Teaching Kids to Code (When You're Not Quite Sure How to Code Yourself)
by Stacy Bressette
My Topic and Purpose
My course will guide teachers through introducing coding and computational thinking lessons to students in their classrooms, even (and especially) when they have very little experience themselves.
While I hope my mini-course will prove useful for a wide range of learners, this mini-course is designed for K-12 educators with little or no experience in learning or teaching computer science. Further, this course is designed to facilitate the incorporation of technology into existing lessons and curricula to enable teachers to provide their students with learning opportunities in digital literacy and computer programming without having to displace other learning goals, since teachers are under heavy requirements to meet curriculum standards for a wide spectrum of educational subject areas.
After completing this mini course, learners will be able to:
- Explain the four components of computational thinking and give both digital and unplugged examples.
- Implement unplugged activities and strategies for developing their students' computational thinking skills in the classroom.
- Explain basic programming concepts, including variables, loops, functions, conditional statements, comparison operators, data types, and algorithms
- Build their first projects in MIT's Scratch platform.
- Support students developing self-efficacy and independence as they learn to test and trouble-shoot their projects.
- Coding teaches fundamental problem-solving, critical thinking skills, and tenacity that will help students regardless of what they do after their K-12 education is finished.
- Learning to code provides students with the skills they need to compete in the modern workforce.
- New curriculum standards have been provisionally accepted by the NY Board of Regents for initial implementation in Fall of 2023.
- The four components of Computational Thinking:
1) Decomposition 2) Pattern Recognition 3) Abstraction 4) Algorithms
- Unplugged activities
- Digital activities
- What is it actually like to code?
- What is it like to learn to code?
- Some fundamental coding concepts
- Your First Scratch Project
- Troubleshooting (on your own and with students)
- Peer collaboration
- Building student self-efficacy
- Coding as a Tool Set (Not a subject!)
- Coding as Creativity
- Coding as Authorship
- Putting Math into Action
- A Classroom Full of Teachers
- The Best Answer You can Give
- "Failing" to Create Safe Space
- A Classroom Full of Teachers, Part II
To get started, click here: Module One: Why Teach Coding?
References and Resources
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