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[ Video ] Introducing Computational Thinking #CodeBreaker

[ Video ] Introducing Computational Thinking #CodeBreaker

Computational Thinking can take on a variety of forms. As a generalization – it means to solve problems using technology – either with existing technology, or by creating technology to do things we haven’t done before. Let’s face it: I have put together this short video below. Please feel free to share it with colleagues or at conferences. The more […]

Coding "Jump Scare" Halloween Props #CodeBreaker

Coding “Jump Scare” Halloween Props #CodeBreaker

Well, Halloween is just around the corner! What better opportunity to make use of the Micro:Bit accelerometer to build a script that responds to movement. Perhaps you want to make a haunted pumpkin? Perhaps you want to control your porch lights when kids approach? All possible with the Micro:Bit and OnShake command. In this video, […]

The Power of Teaching Math With Code #CodeBreaker

The Power of Teaching Math With Code #CodeBreaker

I have long been an advocate for constructivist learning. Experiences where students receive feedback from each other as well as the environment frees up the teacher to consolidate with others. I especially love finding the teachers with passions similar to mine. Jeramie Oliveira is a math teacher at Simi Valley High School and someone I […]

Coding to Learn: Multiplication Tables & Micro:Bit

Coding to Learn: Multiplication Tables & Micro:Bit

In this video we will build an app that chooses two random numbers and multiplies them together. The goal of the lesson is to create a game for students to practice multiplication tables (or addition, subtraction, division). As I mention in the video, there is plenty of opportunity to differentiate (two digit, three digit numbers, […]

Coding a Messenger App With Micro:Bit

Coding a Messenger App With Micro:Bit

In this tutorial we will use two micro:bits to broadcast messages to each other over bluetooth. This would be incredibly useful if teachers wanted students to code secret messages for a story, share historical facts with one another, make your own “heads up” game or even have teachers broadcast questions to students. The possibilities are […]

Breaking Blocks & Changing Lives

Breaking Blocks & Changing Lives

This morning I tweeted an article titled “Spatial skills higher among those who played with construction-based toys and video games in childhood.” It is a great read with many interesting points. From the article: Childhood play experiences strongly shape a person’s spatial skills, according to a new CIRES-led study—those skills can be critical to success […]

Coding Fact Triangles

Coding Fact Triangles

Fact Triangles are similar in some ways to flashcards although they are a better way of showing and practicing fact families. Fact Families are sets of three numbers that can be divided or multiplied together and they help develop the understanding of the relationship between multiplication and division. Below are two examples: Source: https://www.helpingwithmath.com/resources/oth_fact_triangles.htm A […]

A MindShare Moment Podcast - "It's OK to be where you are, it's not OK to stay there."

A MindShare Moment Podcast – “It’s OK to be where you are, it’s not OK to stay there.”

  Special thanks to Robert Martellacci for having me as a guest on the MindShare Moment Podcast. Always a pleasure to chat with you! Good luck with your grand opening! From the December issue of the MindShare Learning Report: At our recent Canadian EdTech Leadership Summit, I questioned why we are still talking about, ‘pockets of innovation.’ […]

Code Breaker Book Giveaway!

Code Breaker Book Giveaway!

Happy Computer Science Education Week! Happy indeed! My book, Code Breaker, was released yesterday. Here is the description from Amazon: “Crack the code for your students’ success! Future-ready students need to be creative. They need to know how to communicate their ideas and how to collaborate as problem solvers. To master these and other twenty-first-century requirements, they will need […]

Pedagogy Before The Hour of Code

Pedagogy Before The Hour of Code

  Hour of Code week (err….Computer Science Education Week) is quickly approaching and the number of participants continues to grow rapidly. Social media is full of smiling faces, glowing screens and happy teachers engaged in wonderful coding tutorials. But this is where it falls apart. Tutorials. The end. Done. Finished. The box is checked. Next! […]

Minecraft Mathland

Minecraft Mathland

    References: Drake, S.M. (2014). Designing across the curriculum for “sustainable well-being”: A 21st century approach. In F. Deer, T. Falkenberg, B. McMillan, & L. Sims (Eds.), Sustainable well-being: Concepts, issues, and educational practice (pp. 57–76). Winnipeg, MB: Education for Sustainable Well-Being (ESWB) Press. Retrieved from: www.eswbpress.org/uploads/1/2/8/9/12899389/sustainable_well-being_2014.pdf#page=65 Fullan, M. (2013). Great to excellent: Launching […]

Law of Large Numbers - Coding a Dice Roller Simulator

Law of Large Numbers – Coding a Dice Roller Simulator

This simulation demonstrates the law of large numbers, a key theorem in probability theory, which describes the result of performing the same experiment a large number of times.     According to the law, the average of the results obtained from a large number of trials should be close to the expected (theoretical) value, and […]

Paying Attention to Spatial Reasoning

Paying Attention to Spatial Reasoning

Paying Attention to Spatial Reasoning “Spatial thinking is integral to everyday life. People, natural objects, human-made objects, and human-made structures exist somewhere in space, and the interactions of people and things must be understood in terms of locations, distances, directions, shapes, and patterns.” (National Research Council, 2006, p. 5) What Is Spatial Reasoning? “Spatial thinking […]

10 Reasons Kids Should Learn to Code

10 Reasons Kids Should Learn to Code

Coding Improves Academic Performance Math: Coding helps kids visualize abstract concepts, lets them apply math to real-world situations, and makes math fun and creative! Writing: Kids who code understand the value of concision and planning, which results in better writing skills. Many kids even use Tynker as a medium for storytelling! Creativity: Kids learn through […]