caputos

TLLP-Cardinal Newman CES Cracking the Math Code: Engaging Students and Fostering Learning Through Coding and Robotics

Blog Post created by caputos on Jun 6, 2019

Meet our TLLP Team: Melanie Di Carlantonio, Ben Goetz and Sylvia Caputo-Rostami

Why Coding & Robotics?

¨Coding is a fundamental computational thinking skill of the modern world...Coding is an employable skill that teaches students to solve problems, take risks, think critically and logically while being empowered to fail in a safe environment” (Edugains.ca).

 

The Cardinal Newman Coding TLLP team has been using the inquiry process to help students to use coding and robotics to make real life connections to the math curriculum -  specifically targeting the math processes and the important 21st century skills such as problem solving, communication, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration. We also have learned that it can be connected to the learning skills (e.g., collaboration, initiative, responsibility, organization and self-regulation) and the Catholic Graduate Expectations (e.g., A Collaborative Contributor, A Self-Directed, Responsible, Lifelong Learner and A Reflective, Creative and Holistic Thinker) and other curriculum areas such as:

  1.      Visual Arts: painting with Sphero
  2.      Social Studies: mapping skills using positional language/direction
  3.      Religion: retelling the Easter story and the Nativity  
  4.      Language- retelling stories
  5.      Science: structures and systems

 

 Description of our TLLP Project:

 Our Goals:

 *Learn about using coding to elevate math pedagogy and teaching of the Ontario Math Curriculum, computational thinking, mathematical reasoning and 21st century skills/competencies.

*Use coding and technology to support learning.

*Support well-being and achievement of students through meaningful engagement in learning and innovation, provide equity of access to students of different races, genders, abilities, socio-economic status who may not otherwise have access to similar opportunities.

*Research pedagogy related to coding and computational thinking, why it's important, apply learning in our classrooms, develop strategies and resources, and share our learning and resources with others throughout Ontario and beyond!

 

 

Over the past year, our TLLP team has had many professional learning opportunities, which probably would not otherwise been possible.  We attended the BIT conference in November in Niagara Falls.  We learned  which robotics to purchase and how to use them with our students. We also arranged for Logics Academy to come to our classes for a hands-on robotics session for each of our classes. We hosted a robotics session at our Girls’ and Boys’ Night In. We established tech buddies within the school. We presented our TLLP project to staff at a staff meeting. We hosted Cardinal Newman’s first HOUR of CODE, every class in the school participated in coding for an hour. (This was led by the grade 4 and grade 8 students).  We also hosted STEMsploration during Catholic Education Week.  Each class attended a 40-minute robotics session using Dash or Sphero. 

Our Journey

 

Over the past year, our TLLP team has had many professional learning opportunities, which probably would not otherwise been possible.  We attended the BIT conference in November in Niagara Falls.  We learned  which robotics to purchase and how to use them with our students. We also arranged for Logics Academy to come to our classes for a hands-on robotics session for each of our classes. We hosted a robotics session at our Girls’ and Boys’ Night In. We established tech buddies within the school. We presented our TLLP project to staff at a staff meeting. We hosted Cardinal Newman’s first HOUR of CODE, every class in the school participated in coding for an hour. (This was led by the grade 4 and grade 8 students).  We also hosted STEMsploration during Catholic Education Week.  Each class attended a 40-minute robotics session using Dash or Sphero. 

 

Reflections…

 

Since being involved in a TLLP, our teaching practices have changed to include more inquiry-based learning. We have observed an increase in  student engagement and authentic problem solving. Our project helped foster student leaders and develop their confidence to teach others.  They developed a growth mindset and perseverance.  In response to student enthusiasm parent council elected to purchase additional tech.  Fellow teachers have also given us positive feedback.  Many teachers are excited to take part in a coding club in the fall.  Overall, our school community was extremely receptive and is looking forward to using the robotics in the Maker Space that will be created in the fall.  To learn more about our TLLP project, please visit our Twitter handle @cracking_code.

 

Outcomes