Comments on: Middle school CS in action http://helenemartin.com/2012-01-middle-school-cs-in-action/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=middle-school-cs-in-action You don't understand something until you've taught a teenager to teach a computer to do it. Mon, 08 Apr 2013 04:47:39 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6.1 By: Hélène Martin http://helenemartin.com/2012-01-middle-school-cs-in-action/comment-page-1/#comment-4424 Hélène Martin Wed, 25 Jan 2012 03:01:53 +0000 http://www.helenemartin.com/?p=714#comment-4424 Great ideas there! Thanks for sharing. As I’ve already said, I REALLY like your VPython robot simulation.

I’d definitely be very interested in seeing more of what you do with those students.

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By: possiblywrong http://helenemartin.com/2012-01-middle-school-cs-in-action/comment-page-1/#comment-4423 possiblywrong Wed, 25 Jan 2012 01:30:53 +0000 http://www.helenemartin.com/?p=714#comment-4423 The third bullet concern (not interfering with high school curriculum) has been an interesting challenge that I didn’t expect. The high school classes in my area focus on Java almost exclusively; I am a volunteer teaching Python to middle school students. This is my 7th year doing this, so there is presumably enough of a “sample” that it would be interesting to reach back and see what impact the middle school exposure had on my past students’ interest and performance in high school. (Beyond the anecdotal evidence from a few students tracking me down a few years later.)

If it helps, I am beginning to put together a web site for the class at link to sites.google.com. There are links to my attempt at a description of a curriculum, as well as some past assignments and some Python modules I have developed that have been useful. It’s definitely a work in progress, but it’s a start.

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By: Hélène Martin http://helenemartin.com/2012-01-middle-school-cs-in-action/comment-page-1/#comment-4396 Hélène Martin Wed, 18 Jan 2012 07:03:07 +0000 http://www.helenemartin.com/?p=714#comment-4396 I hadn’t thought of the kind of topic rotation you’re describing. That’s a neat idea (sounds like a lot of work, though)!

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By: susan http://helenemartin.com/2012-01-middle-school-cs-in-action/comment-page-1/#comment-4395 susan Wed, 18 Jan 2012 06:43:13 +0000 http://www.helenemartin.com/?p=714#comment-4395 I looked for a bit for a similar binary counter on some elementary math manipulative websites but didn’t find anything either. I did come across this interesting game: link to forums.cisco.com in the process.

The idea of having a common meeting place away from “work” computers for peer-to-peer collaboration sounds like a pretty effective technique especially at the elementary and middle school level. It would greatly reduce students typing for each other and referring to their own solution too much; not to mention the meaningful conversations you mention.

With regards to “Establishing courses that students could take many times and still benefit from” TAF’s TechStart program faces this challenge a lot since 3rd – 5th graders essentially take the same class 3 years in a row. They have solved this by rotating curriculums that use the same tools (Scratch, NXT robotics, etc) but align with different topics (Environmental Science, Sound, Light, etc) .. I am not sure this is the best approach but it seems to be working okay for them so far.

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By: Doug Bergman http://helenemartin.com/2012-01-middle-school-cs-in-action/comment-page-1/#comment-4394 Doug Bergman Wed, 18 Jan 2012 00:26:31 +0000 http://www.helenemartin.com/?p=714#comment-4394 We’ve been doing Computer Science in the Middle School for a few years. We do Scratch, Scribbler Robots, Python, and Alice.
Kids love it and do great at it!

Plus it gives them a taste of true Computer Science before they enter high school. We actaully start in the 4th and 5th grades with Scratch.

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