## 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

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

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

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 […]

## Geometry and STEM – Catch the Coins Game

In this challenge we are going to code a game in which players must catch coins on the Micro:Bit. Big Ideas: Geometry – Location & Movement Computational Thinking (breaking down problems) Conditional Statements Block coding We will use the accelerometer as input to move the LED light patterns. To begin, we will create a sprite […]

## Coding a BeatBox with Micro:Bit #CodeBreaker

In this challenge we are going to code a simple script that plays sounds based on inputs to the Micro:Bit.     Our sounds will be triggered by the Pins and input buttons A and B. We will display different LED light patterns corresponding to each input to give an equalizer feel. We will use […]

## Micro:Bit – Coding Word Games #CodeBreaker

In this challenge we are going to create a Stopwatch (Countdown timer) and Random Letter Generator using the micro:bit.   Our program will use input button A and the LEDs as an output: Button A will trigger a random letter Button A on the timer will start the countdown   Step by Step Solution Watch […]

## 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 […]

## Swirlly – Online Spirograph

As part of the requirements for my latest MPed course, I created swirlly for students to inquire about changing variables and drawing circles. The goal of this course was to explore STEAM – more specifically how to engage kids in arts and mathematics. As a grade 8 math teacher, I thought the spirograph would be […]

## 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 […]

## Minecraft: Spatial Sense, Structures & Growing Patterns

Last Saturday marked the 2nd TEDxKitchenerED at the Centre for International Governance Innovation downtown. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to share the stage with some very amazing folks from across Ontario. Check out the speaker line-up here. During intermission, I had an interesting conversation with Jamie Weir, Will Gourley and Dina […]

## The Myth of Average

The notion of “wide walls”,  “low floor – high ceiling”, “multiple entry points”, and “personalized learning” have me in a bit of a tiff this morning. Yup, a TIFF. All great ideas and proven to provide confidence in learners when all can be successful but how can we truly provide multiple entry points, “rich” […]

## Have You Ever Flown Bearskin Airlines?

Recently I had the opportunity to visit some very northern parts of our beautiful Province. Full disclosure, I consider Sudbury to be quite north and it isn’t even half way to Sioux Lookout, so I was slightly apprehensive about this trek. I experienced the wonderful Bearkin Airlines and met some very friendly people who could […]

## Coding Rock, Paper, Scissors to Teach Probability

This application will randomly select Rock, Paper or Scissors for two players and determine the winner. Check out the source code and give it a try for yourself! Project Page: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/102855970/ Source: Demo:   TwitterFacebookPinterestLinkedinemailReddit

## Coding Can Help With “Math War”

I just finished reading ‘Math war’ more about words than numbers, says Peel teacher. This Peel teacher just happens to be my good buddy Jonathan So and he will give a keynote on the issue April 2 at an annual Peel conference. In the article Jonathan pushes to make kids doers of math instead of just […]

## The Real Value of Computer Science

The coding movement certainly has gained a great deal of traction in a very short period of time. When you consider Seymour Papert’s work in the 70s and 80s, the last three years of Hour of Code are only a small, but significant blip on the historical timeline of Computer Science integration as a compulsory credit […]

## Hacking the Classroom

Last week I had the most fortunate opportunity to attend Microsoft’s E2 Global Educator Exchange conference in Budapest, Hungary. The E2 – Educator Exchange is Microsoft in Education’s annual event recognizing and celebrating the achievements of educators who combine content, pedagogy, and technology in exemplary ways to prepare students for success. This event brings […]