2016

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Genius Hour - Looking Back to Move Forward

Genius Hour – Looking Back to Move Forward

The Reggio Emilia Approach is an innovative and inspiring approach to early childhood education which values the child as strong, capable and resilient; rich with wonder and knowledge. Every child brings with them deep curiosity and potential and this innate curiosity drives their interest to understand their world and their place within it. Source: http://www.aneverydaystory.com/beginners-guide-to-reggio-emilia/main-principles/ […]

The Importance of Mental Health: Remembering Amy Winehouse

The Importance of Mental Health: Remembering Amy Winehouse

When Back to Black landed 10 years ago today (October 27, 2006), some dismissed Winehouse as little more than a novelty. Here was a tatted-up, boozed-out Brit bringing hip-hop vernacular into vintage American R&B. Even her name — conveniently abbreviated to “Wino” by the U.K. press — made her appear a cartoon character, a switchblade […]

Maker is a Culture, Not a Space

Maker is a Culture, Not a Space

Makerspace is a growing trend in education that requires aligned pedagogical beliefs and philosophies, but unfortunately gets implemented without much foundation, research or understanding of constructivism. Maker culture leans heavily on the idea of constructivism – that is, the notion that learning is best done through doing. “I am convinced that the best learning takes […]

Coding a Simulator: Particle Theory & Heat

Coding a Simulator: Particle Theory & Heat

In this activity we are coding a particle theory simulator using Geometry that shows how particles speed up when heated. Source: http://static.nsta.org/files/ss1403_10.pdf Big Ideas: Computational Thinking (Debugging, Logical Reasoning, Spatial Sense) Geometry (Location & Movement) Science (Viscosity, Flow Rate, Particle Theory)   TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+LinkedinemailReddit

Coding Random Letter Games With Scratch

Coding Random Letter Games With Scratch

In this challenge we are going to create a Stopwatch (Countdown timer) and Random Letter Generator using Scratch. Big Ideas: Computational Thinking (logical reasoning, debugging) Mathematical Thinking (greater than, less than, integers, random) Literacy (consonants and vowels, parts of speech, rhyming, patterns of speech) Activity: You might wish to do this activity as a class and […]

Coding & Inquiry - Determining Integer Operation Rules Through Observation

Coding & Inquiry – Determining Integer Operation Rules Through Observation

In this challenge, students can code an app to determine the rules for addition, subtraction, multiplication or division of two integers. Classroom application: For more lessons, activities and ideas, grab a copy of my book, Code Breaker, on Amazon here! After building this Scratch app, have students run through a set of different numbers and […]

Physical Literacy & Math: Coding the Beep Test

Physical Literacy & Math: Coding the Beep Test

In this challenge we are going to write code to simulate the Beep Test training program using Button A as input to trigger the application. Big Ideas: Computational Thinking (logical reasoning, patterning, debugging, analyzing) Number Sense (Intervals, Data Ranges) Physical Education (Running, Sprinting, Interval Training)   The multi-stage fitness test, also known as the beep test is a […]

Coding a Story: Probability & Quick Write Prompts

Coding a Story: Probability & Quick Write Prompts

In this challenge we are going to code three Micro:Bits to display 1) Characters, 2) The setting and 3) The problem. As an added bonus, students would code each Micro:Bit to randomly choose one criteria from a set list. Big Ideas: Writing a narrative story Computational Thinking (design thinking, logical reasoning, debugging, conditional statements) Probability […]

Physical Literacy & Coding - MicroBit Step Counter

Physical Literacy & Coding – MicroBit Step Counter

In this challenge we are going to code the MicroBit to track steps.   Using the OnShake command, the Micro:Bit can detect movement. First you will want to create a variable. I called my “steps”. You’ll see from the screenshot below that I increment “steps” by one every time the device detects movement. I also use […]

Creating Simulations: Coin Flipping With Micro:Bit #CodeBreaker

Creating Simulations: Coin Flipping With Micro:Bit #CodeBreaker

Task: In this activity, students will create a working coin flipping simulator using the Micro:Bit (or online simulation). Learning Goals: • Compare experimental probabilities with the theoretical probability of an outcome involving independent events. • Create simple algorithms that reflect computational thinking • Create visual representations of problems and data • Explore visual programming For […]

STEAM: Creating Strong Intellectual Skills

STEAM: Creating Strong Intellectual Skills

In the article “Why the Arts Make Sense in Education” Linda Nathan makes claim that “our young people need to be immersed in artistic experiences (and) they must also develop strong intellectual skills” (p.178) which sounds very similar to Papert’s Mathland when describing LOGO in Mindstorms. “The Turtle World was a microworld, a ‘place,’ a […]