constructivism Category

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 […]

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5 realizations that defined me as a teacher

Thanks to Jonathan So for the provocation: Top 5 Defining Teaching Moments https://t.co/QJHONWHIIh — Jonathan So (@MrSoclassroom) August 24, 2017 In my own mind, I prefer to think of my list as realizations that defined me as a teacher. Teaching grade one made me (professionally speaking) I have spent a total of six years of my […]

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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 […]

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Powerful learning results in flow

Once again, I was inspired and prompted by my friend Matt Oldridge into thinking and writing. This time, I found myself considering flow again. I wrote about this a few years ago but, since then, I have learned more about constructionism and more about learning in general. I’ve still so much to learn but Matt’s prompt […]

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Learning Design by Making Games

One of my favourite chapters in Constructionism in Practice was written by Yasmin Kafai: Learning Design by Making Games (pp. 71-123). She was interested in learning more about the development of children’s design strategies within the context of creating an authentic artifact – a computer game. Children were asked to design and create an interactive computer game that […]

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Why do you want kids to code?

I made this because I think there is an important distinction between learning to code and coding to learn.  I think the focus with students doing coding in schools should be coding to learn. Bill Ferriter’s graphic called what do you want kids to do with technology was the inspiration for my graphic. I created this for […]

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Why play? Why inquiry?

I’m reading this book. It’s hard, but it’s fun. I’m playing around with the ideas and it’s making me think a lot about teaching, learning, playing, and knowledge. Play, making, exploring, inquiry-based learning, problem-based learning, project-based learning, maker spaces, and so on… these are all justifiable reactions against the arbitrary segregation of various subject matter […]

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Teaching as a creative act

I think children learn best within a social environment in which the group of people genuinely know and care about each other. I strongly feel that this forms the foundation for the most successful classrooms. To me, Rita Pierson in her 2013 TED talk described the need for relationships in education most clearly and passionately: “Every […]

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Memorable learning moment (#peel21st Nov 2015 blog hop)

A grade six teacher and I had co-planned a series of sessions with her students around coding with Scratch. In one of the later sessions, I was working with a boy who was frustrated with the game he was making and told me he wanted to start over again.  In age appropriate words, I reassured […]

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Kids and coding: What might Seymour Papert say?

(Updated August 2016, May 2017) I am very pleased that there is a growing sense in the education world of the connection between coding and cognition and learning. There is a mountain of research examining the various beneficial cognitive effects of learning computer programming. Great! But, I believe Seymour Papert would say that students learning […]

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