“With coding you can do anything your mind wants to do”
~SCDSB Grade 6 Student
Many students in SCDSB participated in the Hour of Code and had the opportunity to learn computer science. Now what?
Here are a few ideas for moving beyond the Hour of Code and integrating coding into your classroom and school:
1) Beyond One Hour of Code with Code.org
- Code Studio offers four 20 hour courses for beginners that uses a variety of unplugged and online activities. Designed for K-8 students, the courses use block programming to create interactive games, stories and art. Teachers can sign up for a free account to track student progress and access lessons and resources. Ensure students have permission from their parents and review online safety criteria before students create their account.
- CS in Science uses modelling and simulation to teach programing through modules on water as a shared resource, ecosystems and chemical reactions.
- CS in Math offers 9 units designed to teach algebraic and geometric concepts through video game design. Students solve word problems and learn about concepts like order of operations and function composition through a real world and hands on approach.
2) Engage in a Coding Inquiry
Extend learning and excitement sparked by the Hour of Code through a coding inquiry. Explore questions such as: How does your computer think? How can Coding help you? What are the benefits for learning to code? What skills are developed through learning to code? What do computer programmers do? Is coding only for computer programmers? How do I learn more about coding/computer programing? Research online, search this blog for ideas using the Why Learn to Code tab or ask a SCDSB programmer your questions.
3) Making our Thinking Visible through Sharing
- Students can create a blog to share video reflections about their learning with tips for others or a series of tutorials that can be shared on YouTube. Students can create their learning videos using the Google extension Screencastify to record their activity in Chrome.
- Connect with another classroom in your school, another school within the SCDSB or a classroom in another part of the world. A connection is a great opportunity for sharing learning, asking questions, learning together and teaching each other. It provides an authentic audience for students that is more than just the teacher and can be a great opportunity for giving and receiving feedback. I saw an example of a classroom the other day where kindergarten students were sharing how they learned to code with grade 5 students. It was amazing to watch the interactions, conversations and learning that was happening.
4) Create and Make your Thinking Visible with Scratch
Students can express their ideas using Scratch and show their creative side making interactive stories, games and animations. Read our blog posts for ideas about Learning How to Program with Scratch.
5) Start a Coding Club with Google CS First
CS First is a program that teachers can use to create a coding club in their school. The materials are free, available online through your GAFE account, targeted at students in junior and intermediate grades, are adaptable and flexible, and use block based coding with Scratch. To access the materials, click the blue sign in button at the top of the program overview page.
6) Offer Student-Led Math + Coding Sessions for your School CommunityWestern University and the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences is offering $200 support to schools that offer student-led math + coding sessions for their community. For example, this could be High School computer science students offering sessions for feeder school students; or elementary school students offering a math + coding evening for parents and the wider community.