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        • Jessika Charvis
          Jessika Charvis published a blog post Unit 5 in the group CS for Teachers Spring 2020
          Unit 5 Part A B. For this assignment, I couldn't decide between two projects that I had done. So I decided to pick both of them. I think that I did my best on the turtle creation as well as the dance-off code using the bot. First, with the...
            • Gerald Ardito
              Gerald Ardito

              Jessika,

              First, you did a terrific job designing an learning activity for your students (via the work for Unit 5). I was particularly interesting in seeing that you choose text based coding as the medium, as this is usually not the case in elementary grades (although I have done this work with 4th and 5th graders and they can definitely "get it."

              And I agree that the Turtle Blocks and MBot Dance Off comprised your best work this semester. I think you like doing things, instead of, say, just reading about them. Your creativity really shone through.

              Thanks for all this good work.

               

            • Nicole Tartaglia
              Nicole Tartaglia published a blog post Unit 5 in the group CS for Teachers Spring 2020
              A.  Design.  1. Essential Questions and Learning Objectives for the project. Essential Questions: How does coding play a role in our everyday life? How does noticing spelling patterns help us to read and spell...
                • Gerald Ardito
                  Gerald Ardito

                  Nicole,

                  I really, really liked what you have done with this final project. I think that the students will find new ways to approach the learning of words by programming (and showing off) their mBots. I was thinking  of a couple of ways to extend this work:

                  1. You could add a marker to the bottom of the robots, so that the robots can actually draw the words on craft paper. You can then use these mBot generated writings as anchor charts, perhaps.

                  2. You could distribute the words so that there is a class set of word programs for the mBot. I am wondering how distributing the ownership for certain words would support (or not) student learning. I hope you get a chance to investigate that at some point.

                   

                  And I agree, I think your work with the mBots was your best work this semester.  What you said here:

                   I was intrigued with the project, I even continued to try out some other code and see what happened. 

                  is exactly what I have seen happen with students of all ages (grade 4 to graduate school). There is something inherently compelling about working with robots, and the coding can be easily modified to match any student's interests.

                  Thanks for this great work.

                • Samantha Gray
                  Samantha Gray published a blog post Unit 5 in the group CS for Teachers Spring 2020
                  A. Design    Since we are all stuck at home, I wanted to create a coding project for my 6 year old students that you be fun, get the students moving, and could get the family involved. Our students have been glued to their screens...
                    • Gerald Ardito
                      Gerald Ardito

                      Sam,

                      The project you designed is just terrific. I can see this really working with the younger children with whom your work (and their families). What I also love is that it is not just one thing. The kids can make as many mazes as they want. And/or they could add rules, like navigating the maze in so much time, or only being able to move backwards or something like that. And/or they could create maze challenges for other kids.

                      I agree that your work with the mBots represents the best work you have done this semester. But I don't see a link here. Can you add it? You can do so by click on the "Edit" button above.

                      • Samantha Gray
                        Samantha Gray

                        Hello Dr. Ardito,

                        I knew I was forgetting something! I edited my post and included the link. 

                        I am glad you enjoyed the project I created. I do think this project would be great for the students I work with. I think I am going to try this out when I have my own classroom! 

                         

                      • Samantha Gray
                        Attached is a link to our Google Drive file. Inside you will find three videos. The first video is of our Mbot dancing to the song 'September' by Earth, Wind & Fire. The second and third video is our dealers choice...
                          • Gerald Ardito
                            Gerald Ardito

                            Sam and Nicole,

                            I was so tickled by your work on this project (these projects). 
                            Clearly, you have worked out the coding part. But the fun, whimsy, and, most importantly, kindness really made my day.

                            Great job!

                            • Samantha Gray
                              Samantha Gray

                              Dr Ardito,

                              We are so happy you enjoyed our work and even happier we made your day! :) 

                               

                               

                            • Jessika Charvis
                              Jessika Charvis uploaded the file Unit 2 Part 4 in the group CS for Teachers Spring 2020
                                • Jessika Charvis
                                  Jessika Charvis

                                  This will be for 6th grade

                                  • Gerald Ardito
                                    Gerald Ardito

                                    Jessica,

                                    You did a really nice job with this lesson plan.

                                    And I appreciated what you said in your reflection about challenges with both block based and text based coding.

                                    In my experience, these challenges come in when you have moved beyond the intuitive parts of things. For example, in Turtle Blocks or Scratch, getting characters to move is not so complicated. I am confident this is because the blocks (forward, turn) are concrete in the sense that the match exactly what you want to do. However, when you want to do something more interesting and/or more complex, like getting the turtle to move under certain conditions OR move in certain ways under certain conditions, then there is a level of abstraction required. The challenge is not with the coding itself, but with finding the right level of abstraction to help you understand and then solve the problem.

                                    Does that make sense?
                                    What do you think?

                                    • Kendall Stevenson
                                      Kendall Stevenson

                                      Hi Jessica, your lesson plan is the cats meow, have you tried using MBlock-Maker. I've had a lot of fun using it to make my Mbot dance. (https://youtu.be/U0hheUwLIvg) I think that this is something that you will enjoy.

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                                      • Samantha Calvert
                                        Samantha Calvert commented on the blog Fun with Python
                                        I prefer using python to turtle blocks. It might have been the way it was organized with the videos/instructions in between each action but overall I felt it was more user friendly. I was getting confused with turtle blocks and when I made a...
                                        • Samantha Calvert
                                          Samantha Calvert published a blog post Fun with Python
                                          https://trinket.io/python/1d23929863   https://trinket.io/python/3d8e4ddf33   https://trinket.io/python/788b4541e5
                                            • Gerald Ardito
                                              Gerald Ardito

                                              Samantha,

                                              Thanks.

                                              In the first one, you clearly went to town with circles!

                                              I love the poem.

                                              My favorite is the circle of circles. 

                                              I hope you had fun.

                                              I am really eager to know about your experience of this text-based coding. How did you find it? What did you find most surprising? Most challenging? What did you learn?

                                               

                                               

                                              • Samantha Calvert
                                                Samantha Calvert

                                                I prefer using python to turtle blocks. It might have been the way it was organized with the videos/instructions in between each action but overall I felt it was more user friendly. I was getting confused with turtle blocks and when I made a mistake it was hard to go back. Using python I was able to copy and paste things more quickly. 

                                                • Gerald Ardito
                                                  Gerald Ardito

                                                  Samantha,

                                                  Over time, I find myself much less interested personally in block based coding. I can see it as engaging introduction to the text based (real) coding, and like Python a great deal for all the reasons you said.

                                                  I would be interested in skipping the block based steps that I usually use with elementary/middle school aged children and just dive into text based coding.

                                                  Thanks for the discussion.

                                                • Samantha Calvert
                                                  Samantha Calvert published a blog post Unit 2 Week 2 Turtle Blocks in the group CS for Teachers Spring 2020
                                                  I made a sun and house. Not as easy as I thought it would be!    https://turtle.sugarlabs.org/index.html?id=1581382513472036&run=True
                                                    • Gerald Ardito
                                                      Gerald Ardito

                                                      Samantha,

                                                      Thanks for this project. I particularly liked this:

                                                      Not as easy as I thought it would be! 

                                                      One of the things that I really like about Turtle Blocks is that it is deceptively easy. That makes it really easy to get started with (and I have spent a lot of time using it with 4th through 8th grade students (and grad students!). But it also has the capacity to do incredibly complex things, so there is room for lots of challenge and growth.

                                                      I am curious to know a bit about what it was like for you to learn this block based language and to express yourself (at least a little) with it. Please do share.

                                                    • Samantha Calvert
                                                      Samantha Calvert uploaded the file Hokey Pokey Program
                                                      • Samantha Calvert
                                                        Samantha Calvert published a blog post Unit 2 Part 1 Code is Poetry in the group CS for Teachers Spring 2020
                                                        Based on this week's readings, Computational Thinking means many things but at the core of it all I think it means problem solving. To have CT you have to be a problem solver. According to the text, Computational Thinking for Teacher Education,...
                                                          • Gerald Ardito
                                                            Gerald Ardito

                                                            Samantha,

                                                            I thoroughly enjoyed reading your response to these readings (and I love what you said about constructivism being "sold" to teachers).

                                                            You have done a really good job understanding and seeking to integrate the readings. Your post is full of your process in doing so.

                                                            This, in particular, really jumped out at me:

                                                            That is a big task. As I thought about the big picture, I also knew I would have to break this down, step by step. The ideas of the texts I had just read were swirling and I stood up and started to do the Hokey Pokey--very slowly--so that I could ensure I would not miss any steps for the program I would have to write. I also replayed the song MANY times! So, when we think of programming language along slide human language, they are not very different after all. Each human move we make requires a small piece of programming language.

                                                            This is exactly the intent of this course! Thanks so much for articulating it in your own words.

                                                          • Samantha Calvert
                                                            Samantha Calvert commented on the blog Unit 1 Week 2
                                                            Jessika,  I agree with many of your points. I speciaifally agree with your points about the debate that occured. It did need to occur. Although, I might have thought the participants would have been slightly more professional I think we can...
                                                            • Samantha Calvert
                                                              Samantha Calvert commented on the blog Unit 1 Week 2 Historian Debate
                                                              Thank you. I will try to check out the resourses you recommend.  Wow! I am so shocked that Brian Dear agreed to participate and then backed out! Maybe we can try again. 
                                                              • Samantha Calvert
                                                                Samantha Calvert published a blog post Unit 1 Week 2 Historian Debate in the group CS for Teachers Spring 2020
                                                                Well the history of computer science is much more intense that I ever imagined. After this week’s reading, I am almost embarrassed in myself to have been so naive to the controversy that seems to have been involved with technology from the get...
                                                                  • Gerald Ardito
                                                                    Gerald Ardito

                                                                     

                                                                    Samantha,

                                                                    I was really taken in your post by your response to the humanity of many of the folks involved in the development of CS as it pertains to education. If you are eager for more (and a more in depth look at the development of CS and CS in education, I highly recommend M. Mitchell Waldrop's The Dream Machine. It is one of my all time favorites (and Alan Kay is extensively discussed). Most importantly, you get a very real sense that the field was constructed and developed by people.

                                                                    Like you, I was surprised and intrigued by the amount of discord and even animosity in their interactions. In fact, take a look at my comments here regarding my dealings with Brian Dear last year.

                                                                    I have been fascinated to learn more about PLATO. I read Brian Dear's book last year and was just astounded by the PLATO system and the community which sprung up around it (and of which, clearly, Dear is still a member).

                                                                    Thanks for doing such great work with this blog post.

                                                                    • Samantha Calvert
                                                                      Samantha Calvert

                                                                      Thank you. I will try to check out the resourses you recommend. 

                                                                      Wow! I am so shocked that Brian Dear agreed to participate and then backed out! Maybe we can try again.