students and decrease behaviours with our learners. I find that when I use robots in the classroom not all students gravitate towards the technology. Did you find that bringing in robots engaged your learners and supported curriculum?

                               

                              Kelly

                                • Re: Part One -- Discussion #1

                                  Hi Kelly,

                                  I would say that in Intermediate, it helped to give them a choice, as I would in other matters. I always had half a dozen or so that would request to use my EV3. In younger grades (more recently in my TELT role) using BeeBots, Sphero and Dash and Dot etc, - for sure all students want to try them. I find it very easy to conceptualize robotics and coding activities that integrate with the curriculum, but I find also that many teachers struggle to do this and ask for support.

                                • Re: Part One -- Discussion #1
                                  aking

                                  Hi Anne, These are all solid points.  I think we might be at the point in Ontario, where teachers, like you, have seen the value of coding all along and are implementing it vs. teachers who don't see the point and are about to have their comfy math curriculum disrupted by coding.  In my school alone, the tech teachers are more interested in coding than the math ones.  Although there are a couple of math teachers who say that they fully expect that they will be teaching classes called Coding instead of math.

                                • Re: Part One -- Discussion #1
                                  ms.e

                                  Love the first line in the introduction, "Every student in the twenty-first century needs experience in coding." As mentioned above, coding levels the playing field and gives opportunities for them all to shine and share their learning and skills. It allows students to move from consuming technology to becoming creators/makers/producers with technology, which I think is an important skill to have for anyone. We already teach coding in our classrooms - such as procedural writing and mathematics. Coding allows for the learning to become learner centered. It allows students to collaborate, ask questions, and be curious. It allows them to experience growth mindset/grit and problem solving.