- There is real magic when upper grade students are paired with younger students. They rise to the challenge and shine as mentors.
- It is important that students have hands-on coding experiences where they can see the code transferred into physical responses which is why the Dash and Finch were really powerful tools.
- Coding without words allows all students to access the power of coding. Osmo Coding and Ozobots really support this idea.
- Promote what you believe in by reaching out to the local news. Coding is not a solitary activity with students in front of a screen.... my goal is to debunk this practice and open up the possibility of inspiring our students to see coding and computer science as something they want to learn more about and do.
What I learned after 2 weeks with 23 full hours of code and 46 classrooms from Kindergarten through 5th grade..
Photos by Scott Girard
In my new role as full time Educational Technology Coordinator at two of our elementary schools, I get the opportunity to have more than one attempt at implementing different ideas. For the next two weeks, I am able to introduce our students to different ways to learn and use coding through the Hour of Code but also to help debut options that are available in SP Design Lab, SP Innovation Lab, CV Lightbulb Lab, and CV Makerspace.
After my first attempt the day prior, I was able to be prepared for 6 Hours of Code at Stoner Prairie on Friday. Thank goodness I had already had some practice because three hour sessions back to back with a half hour break and then three more hour sessions back to back isn't for the faint of heart.
The Learning Environment
Pictures cannot capture the feeling in the room. A huge thanks to our high school volunteers - Michael E., Eduardo C., Mason J., Cam M., Ethan F., and Peter D. We even had a special visit from Mr. Stremlow who made it possible for our students to be supported with high school friends.
What is DENSI? Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute is my "teacher" camp where if I am selected, I get to spend a week with 150 educators from the U.S.A., Canada, UK, and now several other countries learning and discovery about different uses of technology as well as other amazing ideas. Last year I learned about BreakOut Edu and this year I hope to learn even more.
Presentation - Coding Beyond Code.org
This year I will be presenting with another fabulous DEN member LeaAnne Daughrity about coding on Wednesday. Our session will be very hands-on and a nice complement to the following day of the DEN Maker Playground. Below are screen shots of the website that we will be using.
DEN Maker Playground
This year I am working on the DEN Maker Playground for our unconference day on Thursday. I have been reaching out to companies to get promotional products and also to arrange hangouts where educators can talk to the people who are designing and using the product. I am really looking forward to making this happen.
I've created table flyers with QR codes for people to learn more about the product but also contribute to a shared padlet of ideas.
In the afternoon, there were 2 more sessions with 2 more classes in each session learning together. We had two wonderful volunteers from the high school to help mentor our afternoon groups. Students had a lot of fun working with someone new and learning how to code in many different ways.
SP Community Night of Code - Dec. 10th from 6-8p
Here is what one of our parents had to say about the event.
Friday, Dec. 11th
The Facilitator Presentations
Participants are Signing Up
Come join us! There is still space and we would love to have you and your child join us.
Paper Coding with Ozobots
Sphero and Ollie Golf Maze Challenge
Dash and Dot Robotics Challenges
Here are two of the activities that will be offered ... more to come.
Minecraft EDU Coding with Turtles
Coding - Video Game and Storytelling Creation
Participant 3D Keychain
Last year I read an article on Edutopia by Sam Patterson about Family Hour of Code and another dream was born. I saw the impact that coding has had when it is just an hour but what would happen if we had parents and children learn together? Where could this go?
Introduction of the SP Community Hour of Code
Last year was the first year that our school participated in The Hour of Code and the impact that one hour had on our students continues today. So when The Hour of Code timeline approached this year, it wasn't really a question of if but when would our school do The Hour of Code. The Hour of Code is much more than exposing students to learning about code and computer programming. In fact I would argue that coding is actually the minor lesson.
The Real Lessons
We have approached The Hour of Code as an opportunity to pair grade level partners. It is quite beautiful to see our older students work with our younger students. The hour that students work together really becomes much more than learning how to code rather even more important lessons are shared and learned.
The words "I can't" seem to disappear as our older students take on a role where mistakes and trying again is helping not failing.
Persistance and Collaboration
Coding is not a solitary endeavor but it values persistence through failure which is a valuable lesson that transcends any learning. Learners sit side by side and work together to try different challenges and to celebrate when they create or accomplish one of the challenges.
Keep learning by using Code.org