38 Replies Latest reply on 12-Jul-2018 9:13 AM by sharmasu

    Getting Started Consolidation

    teachontario.team

      Consolidation:

       

      • What did you like about this experience?
      • How would you modify or use this experience for learners in the classroom?
      • How can it be used to stimulate and engage learners across the curriculum?
        • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
          christygarrity

          Christy Johnston-Garrity

          What did you like about this experience?

          This process made me reflect back on my own school experiences I had teachers who today would be looked at as being “quirky” or “out there.” But what I learned from them was that I had some control in my own learning. We were encouraged to pursue our interests and were rewarded for being creative and taking risks. I was applauded when my first rocket experiment blew up in the school yard when I was 11 years old. I remember being allowed to make a video presentation, (using an extremely large and heavy movie camera) of my re-enactment of the book, A Wrinkle In Time, which I wrote the script in perfect prose. In high school, I was drawn to the sciences and spent all of my free time in the lab. I designed, using motors and my understanding of centrifugal forces, the first and only self-propelled hula hoop. We were doing STEM way back then! These were the best times of my life. What happened to the education system? Somewhere in the middle, we forgot how children and young adults learn best. I think we forgot about the process and began to focus on the product and assessment scores.

          When I began my teaching career in the mid 90’s, school was still a vibrant learning environment. Computers were just being introduced into schools as a tool for learning. Yes, there was curriculum to follow but you could be creative in how it was delivered. I was the teacher who preferred tables to desks and group work to individuality. But there was a growing pressure to conform to drill and practice skills and rote learning. It was unsettling to me and I struggled. Too much time sitting in desks and those consumable books, fill in a blank and everyone writing the same thing. I was so sad for my students. When I did take my students outside to lay on the field to look at the clouds (irregular shapes was my focus) or when each child brought a different sized container to school to fill it with water or sand to explore capacity, I was met with raised eye brows and comments like “what chapter in math is Playing!” I would respond by listing all of the cross-curriculum expectations that we explored. I assume that today, the remarks would be “what chapter in Math is computer coding?”

           

          How would you modify or use this experience for learners in the classroom?  I have always stayed true to myself and will continue to do so until my retirement. With our new K document, I feel renewed and inspired and determined to show my students that they can learn through play and inquiry and now CODING. After reading the article 21C Knowledge Construction, I was surprised to learn that Grade 5 educators from each TCDSB school were invited to participate in mathematics and coding learning seminars. This learning was not shared with the rest of the school. There is a bit of a disconnect. I realize that good educators must continue to take responsibility for their own learning. I watched the videos and read all of he articles and spent half the day clicking on other links that opened up other amazing resources and support materials. I realized that all of this learning can be applied to my K classroom. I see myself incorporating this new way of thinking directly into hands on activities. It is a change in mindset for me. I must admit that I am a bit overwhelmed with the technology terms but also excited about all of the possibilities.

           

          How can it be used to stimulate and engage learners across the curriculum?

            From the article Coding+Math: Just Like Mathematicians Do it! I made direct connections to the things that my teaching partner and myself are already doing. Math is everywhere and in every activity. This year, our friends were engaged in a year long bridge building inquiry. Their interest kept unfolding and touched on all areas of our K program. Their collaboration, research and designs reflected this learning. This article points out that the use of coding (computational thinking) in mathematics includes four kinds of practices: data (collect, manipulate, visualize), modelling and simulation (design to understand concepts), computational problem solving (use computational solutions, choose effective tools..), and system thinking practices ( investigate a complex system as a whole, thinking in levels). We did all these things! Does this mean that we are beginning coders? Mathematicians? I think yes! There is a need to name the learning and support the next steps. For me, the next steps are to learn how to extend what we are already doing to “include mathematics integrated with computers and applications.” (page 2 Coding+Math….) I realize now that this is doable

          • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
            angelo

            What did you like about this experience?

             

            I liked learning more about coding and how it is being introduced and taught in other grades (i.e., Grade 5 mathematics and Grade 3/4). I liked the following quote from the "21C Knowledge Construction" article and found that it stood out for me: "Coding is an employable skill that teachers students to solve problems, take risks, think critically and logically." I find that this quote emphasizes how important coding is in schools and the impact and powerful learning it can have on our students.

             

            How would you modify or use this experience for learners in the classroom?

             

            I would modify this experience for learners in my classroom. I loved the idea of stopping and considering the fractions we encounter on our walk in and out of our classrooms everyday as discussed in the Fractions and Infinity in Grades 3-4 article. This could be modified for Kindergarten in that the class can count the number of tiles on the path to and from the class and discover the patterns that emerge. This could be done in small groups or partners for example. Educators would model this for the class and gage their interest. 

             

            How can it be used to stimulate and engage learners across the curriculum?

             

            These articles can be used to stimulate and engage learners across the curriculum because coding lends itself to all curriculum areas. "Solving problems, taking risks, thinking critically and logically" occurs in all subjects and is only facilitated and strengthened by coding activities and experiences.

            • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
              iainbro

              It was neat watching the video and seeing all the different people who coded. I was struck by the one comment about 2/3 of the jobs requiring coding were made up of literally every possible job out there.

               

              The more I use code in the classroom, the more I think that it is a missing piece of the Universal Design for Learning puzzle. I have found more kids able to engage in some pretty spectacular critical thinking through a CT problem than using just the regular multiple intelligences. Engagement - high. Another aspect of UDL is having multiple means of expression or action, and here coding seems to facilitate expression in ways that I had not considered previously. As well, students were able to produce a program to explain their learning at the same time as using one of their preferred intelligences. Powerful.

               

              One mechanism in engaging in coding problems is that you pretty much get instant feedback when you press the run button. Either it works as you want or it doesn't. Failures are really not seen as failures, but as another mini-problem to solve. It's kind of like a really well programmed game that takes you from problem to problem. Samuel Beckett said it best, "Ever tried. Ever failed. Never mind. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

               

              Iain

                • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                  aspinabr

                  We can learn a lot from the idea of trying - and trying again until it is correct. Lot's of applicable skills to curriculum areas like math!

                  • Re: Getting Started Consolidation

                    I agree completely with the "instant feedback" that you spoke of. This is often even more important when viewing kids with a special education lens. That instant feedback allows students to feel more productive, even when it's not working successfully as it minimizes that wait time to Find out.

                      • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                        mrsnerino

                        I completely agree.....and looking at it through that lens, learning to code also builds grit, resiliency and flexible thinking.  For many of my special education learners, coding might be a more effective way to be exposed to these lessons at first than the traditional social skills group model of skill development. 

                        • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                          iainbro

                          It's interesting that you mentions the spec ed lens. When we introduce coding to learn math, we have been noticing that it is the kids who are not always so successful at learning math who thrive in the coding environment and do amazing things. I've also noticed the same effect to a lesser degree with using the arts to teach math.

                          There's more to learn here.

                      • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                        mattlet2002

                        I learned that coding is changing from something people want to learn to truly something that people need to learn.  It's also something that we need to start early with our students so that they gain the basic skills needed to understand coding, but also adapt to how it will work years later.  I think about teaching coding to 5 year olds this year but what will coding look like 12 or 13 years from now when they are graduating from High School.  I also liked the connection between the jobs needed in the future and the number of people graduating with the skills to fill them.  Finally, coding reaffirms the growing trend that the Learning Skills should play a greater role in our assessment of our students.

                         

                        I liked the emphasis on fractions.  I know teaching fractions years ago, I usually glossed over it in order to spend more time on the computation skills.  But fractions are a key component of Math Education.  I liked the use of coding to teach fractions.  I also liked how collaboration was emphasized in coding.  I had student this year work individually on coding activities, but opportunities for collaboration would be useful for them. 

                         

                        The bottom line is that coding provides so many ways to engage and stimulate our students.  It's fun and students recognize the importance of it, even more so than most adults.  Students who often struggle with the traditional style of teaching can excel with coding and those who excel with traditional teaching often learn valuable skills when they struggle with coding.

                        • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                          lkl88

                          I found the video very inspiring. I especially appreciated the following points: code is everywhere, in most of what we do, yet most of us don't speak the language; you don't need to be a genius to code; you can use coding skills to make a difference in the world in a wide variety of ways; we are only limited by our imaginations

                           

                          The fractions article really resonated with me. I love how the activity had students build the source for the resulting math talk, and how it naturally branched off into related concepts. I can see using this to extend, much in the way the university projects did, into a student led activity. One in which the students code their own math talk image, or build a "which one doesn't belong?" activity for fractions, proportions, percentages or in a geometry task or other strand of their choice to challenge each other in the older grades might be a good place to start.

                           

                          I can also see using coding across the curriculum to expand on the geography and science curricula in student-led and student-designed inquiry projects where they choose a topic or problem and then use one of the four kinds of practices listed in the first article: data practices, modeling and simulation practices, computational problem solving practices, and system thinking practices as practical inquiry tools.

                          • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                            sunnyblonde

                            As someone who does not teach math or science, I was inspired, and somewhat relieved, to see people in the video talk about coding being used in all, or most, industries.  I must say that I found the articles a bit disappointing because they were all focused on math whereas I teach English.  I did reflect on the fact that I believe I have avoided coding because I did not see how it could improve things in my English class.  Perhaps, ultimately, that is what I am hoping to get out of this course.  I want to see how it is used in non- mathematical and non-scientific classrooms and industries.

                            • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                              leannan

                              Regarding the format, I really enjoyed this experience. I liked the video and the choice components. I liked that it was self-paced and that I could enjoy the feedback of other participants. It was nice to go back and read something that someone else had found inspiring. This format is an effective means of learning. The sky is the limit!

                              Regarding the content, I see coding and the doors it opens for our students as totally empowering. Coding is also perfectly differentiated as students who do not typically experience traditional academic success often experience themselves as leaders - for the first time.  I truly believe that this generation, who are so comfortable with technology on so many levels, must... MUST be able to understand how to make technology work. They must learn to see technology as a tool and not simply a toy... and be active rather than passive consumers.

                              This notion of active engagement, understanding and ownership directly translates to my feelings about student learning in all areas. Students can no longer passively regurgitate what they are told to learn,  instead they are required to own their learning fully and creatively. When students are constructing their learning and understanding (along with what is required to achieve their goal) they are developing as thinking beings. This is the mandate of education... thinking, creative beings. Coding is a perfect conduit that provides the change that brings the needed shift in mindset to our students in a tangible and meaningful way. It is a paradigm shift that students will need to make to be successful in the 21st Century world. The engagement, thinking, effort, problem solving, tenacity and creativity associated with coding experiences happens naturally and holistically. Win. Win.

                              • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                deannapecaskimclennan

                                What did you like about this experience?

                                I am always inspired when I read about how much coding affects our every day life. I am often asked as an FDK teacher exploring coding why I am introducing it to young children - what relevance it has to our curriculum and why children that young need to be immersed in tech-related activities (even if many are unplugged). There is such a fear of using tech in an inquiry-based model of education because so many people assume that the tech is entertainment style, passive gaming rather than tech being a tool for learning. I am going to remember this video and share it with our families in September as a way to inspire them to get involved with coding and supporting our coding at school.

                                 

                                How would you modify or use this experience for learners in the classroom?

                                 

                                I was inspired to consider what aspects of my program help instill 21st century competencies in FDK children. How am I empowering them to be in control of their own learning, to ask and solve their own questions, to take risks in the classroom and make (and learn from their) mistakes, and support one another in their individual and collective endeaours. How can I make learning come alive while helping them realize the power of tech to support their dreams in and beyond the classroom?

                                 

                                How can it be used to stimulate and engage learners across the curriculum?

                                 

                                I am always interested in learning more about creating a meaningful and engaging math environment for children in FDK. So many people feel that learning through play and inquiry should be only about what the children want to do, and I'd like to challenge that misconception. What interesting coding/math invitations can I provide that spark children into deeper learning? How can coding be used as a language of learning in FDK similiar to the arts or literacy? What is my next step for learners who are progressing well with unplugged coding activities? Lots to think about and be excited to explore further!

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                  fronkstags
                                  • What did you like about this experience?

                                  I like that I decided to take the course and that I pushed through my reservations about taking it in the first place. I’ve considered myself technologically proficient, using technology to create classroom webpages to support student learning. At this point, however, I am realizing that I’ve used technology in a very restricted way -  using technology to deliver and manage curriculum. Today, I’m thinking of technology (coding) as one of the article, 21C Knowledge Construction highlights, as means for supporting critical thinking in students. “We believe that the big ideas of KC, can be fostered through Coding”. “Coding is an employable skill that teaches students to solve problems, take risks, think critically and logically.”

                                  • How would you modify or use this experience for learners in the classroom?

                                  I’m going to borrow the words from another participant in the course and suggest that I will place the activities directly in the hands of the learner. I think students want to jump in and explore, create, and share. As a teacher I am excited to do the same! But first I’ll have to get comfortable with the tools available to students and immerse myself in what they will explore in my class.

                                  • How can it be used to stimulate and engage learners across the curriculum?

                                  It can stimulate higher order thinking skills that were discussed in Coding+Math: Just Like Mathematicians Do it! by giving students a sense of the connection between coding and other fields. Getting them to understand that they are not just playing, but they are using and building critical thinking skills is important. I suspect that embedding coding in different subjects will help students make that connection.

                                   

                                  • Re: Getting Started Consolidation

                                    I very much enjoyed the Getting Started activity, and reading the comments of my peers. Listening to the comments of students was very interesting, for example with respect to those younger ones who were able to not only express fractions in lowest terms, but were able to modify program code to make that possible. At the other end of the spectrum, I also enjoyed watching mathematics majors at Brock University tackling very rich and complex hands-on learning tasks that are a far cry from the old days of sitting in a lecture hall with hundreds of others, pen and clipboard at hand! Overall, the activity has brought me that first step closer to understanding what coding is all about, at least in Ontario elementary schools. It was quite interesting to read and watch how coding is already in place in various Ontario schools but it does leave me wondering how some boards seem to have embraced the importance of coding, while others perhaps have not. In my own experience, our focus is on adopting the Google platform to establish the Google Classroom as a tool for electronic submission, evaluation, and return of student assignments; as well for communicating class activities to parents and caregivers. This is all well and good, but it hardly begins to address the underlying coding that makes all this possible. What I ultimately took out of this activity is that we don't simply want to have our students being passive users of a wide variety of information technologies that they can operate with great skill, while having no real idea of the underlying coding foundation that makes all of these systems possible. To begin to bridge that gap between the two is the great challenge of the day for Ontario teachers.

                                    • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                      • What did you like about this experience?

                                      It was impressive how easily relatable coding was to the 'average' 21st century person. And the comment that 1/3 of the coding jobs are government, the rest being every other career out there, was astounding. And how important it is that we make this accessible as soon as possible for students to ensure their continued success in this very technological and rapidly changing world.

                                      • How would you modify or use this experience for learners in the classroom?

                                      I would try to be a learner along with my students. Teachers are taught to be the ones in the know but I feel like that students will be more willing to take risks, try new things, be confident making mistakes and moving on if I am there beside them doing the same thing. Being authentic in the excitement and even disappointment but never giving up can make a great connection with a student and give them the ownership of their own learning.

                                      • How can it be used to stimulate and engage learners across the curriculum?

                                      I liked the article Just Like Mathematicians Do it because it seems that you could easily swap out Mathematicians for Geologists, Clothing Designers, Video Game Designers, Urban Planners, and so on.  The applications are endless in a time where almost every function of everyday has been influenced by technology. Specifically in the classroom environment for primary grades though, I'm still trying to figure out how to move into that area.

                                      • Re: Getting Started Consolidation

                                        Recognizing that coding "fits" into so many pathways is important to relay to students. Rather than becoming consumers of information and programs, they can and will become creators! That's motivating in itself for many students as they can out their own spins on the world!

                                        • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                          ejinks

                                          I learned that coding is important to all aspects of life. Coding can be used to problem solve and understand the world better. I enjoyed seeing how teachers have used coding to make learning visible. I am excited to learn more about how to use coding to encourage critical thinking in my students.

                                          • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                            charlandl

                                            What did you like about this experience?

                                            I truly enjoyed the video "What most schools don't teach you".  It truly shows that anybody can code and that it is a requirement in most fields.  To know that there are so many coding jobs out there which are not fullfilled because our students do not have the proper knowledge is saddening.

                                             

                                            How would you modify or use this experience for learners in the classroom?

                                            I am interested in the fraction lesson.  However, I need to figure out how those codes were done, which program, etc.  Therefore, there is lots of Learning from my part to be done before I can bring it in the classroom.  Yes, I want the students to learn, to question, to try different things, to fail, etc.  However, I need a base of knowledge to be able to guide them properly and to prepare the project or the task.

                                             

                                            How can it be used to stimulate and engage learners across the curriculum?

                                            Technology...in itself stimulates students.  However, we must show them that technology can be used in different ways; enjoyment, but also for learning.  Coding will also enable the students to communicate, to share, to learn by trial and error, to problem solve, to fail and that it's ok....but to not give up and try again.

                                            • Re: Getting Started Consolidation

                                              I really liked how coding is considered by some to be the 'Super Power' of humans.  Understanding that coding requires a basic knowledge of mathematical skills, problem solving and not simply for the geniuses of the world is encouraging and inspiring for teachers and students.  I am excited to understand more about how to integrate coding into my math instructional practice to make learning more engaging, while also increasing student achievement. 

                                              • Re: Getting Started Consolidation

                                                The video "What most schools don't teach" was so interesting that I went back and watched it again!  The statistic that in 10 years there will be a shortfall of 1 million people to do the jobs needed was mind blowing.  This is definitely a video we all should watch at our first staff meeting in September and share with our parents, too!  I think that many people might  see computer programming as a solitary profession, but it is just the opposite. I loved the quote by Ruchi, "all great things are built in teams when you collaborate with other smart people."  It was a relief to hear that you just have to start small and that you do not have to learn this big body of information before you start...you just have to be determined. I feel more confident now that I too can learn this!

                                                The article about fractions made me think about how important it is to connect learning to real life and for the learning to be meaningful in order for students to be engaged.  (The differenent colours in the grids immediately made me think of subitizing.) I discovered as a student in later elementary and then in secondary that I did not like math because I couldn't see how it pertained to the real world.  As a teacher I make a point of naming the math I see happen in the classroom everyday in hopes that my students have a more meaningful mathematical experience.  The resources mentioned at the end of the article led me to the edugains site and I watched the series of videos on Coding in Elementary.  If you haven't seen them, I recommend watching them.  They again reiterate that you DO NOT need to know how to code before you use this resource.  The activities are organized into coding with technology and coding without technology and are organized for K and up (beginner to advanced).  My next steps are to download Scratch Jr. and play around with it before school starts and to investigate The Foos(codeSpark). So much to do....

                                                • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                                  gillianlr

                                                  I have no doubt coding will become engrained in curriculum and education moving forward which is a big reason why I'm wanting to get on board now. I think it reflects 21st Completencies very well and is an example if how our students will be learning. Watching the lessons just reminded me of how much learning I need to do and also shifting in hiw I look at lessons. For example, seeing the opportunities to teach something in a different way. I also think I need to be open to learning with and from my students as we embark on this new area. So far, with the luttle I've done, I see students get really into coding but it withers oyt remember if I can't help them get over roadbloacks. I want to deepen my understanding so I can anticipate the issues they will have and help continue their excitement.

                                                  • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                                    mrsnerino

                                                    What did you like about this experience?

                                                    Like others, I really enjoyed the Bill Gates video and the variety of articles that were available.  It was also great to read everyone's introductory posts.  I love that our backgrounds are so varied, and yet we're all here learning together.  I thought that the 'coding is everywhere' message was a really important one, and that it would appeal to students (and adults) who tend to relate coding to a particular set of activities or certain fields of study.   

                                                     

                                                    How would you modify or use this experience for learners in the classroom?

                                                    For older students or adult learners, I think the entire video would work well.  I'm even thinking of a parent involvement night -- it would work very well there, too.  Or at a staff meeting!  We could watch the video and then have articles and other resources available for those interested in learning more.  In terms of with my own students, I might start with some unplugged coding and then branch out from there. 

                                                     

                                                    How can it be used to stimulate and engage learners across the curriculum?

                                                    Previous posters have mentioned the possibilities for special education learners, particularly in the real-time, immediate feedback received.  This past school year, I took some baby steps and introduced the free portion of unplugged and on-screen programming www.kodable.com coding to my students.  It was quite illuminating -- many times, the 'struggling' learners responded best, as they had the skills to deal with frustration and to work through a task.  Some of my other students had a difficult time, as this was a new and unknown skill that they were not immediately 'good' at -- it really opened the doors to some mindset learning in action. 

                                                    • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                                      rplant

                                                      I love reading about how people are being inspired and creating experiences in the classroom to engage kids and teach through inquiry and capitalizing on those 'teachable moments'. So often my beautifully planned and thought out lessons become derailed by questions inspired by the topic, yet sometimes have nothing to do with the original lesson. I remember talking about traditions and celebrations (social studies Gr. 2) at Christmas last year, which lead to us talking about the CP Holiday Train... The kids wanted to know how the train could be lit up with all the lights without being plugged in. So we tweeted it out to the CP people and they emailed us to explain it! So really, our social studies discussion turned into a science lesson. Reading the fractions and infinity article in grade 3/4, reaffirmed by belief that applying concepts and thinking to real life situations and problems, not only makes it more fun for kids, but l believe the learning will root deeper in their brains and stay longer! What would have made my experience better, would have been having the kids search around google to try and find the answer themselves before reading them the email. What would have enriched it even further, is allowing them to access youtube in order to watch videos on how it works... (our board blocks youtube for students).

                                                      I also very much enjoyed watching the video "What most schools don't teach you". I don't want to be 'most' schools! I want to be a school that does teach these concepts, that uses technology to its fullest potential and allows kids the deepest learning possible. I work in an amazing school where teachers are open to new possibilities and new learning all the time! We share and have an open door policy! I feel like we have put ourselves on the map by having different strengths in things like STEM, Robotics, Skype in the classroom etc... I want to continue on our journey to ensuring we are one of the schools that teach, what "most schools don't".

                                                      • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                                        mrselin

                                                        I like the simplicity of it. Showing that learning is about discovery and not concerning yourself with finding an "end-point" or perfection. Learning this skill is a opportunity to enter an infinite loop of learning skills, thinking, collaborating etc.. I liked the teamwork aspects of what coding/programming could be. Solving simple mathematical problems through coding (ie. prime number assignment/pythagoras theorem assignment) will have students own the math.  Lots of learning but looking forward to it.

                                                        • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                                          mel403

                                                          I enjoyed the exploratory video and articles.  I find it amazing that our students will one day be involved in such a world.  We must prepare them better than we have been.  The articles were eye openers for me.  The fractions one looked so easy to teach but I know that my knowledge is not up to it (yet!).  Hopefully by the end of this course I will have a better understanding of how to do things and more importantly how to get my students to do things.

                                                          • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                                            afmcdnl
                                                            • What did you like about this experience?

                                                            Coding can give students/teachers another form of expression and work on some of the skills, we want our students to leave schools with - teamwork, collaboration, communication, problem solving, ..

                                                            • How would you modify or use this experience for learners in the classroom?

                                                                   I would have to agree with some of the others in the discussion that coding is not only for the math and science teachers it should be taught to all teachers so they are comfortable with it and they can see the links in the curriculum and how it can used.

                                                            I have this frustration that all new tech is: buy it/download it and the teachers will figure it out - or the students can because they are growing up with computers so they are great at using them.  Students know how to play games and some activities but when it comes to other uses for computers/technology they need to be taught because it isn't a skill that they have learnt yet.

                                                            • How can it be used to stimulate and engage learners across the curriculum?

                                                            If the teacher has the proper training and guidance then it can be used across every course to help those students with a different learning/expression style

                                                            • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                                              gmctiernan

                                                              What I liked... That it was reinforced through the videos that almost all future jobs will involve coding in some way. Coding doesn't just involve sitting in front of a computer for endless hours (ugggh!) but is collaborative, creative and team building. I would love to work in one of the tech hubs like Google - it looks so inviting. I want my classroom to be like that!

                                                              How I would modify...I have discovered through Makerspaces that often the students who are not traditionally drawn to academic activities love using the robotics activities and coding. They will persist to solve a problem in Hour of Code, and will work well together with others to achieve solving the problem. In the Library Learning Commons, students in JK to Grade 8 would take on a challenge at their own level. For example, "Make a Lego Device to attach to Dash and move a tennis ball through the pylons 1 meter away". Some of my most creative solutions were from Grade 2 students!!!! Often when introducing something new like Scratch, introductory videos are provided to help guide the student who is hesitant to begin...but once thery get the basics they are off and running.

                                                              How used to stimulate learners across the curriculum...I like how coding integrates the left brain (math, problem solving) and right brain (visual, creative activity). I have observed that students who don't usually "like math" are drawn in by the creative aspects of coding. For example, I would integrate art/science with the fraction lesson. Make a two dimensional model of a structure which uses two colours of blocks, shows a growing pattern, and shows the fraction 2/3.

                                                              • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                                                susieellis
                                                                • What did you like about this experience?

                                                                I like how a lot of people who spoke on the video said that coding was intimidating, but not hard. You just have to try it and get used to it. I like how we are 'only limited by our imaginations'. Coding really is just about breaking down a problem, step by step. I like how many different skills can be developed through coding such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, perseverance...etc. It also allows our students to follow their interests while working on a project, that is meaningful to them, in a way that works best for them (with a friend, small group, alone...etc).

                                                                • How would you modify or use this experience for learners in the classroom?

                                                                I think, for me, this experience would have to be continually modified based on student feedback and engagement. I think this is a great way to learn with your students and model what it means to have a growth mindset and take risks. I imagine myself doing a lot of 'thinking out loud' as I navigate through the different parts of coding.

                                                                • How can it be used to stimulate and engage learners across the curriculum?

                                                                I think coding can be used in many ways to help students develop a range of thinking skills. By including learning goals that connect to different parts of the curriculum, students can communicate their learning in a variety of ways throughout the process and final product.

                                                                • Re: Getting Started Consolidation

                                                                  A great start to an online learning session with some very knowledgeable and interesting teachers.  I found the video very inspiring and sent it immediately to one of my sons who is interested in coding and possibly challenging himself this summer to learn how to code with me.  There are lots of job opportunities in this area, and hopefully, our willingness to engage in this sometimes daunting area will provide learning opportunities for us both.  The video I believe will stimulate and motivate students who have an interest in coding.  "You don't have to be a genius" this statement even encouraged me to believe that I can successfully learn to code.  The articles were interesting, but I will need a little more research and reading to help me make all the connections to coding and the curriculum. Critical thinking is an obvious one.

                                                                  • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                                                    mpetrella2

                                                                    The video was a true wake up call, it is our reality.  Coding is everywhere! How many of us really know what coding is or the importance of it? I sure didn’t until this year.  I connected with the part of the video when they discuss the value of collaboration. Best things happen when minds work together.  I not only think of my experience as an adult but that of my students.  When providing students with rich inquiry tasks that are tangible and real, students want to become accountable for their learning and therefore are motivated to learn. After reading the article on “Coding and Math at University”, I was amazed to see how the universities are implementing learning math through inquiry.  I’ve seen and witnessed inquiry based learning though elementary school but not so much at the university level.

                                                                    In our grade 6/7 class this year, we coded with scratch and code.org. Learning through coding can be modified for the learners depending on their experiences. We need to provide the learners the opportunity to learn through coding whether it be through technology or through kinesthetic means first (grid and arrows on the floor). I do appreciate others agreeing that learning to code is overwhelming at first and needs to be done in small steps. 

                                                                    Best things happen when we share our ideas. In order to engage learners across the curriculum we need to provide them with authentic experiences through collaboration, inquiry and coding. “21C Knowledge Constructing” article is an example of how classroom teachers can use coding to teach mathematics. This article resonates with me because one of my goals for this year is to apply coding to different areas of math.  I know coding targets cross curricular subjects but it also encompasses the 6 competencies that are fundamental for any learner.

                                                                    • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                                                      coffey

                                                                      What did you like about this experience?I really enjoyed the video. It made me reflect on my experiences in both high school and university. It also made me realize that coding is something everyone should learn and therefore reassured me that learning more about it to use in my FDK classroom is absolutely the right decision.

                                                                      I also enjoyed reading the articles to see what coding looks like in the older grades. The example with the fractions was great.

                                                                       

                                                                      how would I use this experience for learners in the classroom?

                                                                      I will show the video to my team and maybe even share it with our students' families to show the importance of coding.

                                                                       

                                                                      Now I just have to think about coding activities and invitations that would be suitable for my FDK students. So excited to see what I can find!

                                                                      • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                                                        madame_hass

                                                                        What did you like about this experience?

                                                                        I enjoyed reading about the various ways that coding is being used in classrooms across the board. Sometimes we see how one grade is using programming and wonder if it would work for use Sometimes we hear administration say that coding is only relevant in older grades. Having these examples helps support me when I want to try to implement something different. One other significant element I appreciated was the connection to curriculum and the understanding that coding is a tool to help support the learning. With our school giving a big math push, I feel that this information will help as I plan for next September.

                                                                         

                                                                        How would you modify or use this experience for learners in the classroom?

                                                                        I think that I would take some of the lesson ideas shared in this module and break them down. I am always looking for programs that can be used to help support these ideas so that students can break away from their small toolbox of software programs. I like the idea of using the programs to support and prove their understanding. I would also spend time teaching them the programs with concepts that are clear and understandable so that when they tackle higher learning concepts, the software is not a hindrance.

                                                                         

                                                                        How can it be used to stimulate and engage learners across the curriculum?

                                                                        Having worked with coding in the classroom for the past four years, I find that when the students are engaged in coding projects, they begin to break out of their shells. They are always looking at what others are doing and trying to understand or to one up. It is impossible to teach a coding program and stick to one subject. I find that coding allows me to teach cross-curricular and in doing this sort of teaching, I am better able to represent real life learning and future job situations.

                                                                        • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                                                          vreinsalu

                                                                          I enjoyed reading all of the different articles and how the explorations/ action research connected computational thinking and coding. The last article, and particularly the teacher resource with the colour coding for connections to tools was particularly awesome and a nice way to reframe my thinking when planning to teach Math for the year. The document's first lines are:

                                                                          Exploring Grade 5 Mathematics and Coding

                                                                          Math connections to 21c

                                                                           

                                                                          Scratch  Excel     Minecraft  Makey makey    Google Draw

                                                                           

                                                                          Not all learners I've taught enjoy using technology nor coding. However, if we are able to provide a wide variety of choice in how students can share their understanding and learning, we may be able to have buy-in from all. We definitely have to provide some onboarding/play experiences so that all students are able to feel comfortable and successful in using the tools that we provide. We have to scaffold our assignments to ensure everyone can reach his/her potential.

                                                                           

                                                                           

                                                                          • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                                                            montand

                                                                            "third pillar of scientific inquiry of complex systems has emerged in the form of a combination of modeling, simulation, optimization and visualization"

                                                                            This statement was my big take away.  I have found that using coding in the classroom creates those math visuals, those simulations that get students into the iteration cycle and promotes perseverance through creation.

                                                                             

                                                                            • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                                                              mckinnonab

                                                                              What I liked about the video and articles is that you don't have to be a programming genius to bring this type of learning to the classroom. As others have mentioned, I too am hesitant to enter this area of learning because it is new to me. But, as many people shared in the video, you never work alone and it is always a work in progress.

                                                                               

                                                                              To date I have used technology mainly to deliver curriculum content. The 21K article gave one idea of how to link coding to fractions. I would like to learn of more connections to the curriculum.

                                                                               

                                                                              It was easy to see how engaged learners were with their learning during the videos. Allowing students to create their own problem around a concept creates ownership and more engagement (students were modeling many different fractions).  Another teacher and I introduced VEX kits, Micro-bits and Scratch to our students. (Most) students were engaged but the direct connection to curriculum was not there for me.  It's a future goal for sure.

                                                                              • Re: Getting Started Consolidation
                                                                                sharmasu

                                                                                What did I learn from this experience?

                                                                                I learned that children learn by experiencing, assimilation and adaptation. From the article and video on Piaget we are really good in building schema and activating prior knowledge. Reflecting on my teaching I really tap into student's back ground knowledge but I learned that children learn by experiencing and doing things by themselves.

                                                                                 

                                                                                What will I modify based on the learning experience?

                                                                                I really liked the video on Bill Gates what school don't teach. I loved the learning environment. Sitting at a desk all day is not an ideal and must be hard to fully concentrate. For next year I would love explore the idea of flexible seating where students are in control of their learning with boundaries and expectations of what it should look like and sound like. I love to get some suggestions if someone has successfully implemented this in their classroom. There are no desks but different workstations. I would love to incorporate Scratch. I have four ipads that have not been used effectively so was wondering if there are some beginner apps on Coding that could be installed on the ipads.