28 Replies Latest reply on 13-Jul-2018 4:11 PM by cmoo16

    Module 4 Discussion

    teachontario.team

      Unplugged activities not only get students off devices, they tend to get them up and moving. As an intermediate teacher, my Data Management curriculum has us exploring mean, median, mode and a variety of graphs. Have you ever wondered how spreadsheets sort data when you click a column heading? Here are a variety of sorting algorithms used by computer programmers. After assigning students random numbers, you can easily implement “The Human Bubble Sort” into any math, drama or even dance activity! This one is a personal favourite with over a million views! You can watch it in the video above, in the right panel of the page.

       

      What did you like about this experience? How would you modify or use this experience for learners in the classroom? How can it be used to stimulate and engage learners across the curriculum? Post your thoughts in the thread below.

        • Re: Module 4 Discussion
          mattlet2002

          Looking at Module 4, I see coding less as a separate discipline and more as a reflection of things that we teach in the classroom each day.  The Boolean Algebra is very similar to the Boolean Search that happens in many libraries as we teach students to refine their Google Searches  or find resources in the Library Catalogue.  The "And Or Not" components are key parts of a search.  The visual demonstration in the Bubble Sort goes back to basic teach of math where we start with the hands on learning, move to visuals and then the abstract.  For some reason, we reach a Grade Level where we stop doing these steps even though we continue to teach new Math concepts.  I took some time exploring CSUnplugged and the printables were great.  Once again, things that we already do in the classroom have coding connections.  The binary numbers remind me of the paper plates with dots on them to teach Kindergarten students subitizing and number sense.

           

          One of my key learning is the importance of language and using coding related terminology as we teach Mathematics and Language skills and concepts.

            • Re: Module 4 Discussion

              I agree strongly that our approach to coding at school should not be limited to a separate discipline, but incorporated into the culture and acknowledged as effective learning and thinking tools.  Coding and computational thinking become an integral part of education and growth for everyone, not just a select group. These modules have shown me how much CS could encompass/include so many areas and ages.

                • Re: Module 4 Discussion
                  aspinabr

                  I've always said technology must be embedded in practice and not an event. However, the logistics of this are a bit far away. While computer labs are going away, mobile carts are coming - and they often need to be signed out. Baby steps in the right direction!

                    • Re: Module 4 Discussion

                      I am thankful for the access students have in our school to computing devices.  Students in grades 8-12 are given individual Chromebooks.  Students in grades 5-7 are assigned Chromebooks in a mobile cart for their individual grade.  Grades 2-4 have access to iPads from a mobile cart that must be scheduled.  We are working on getting individual teachers to be comfortable integrating technology into their learning/teaching.  Our two big problems can be teachers who don't want to add anything new to their teaching (rare) and the technology office not wanting to add anything new (common).  The tech office wants to only maintain networks, security, and police what we access on devices.

                      • Re: Module 4 Discussion
                        mattlet2002

                        Sometimes less technology is better.  I have seen some amazing work using Makey Makeys. iPads and laptops when there are only one or two in a classroom.  I think attitude has a lot to do with it.  If you really want to add technology and coding to your program, you will find a way, in most cases, using what is available to you.  The use of learning centres and collaboration between students can address many technology limitations.

                         

                        An identified issue with Math Instruction in Ontario is teachers' attitude and comfort level teaching Math.  Similar issues probably exist with Technology and Coding.

                    • Re: Module 4 Discussion
                      donnad

                      With 2 grades in one class, and having to teach math, language, social studies, science, phys ed, visual art, drama, dance and music, there's no way I could teach coding as a separate 'course'. In order to cover the curriculum, I have to integrate most things to make it doable. Plus, I think it makes things far more interesting  

                    • Re: Module 4 Discussion
                      room210math

                      I appreciated how the Human Bubble Sort was demonstrated methodically and through movement, quickly fulfilling one condition that the lowest number be on one end of the line. This process is about making comparisons. There are so many number comparisons in the curriculum, whether they are whole, fractions, decimals, percentages, integers, etc. This sort also demonstrates the use of benchmarks about which to place other numbers. All of this contributes to a sense of number. But, you could also sort geometric shapes and solids, units of measure, data you've collected. This would appeal to the physical, visual and social senses of our students.

                       

                      If we were to number students performing a folk dance, I wonder if numbers would always fall into a certain place as the dance progresses? Hmm.

                      • Re: Module 4 Discussion
                        donnad

                        Loved the activities on csunplugged! The Kidbot actually reminds me of an eqao question about describing the path on a grid (although they used numbers... 4 down, 3 to the left...).

                        I did an activity that was somewhat similar. We reviewed area and perimeter by using painters tape on the floor. Groups of three, created any shape on the tiled floor, then determined the area/perimeter of their shape. After they chose a start point on their shape, and created directions for other kids to listen in order to walk the perimeter and make their way back to the start. They loved it. They asked others groups if they could try theirs.

                        One of the printables I will use from the csunplugged site was the Job Badges (programmer, tester, bot). I think that will help some students work more as a team, and perhaps to see any errors as 'bugs' that the whole team can work on, rather than blaming someone in the group (not sure if anyone else has some students like that, or if it's just me).

                        • Re: Module 4 Discussion
                          charlandl

                          I can see how the bubble sort and the Bulgarian dance worked. However, I am still having trouble seeing how to apply it with the students.  With fractions, I could see maybe using the same concept, but we usually use known bench marks (0, 1/2, 1).  There are many great activities in CSunplugged....but how to make a correlation to my grade 7 curriculum? 

                          • Re: Module 4 Discussion
                            s_whit

                            I really liked the CSUnplugged lessons. The activities reminded me of several past EQAO grade 3 tasks, as well as a DPA Dance activity that I’ve done as a pictorial code/line writing task. I will be seeking out the Learning Carpet in my new location and using it to reinforce the GSS tasks via CSUnplugged introduced in the module (as well as modifying to make my own). I believe these tasks are appealing because of their accessibility. Regardless of what technology is available, all can participate and access. Additionally, GSS is one of our school’s key strands for focus. Several of these activities not only incorporate coding language, but directly address GSS expectations. A win-win! DPA, Coding, Mathematics, what’s not to love?

                             

                            On a side note, I find algorithms complex and difficult to wrap my head around... I loved that the video helped me ‘see’ algorithms, even though I want to dissect it and break it down, and am still struggling to see the ‘language’, I recognize I need more time and practice to help my brain truly grasp the concept and be able to truly digest the many facets/depth of algorithms... For those, like myself who benefit from differentiated instruction, you may want to check out this ‘Kiddle’ version of a definition for algorithms: Algorithm Facts for Kids

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                            • Re: Module 4 Discussion
                              mckinnonab

                              Definitely some great activities.  Just looking at 'The Human Bubble Sort' gives me lots of ideas.  It would be easy to modified (IEP) the activities: least amount of moves, a range a moves, more difficult sequence of numbers, etc.  This would also allow a teacher to implement flexible groupings, or not.  Great site!

                              • Re: Module 4 Discussion
                                yolantak

                                I've always liked the CS Unplugged site too! I don't teach math, so I try to find other ways of incorporating CS. My student's favourite would be the Personalized binary code ornaments we make before Christmas. I just used white and red beads on green pipe cleaner. Always a hit!

                                 

                                I liked the Bubble Sort using the Hungarian Folk Dance. I can use this for when I teach dance. I usually have students analyze dances using the elements. I can definitely get them to create a Bubble Sort dance!

                                • Re: Module 4 Discussion
                                  christinavp

                                  To say that we are teaching in tricky times is an understatement. Technology is infused in daily life, but it is also resisted. People are frustrated with no cell service (especially in present-day Apple Hill, ON where my husband was raised), but they also can't seem to leave their phones alone... waiting for that next message or email to come through. The 20-to-40something-year-olds may have been raised unplugged, but the new generation has not. It breaks my heart when I am responding to course material or work email and one of my boys tries to give me a hug: a reminder that there is more to life than technology - and my boys are trying to connect with me as I am distracted by tech.

                                   

                                  To provide the activities from CS Unplugged for our students is to grant them another opportunity at life. After all, that is our role, is it not? To stretch their experiences beyond what they already have and know? The activities from the website listed are wonderful for kinesthetic learners, for those with IEPs, for those who hate technology... but all the while, they also show to the students that 'coding' is not new, nor is it tied inextricably to tech. To use this 'low/no tech' version of experiences, I would choose to incorporate it sporadically throughout their day, week, month. But what about those with limited mobility? They can become the mastermind 'programmer.' What of those with intellectual disabilities? They can take the role of moving around as instructed... it is also great for them to hear, comprehend and act on the instructions from their peers (providing it is supportive!)

                                   

                                  I would love to introduce this prior to any form of computer coding. I can see it being a useful tool for Math in GSS, where students learn on paper, then on a physical form (I like the floor tiles and have put sticky notes down to identify grids). From there, we could move into coding - causing students to reflect on the paper and physical learning prior to trying to program for set responses. I absolutely love the idea of having to write out the actions, too, so that students can think about their instructions. I had never thought of algorithms being similar to recipes... that was a neat association for my brain!

                                    • Re: Module 4 Discussion
                                      donnad

                                      Glad you brought up accommodating mobility needs and intellectual needs. In our board all students are included in age appropriate classes regardless of disability. It can be a challenge to create meaningful learning experiences to include all students. We had a student who was quite skilled with her wheelchair, and as long as there was enough room to turn her chair, she would be able to do the floor grid activities. Another student requires the Teacher or an EA to wheel her. She is working on discriminating sounds, showing an understanding of beginning numbers, etc. I am thinking that she could possibly press a musical button for forward, press a different sound for turn... She could also press the button the same amount of times as steps needed. The adult would have to tell her these instructions and guide her but it may be a time to include some of her goals with the code.

                                    • Re: Module 4 Discussion
                                      cmoo16

                                      I found the Human Bubble Sort interesting because it took me a while to recognize that this was more then just a folk dance (even though the dancers were wearing numbers!). It also made me think about how curriculum expectations/everyday tasks can support computer science and coding, which led me to the blog about 5 Super-Cool Offline Coding Activities http://info.thinkfun.com/stem-education/5-super-cool-offline-coding-activities . Since these activities are fun, engaging and differentiateable (some more than others) I hope to use them for grade 1 and 2 next year. Lastly, Brian's opening comment about sports and coding ties into B2.2 H&PE expectation about applying tactics to increase chances of success in physical activities (like games),,,,brilliant!