Prior to presenting Hour of Code lessons in my classroom, and eventually to my entire school, my knowledge of computer programming was limited to knowing it had something to do with ones and zeroes. I understood a lot of work went into constructing the digital world we now rely on, but what that work entailed was hazy at best. In fact, prior to Hour of Code, I didn't know the second week of December was Computer Science Education Week, which is when Hour of Code is held. It was all thanks to a buzz on Twitter that I first heard about Hour of Code’s launch in 2013 and its simple, but powerful, mission: to expose children (and adults!) to one hour of computer science. After a trial run with my class the first year, I dove in headfirst and presented Hour of Code lessons in every class at my pre-kindergarten-through-second-grade school -- and with only a little prep, so can you!
Catherine Good has experienced stereotype threat herself, although she didn’t know it at the time. She started her academic career in pure math, expecting to get a Ph.D. But somewhere along the way she started to feel like it just wasn’t for her, even though she was doing well in all her classes. Thinking that she’d just chosen the wrong application for her love of math, Good switched to math education, where she first encountered the idea of stereotype threat from a guest psychology speaker.
“As he talked about students feeling that they don’t really belong, I had an epiphany,” Good said. She realized the discomfort she’d felt studying mathematics had nothing to do with her ability or qualifications and everything to do with a vague sense that she didn’t belong in a field dominated by men. Stereotype threat is a term coined by psychologists Joshua Aronson and Claude Steele. They found that pervasive cultural stereotypes that marginalize groups, like “girls aren’t good at math,” create a threatening environment and affects academic achievement.
Good was so fascinated by how powerful psychological forces can be on learning, including her own, that she switched fields again to study social psychology, and she ended up working closely with Carol Dweck for several years when Dweck’s growth mindset work was in its early stages and not yet well-known among educators. Good now works at a psychology professor at Baruch College. Originally, Dweck and Good hypothesized that believing intelligence is flexible — what we now call a growth mindset — could protect students from stereotype threat, an inherently fixed idea.
It took 200,000 years for our human population to reach 1 billion—and only 200 years to reach 7 billion. But growth has begun slowing, as women have fewer babies on average. When will our global population peak? And how can we minimize our impact on Earth’s resources, even as we approach 11 billion?
"Encouraging your kids to get involved with coding is one of the best things you can do for them as an insurance against their future; there will never be a shortage of tech-related jobs. Preparing children early on will help them have the necessary skills to find a great job in their career or even create a startup of their own. Your child could be the next to create bots that simplify businesses or social platforms that cultivate a community. When it comes to coding, it’s never too early to get started.``
Are you on the fence on whether or not you should introduce a programming curriculum next school year? The easy answer is that you ABSOLUTELY should! But, for those who are not as easily convinced, we have put together a list of the top 10 reasons why we believe coding should be taught to every child.
When Assistant Professor Karen Brennan talks with teachers about how to get started with computer programming in K-12 classrooms, the most common concern she hears is, “What do I do if my students get stuck on a really hard problem? What if I don’t know the answer?”
This practice guide provides five recommendations for improving students’ mathematical problem solving in grades 4 through 8. This guide is geared toward teachers, math coaches, other educators, and curriculum developers who want to improve the mathematical problem solving of students.
Teachers Learning Code has been designed for primary school teachers with little to no coding experience to be able to teach coding fundamentals to their students. We'll walk teachers through a how-to guide and lesson planning tool to help them teach kids to code.
Does your school participate in the Hour of Code each December? Looking to integrate computer science into the school day all year long? Here are a handful of my favorite resources for computer science and coding. Teachers who are ready to jump into the Hour of Code or looking for inspiration as they design a new curriculum will find lots to choose from on this list. If you have a favorite listed here or one you think should be added to the list, share your story in the comments at the bottom of the post.
"The skills needed to solve an equation, plan a project, or develop an outline for a writing assignment show similarities. They include important problem solving competencies that students need throughout their lifetime. Computational thinking (CT) can magnify problem-solving skills needed to address authentic, real-world issues. The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) worked together to develop materials to help educators understand, value, and implement computational thinking in K–12 education. Visit iste.org/computational-thinking for more information."
"This game was inspired by one we saw in the SPRK Lightning Lab (though I didn’t save it and couldn’t find it on a quick search). The Lightning Lab has so many awesome ideas (programs and activities). We love scrolling through them to find things to do.
For this game you’ll need a target. I made this printable which is 4 sheets of paper stapled together (I forgot to set my printer as being full bleed (no margins) but was fine with how this looked. You could always trim the margins if you printer prints them."
We’ve all seen it happen to a child confronting long division, or a teenager grappling with geometry. We’ve even done it ourselves. The frustrated pencil drop, the defeated shoulder slump, and finally, the resigned proclamation: “I just can’t get this. I’m not a math person.” But what does being a “math person” really mean? And more important, how can teachers help every student feel prepared and excited to tackle new concepts in mathematics?
Do you remember watching your math teacher solve a problem on the blackboard and then diligently trying to copy her technique to solve the other problems on your worksheet? That’s the way many of us learned math. The problem is, we absorbed some counterproductive messages in the process. As it turns out, there isn’t always one best way to solve a given problem.
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