Strand A, Coding, and the new Ontario Mathematics Curriculum

Where's the joy? Creating something, and sharing it, is an exciting and motivating endeavour. With the new 2020 Ontario Mathematics Curriculum now guiding mathematics in classrooms across Ontario, I think there is renewed excitement and potential to encourage creative learning with students, especially with coding activities. Unfortunately, after accessing and reading through a long list... Continue Reading →

Mathland Actually

If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that Mathland actually is all around. Introduction I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about a question Seymour Papert asks in the following video (and in many other ways in a various books and papers): "How can we create a mathland?... Continue Reading →

Summer Learning 2018

Don't get me wrong. In the summer, I think it is essential for teachers to relax, unplug, take a break, spend tons of time with family and/or friends, and enjoy some sunny summer weather. The summer break makes us fresher in the fall and reconnects us to other parts of our lives, friends, family and... Continue Reading →

Text-based vs. Block-based coding

Scratch 3.0 and the same code in javascript This blog post is more of a curation project than a blog post. I have put in one place various statements, beliefs, arguments, for or against, the use of block-based programming/coding with students. Some are clearly pro 'text-based,' some pro 'block-based,' while others are mixed and point... Continue Reading →

Scratch vs. Swift Playgrounds

[Note: The post below was updated in July, 2019 (originally written May, 2018). This article might be a useful read if you are teacher considering Scratch vs Swift Playgrounds or are caught up in discussions / arguments about the two. I think that juxtaposing these two coding environments helps reveal the distinction between children "learning... Continue Reading →

5 ways to turn the ‘hour of code’ into the ‘year of learning’

Last year I posted an article called Turn the Hour of Code into the Year of Learning. This year, I wanted to share a few ideas about how you might do that. After checking out some hour of code activities with your students (this year, officially, December 4 - 10), take a look at the... Continue Reading →

2D mapping project in Scratch

This blog is a reflection on a Scratch project I have been working on. I wanted to capture, at an overview level, my thinking and progression through this project. The purpose of this post is exploratory and preliminary. I’ve started a collaborative inquiry with one of the teachers I am working with this year, and... Continue Reading →

Learning Design by Making Games (in Scratch)

During the summer of 2016, I read this book (left) edited by Yasmin Kafai and Mitch Resnick. I was inspired by Chapter 4 (called Learning Design by Making Games). In it, Kafai described her study in which a group of 4th grade students spent one hour per day (over a six-month period) writing, designing and... Continue Reading →

Show me the math!

Where is the math in coding? As much as I think that the connections between coding and mathematics are obvious, I think that there is a process involved in noticing and noting when mathematical concepts are demonstrated--some are clearly in use in students' code and are easy to notice; other concepts are also in use... Continue Reading →

Star Wars and the micro:bit

“I wanted to make it play the theme from Star Wars.” So began a Grade 5 student’s response this week when I asked her what she was working on with her micro:bit program. It was her very first session with it but she, and the rest of class, did have several other experiences in recent... Continue Reading →

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