Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Coding: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

This is my favorite time of year. Yes it's the holiday season, but Computer Science Week falls in December. We have many initiatives in the district, and some take a while for everyone to jump on the band wagon and process, but Computer Science is just a no brainer. I love the fact that this year we just didn’t call it the “Hour of Code”, we called it computer science. When we change our mindset to this it’s more than just a moment for students and teachers to do. It becomes embedded in the curriculum and it becomes a lifestyle that just happens in the classroom.

I walked around campus and lurked on Twitter to see all of the great things happening. I couldn’t make it to all the rooms, but what I did see where students and teachers working together to problem solve, communicate, and collaborate to complete a task. There was no theory behind it, no workshop, and not even yours truly giving a professional development on how this could work. It was truly something organic that was happening in the classroom. Everyone loved it. Some teachers were even shocked and amazed at the fact how groups were getting along to figure out a tasks.

One of the biggest tasks I had to do myself was to figure out how to get this moving on my campus without a hitch. The quickest thing for a teacher to say when introducing something new is “I don’t have time for this” and “I have grades to do”. How do I make something fun that everyone will like to do and still have teachers go on with the day to day tasks of teachers teaching content.

I actually love the fact that we used social media this year to track how other schools are coding insteading of using lines on the code.org site. For my teachers I didn’t want to worry them about logins and passwords (at least not on the coding platform); I wanted them to just code. For two days I looked at every content and extra curricular activity in my building and chose vocabulary words and activities that were dedicated to that content. I even gave options each day for plugged and unplugged activities. I even created a website for teachers to do activities as well. #nocodingexcuses I wanted to make sure that the code activities blended into something that they were already doing. Take my band teacher for example. I knew that there was no way he was going to have time to do any coding activities in his room because he had to prepare his band students for the Holiday Concert this week. Every second and minute counted. So, all I had him do was discuss vocabulary terms like persistence, debugging, and looping while he rehearsed with his students. This way he could participate and explain to his students how these “programming” words relate to music. It was a definite win win. Students even wanted to do the mannequin challenge and code. All this was student and teacher driven. This really showed me that students and teachers have a passion not just with coding or programing, but with technology integration. It’s something that I choose to keep going on my campus all year.

Feel free to take a look at how all this was laid out HERE!

Coding 101 in Greenspoint Elementary's Library

IMG_0102.JPGIMG_0131.JPGIMG_0110.JPGIMG_0106.JPGDecember 5-9th we celebrated Computer Science week. Students started with the tutorials to become masters at creating their own games, and building different pictures. The students and professionals at Greenspoint Elementary have shown tremendous growth with coding, and have moved on to the advance stages of the program. We are all super excited to see where coding takes our students and to continue to watch them grow and learn with technology on campus. Ms. Glass came into the library and did an unplugged version of coding with the students, and Ms. Schuler sat down and helped the students learn how to code.

Article written by Victoria Benitez, GPe ILS

Monday, December 12, 2016

Houston STARS can Code!!!!

The Houston STARS Social Studies classes demonstrated their ability to code by participating in an Hour of Code. The students started out with the Classic Maze and then broadened their coding skills by working on Minecraft, Star Wars, Frozen and Artist. The students really enjoyed competing against each other to see who can program the levels first. We even tied in some Social Studies information with Computer Science. On December 7th, 75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor, I asked the students, "If Pearl Harbor would have had today's technology could that tragic and horrifying event been foreseen and stopped. The amazing kids gave various answers to why but one student stood out. He said, "If the soldiers at Pearl Harbor would have been able to have access to our satellites and radars they would have been able to identify the planes sooner and would have taken action."

Raymond Academy Computer Science Week!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

What! Twitter fame!

After posting on monday to twitter, we were pleasantly surprised to see ourselves in the code combat email on Tuesday:

Escamilla - Monday 12/5


Ms. Burleson's class spent some time learning how to code their own game using Code Combat. They struggled but as one student had a success they would share with the group and together they started to figure it out.

Bussey Girls Rockin Python and Code Combat

Bussey Girls Rockin Python and Code Combat

So proud to see girls from Ms. Martin's 4th grade class working together learning Python and conquering Code Combat (www.codecombat.com)

Monday, December 5, 2016

First Day of Computer Science Education Week in ALDINE!!!!!

It's officially time for us to celebrate!


We can all now share our love for Computer Science all over Aldine (not that you were already)! In conjuction with Computer Science Education Week, all iTechs are engaging students and staff in the importance of #CSforALL by exposing every campus in unique activities and lessons using computer science!

This blog is officially open for business. Please, don't hesitate to post a quick clip, photos, testimonials, infographics, etc. of what's happening on your campus this week and BEYOND!

All itechs should:
-  share your campus CS plans here.
-  Check to make sure you are a contributor on this blog (check your email--it was sent a few weeks ago.)
- Tweet out what's happening on your campus!

When posting on this blog, make sure you include the title of your post as well as use labels (your school name and anything else specific, ie, code.org, TYNKER, unplugged, etc.)

We look forward to seeing what's happening around Aldine!

Oh, and don't forget about sharing via Social Media...You can use the CSEW BINGO Card below!!!