December BLOG: Emerging Themes
Building Computational Thinking Skills in STEM
Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario
St. John Catholic High School, Perth, Ontario
December was a very busy month in the Intermediate Division. As we look back over the month three themes consistently emerged:
- Computational Thinking is everywhere. The opportunities to integrate Computational Thinking and Coding into our curriculum are endless!
- The student practices outlined in the program “Computer Science Discoveries-Code.org” (problem solving, persistence, creativity, collaboration and communication) continue to develop with the use of authentic learning experiences.
- The teacher as the “Lead Leader” in collaboration with others is essential in the integration of Coding and Computational Thinking. Team planning and Team Teaching are key.
1. Computational thinking is everywhere. The opportunities to integrate Computational Thinking and Coding into our curriculum are endless!
COMPUTER SCIENCE EDUCATION WEEK
THE HOUR OF CODE
Code.org’s DANCE PARTY with the Code Mobile Student Facilitators at work during the Hour of Code.
(Canada Learning Code). Canada Learning Code - Homepage
We kicked off Computer Science Week by hosting Code.org’s Signature Scratch Event (The Dance Party) with Canada Learning Code. Sixty-Five students from our Family of Schools joined us. Throughout the day students participated in workshops that included code.org’s “Dance Party”, Canada Learning Code Activities as well as participating in activities using the Micro: bit from the Living Space project.
The Living Space Project
Participating in the “Living Space Project” has given students the opportunity to look closely at the environmental factors that impact human health. By learning to program the Micro: bit students have been able to collect data about their learning environment and reflect on the impact these conditions have on their learning.
Our data collection Centre
Students collected data three times a day over a one-week
period using our class sensor and our micro: bit.
Weekly data collection.
Census at School
“Census at School” is an international project that allows students to collect data about themselves and compare their class with students in Canada and other countries.
Collecting measurements for our class data base.
Kindergarten Workshops - Animating a Christmas Card using SCRATCH
Hosting our Kindergarten students for a morning of cookie decorating, storytelling and card making in SCRATCH was a huge success. This activity gave students the opportunity to demonstrate what they know using SCRATCH as well as focus on their team work and problem-solving skills.
2. The student practices outlined in the program “Computer Science Discoveries” (problem solving, persistence, creativity, collaboration and communication) continue to develop with the use of authentic learning experiences.
In the worksheet below the student reflects on the “communication” and “group work skills” that they demonstrated while working with their kindergarten buddy. The highlight of the morning was creating a “Holiday Card” using SCRATCH.
In the SCRATCH screen shots the student demonstrates persistence in completing several revisions before publishing their final copy of their game in SCRATCH.
The final version of the instructions.
3. The teacher as the “Lead Leader” in collaboration with others is essential in the integration of Coding and Computational Thinking. Team planning and Team Teaching are key.
Team Teaching and Planning Unit 1 Activities in the
Computer Science Discoveries program (Code.org).
We may not have all the answers but as we move into the next phase of our project we know for sure we are on the right track!