I’ve been dragging my feet about completing the hours since the Christmas holidays ended. Happily, I’m the stubborn type and when I make a goal for myself, I really make myself finish it. So, now I’m done and it feels good! 🙂
Blogging each stage was a great exercise. I struggled in the beginning to articulate things and concepts I wasn’t very sure of. By the later stages, I was finding it easier to talk about Functions, Parameters, Counters etc. because I actually understood what they were. It’s interesting because I had to run into these concepts for 3 or more lessons before I started to understand. I was transported to when I was a child and learning brand new things for the first time. It reminds me that we can’t expect kids to always understand everything during the first lesson, even if we have been exemplary teachers during the lesson!
Now that I’ve blogged each stage, I can look back on these blogposts as reminders and lesson notes for myself.
After Easter holidays, I will be running an after school coding club. I’m calling it “Infinite Loop Coding Club” because it’s obvious the teacher is a bit loopy 😉 !
I’m going to offer this 20 Hour Coding Course as my coding club. (It’s going to be a part of my Coetail Course 5 Final Project which happens to be our graduation project.)
If students in my club finish early, they’ll be more than ready to tackle the open-ended projects offered by Scratch by MIT.
For Stage 20 (the last Stage), the lesson plan is that students think back to all the lessons they’ve done in the program and to create an original unplugged (not needing a computer) activity to teach the concept. Students work in teams like a regular coding team in a software company.
Here is the list of the 20 Stages (from the lesson plan).
1) Intro: What is Computer Science?
2) Maze #1: Sequence, Loops, Conditionals, Nesting
3) Computational Thinking: Decompose, Patterns, Abstraction, Algorithms
4) Graph Paper Programming: Draw what the algorithm tells you
5) Artist #1: Draw Shapes, Loops, Increment
6) Algorithms: Put shapes into pictures, Folding paper
7) Artist #2: Figure out algorithm
8) Functional Activity: Suncatchers – Program, functions, variables
9) Farmer #1: Conditionals, Repetition, Variables
10) Conditionals Exercise: Coding with Cards
11) Artist #3: Calling functions, Repeat with Loops, Variables & Parameters
12) Song Writing: Functions like a chorus, Passing parameters, Parameters as Variables
13) Farmer #2: Functions
14) Abstraction: Madlib style stories
15) Artist #4: Functions and Parameters
16) Coding Under Pressure: Double Checking, Debugging
17) Farmer #3: Importance of Order, Debug pre-made program
18) Internet: What is the Internet? How does it work?
19) Artist #5: Free play
20) CS Wrap-U : What did we learn? What was your favorite part?
I feel a huge sense of achievement for having pushed myself to go through this. 🙂 I am not a geeky coder person. I’m more of a humanities, play instruments & sing, and philosophize type of person 😉 . If I can do it, ANYONE can do it! I wish to thank my 12 year old son for helping me through some of the advanced puzzles. He helped me when I was stuck.
I bought a t-shirt from Zazzle.com that says “Code like a Girl!”. I’m going to wear it when I run my club. hee hee.
In the 21st century, workers will have to do more fulfill job descriptions well. They’ll have to have the ability to innovate and learn on the fly. This includes teachers as we’ll be called upon to learn software, hardware and innovate lesson plans integrated with authentic Tech on the fly. (Think about how fast Technology advances and how short the half-life of technology is. This explains the need to do it all “on the fly”.)
Being able to reinvent yourself as a teacher who is able to handle some Coding will serve you well.
I hope to do some blogging about the Infinite Loop Coding Club. I definitely have to produce a video about it as part of my Coetail graduation project requirements. Stay tuned for all that!
Yes, learning to code is empowering. See my tweet below 😉