Monday, December 14, 2015

Reflections of my first Computer Science Education Week


"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance." 
~Samuel Johnson





Monday morning, the first class of the week and also the largest. There they were, 27 bundles of energy pouring into my room eager to start their week. Chitter-chatter filled the room as I passed out their cards and helped them log in. The moment had come, it was time to start the week teaching something that I was just begin to get a grasp on myself. I was introducing computer programming concepts, the building blocks of the technology around us. It was a bold step and I was extremely nervous. I felt prepared, but were they?  

To say I was blown away is an understatement. After my first class on Monday morning, I knew it was going to be a pretty good week. By Tuesday, I knew it was perfect. Over the course of the week, I observed perseverance, determination, leadership, and excitement. One student started the class in tears from frustration and ended the class walking around helping and encouraging her classmates. I saw students who usually have trouble sitting for more than a few minutes glued for 40. I can't count how many times I saw students faces glow with pride and heard shouts of, "YES!" from excited students. They were the kind of moments you dream of as a teacher.

If you didn't try any of the coding for yourself, I strongly encourage you to give it a try. It is fun and at times challenging. After a few lessons, I think you will understand why coding has a place in the 21st century classroom.

1 comment:

Amanda Gauvin said...

I think it is fantastic! We had two different students in our room this week who earned extra free computer time for good behavior that chose to play those coding games as their reward free time!

Last summer, I had the fun experience of going with Pete to RPI to help a group of our 5th graders going to 6th learn to build and program lego robots using very similar programs, and they also got a great deal out of it, but there was an extreme learning curve for them. I hope we are able to go again this summer because I can't wait to see the difference in the students because they've had a bit of prior exposure.