Code Breaker: Increase Creativity, Remix Assessment, and Develop a Class of Coder Ninjas! by Brian Aspinall

3. What It Looks Like to Me

  • Just because you use technology in your room doesn’t mean that you have changed the way you teach or your role in the classroom. The focus here is changing the way you think about teaching. Keep in mind that coding is only part of computer science. The key to thinking and coding is the language. Learning to code is learning a different way of thinking, which is why all students should learn coding even though they all won’t code on the job. Strong and weak students alike fear trying new things as they might fail. Be sure to build opportunities for collaboration and discussion. This kind of engagement is hard to measure. Students should generate their own solutions and time doesn’t have to be a constant.
  • Unplugging the hour of code In many ways code is numeracy and literacy.
  • Coding a story: probability and quick write prompts
  • Coding an interactive Map of Canada
  • Creating Fractal Art Using Pyton Ctmindset
  • Makey Makey Whack a Mole

4. A peak Inside My Classroom

  • The focus here is on computational thinking which can be used in a variety of subjects. It’s about breaking down problems and thinking in algorithms, logical reasoning, debugging, analyzing, simulating, and problem-solving, all of which can be done without technology. Rather than worksheets full of factoring problems, for example, Brian had students find a process for identifying factors of a number. If they could explain the process, they could factor any number. He also had them use the programming language Scratch to build an app to find factors. Some students just did the minimum while others spent time adding other features. This allowed for differentiating. This chapter also contains examples of how Brian used this approach in geometry, probability, algebra, and Minecraft. It ends with using it in language arts.
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