Creating Coding Lessons Reflection – Iteration One
As and Engineering teacher I strongly believe in the power of iteration, and reflection. Everything I ask my students to do, I ask them to do more than once. This gives them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Iteration is how real design works, so we should teach accordingly. I am such a fan of the concept that I apply it to my teaching practice. What follows is my coding lesson reflection for my first iteration.…

Creating Coding Lessons – Grade 6-8: Part 2
Any time I try something new I get some unexpected results. Often I learn something new. Usually I tweak something. Sometimes I find a connection to something else. My students find the lesson easier or harder than I expected. I've even discovered that some of my basic assumptions were faulty before. This time is no different. This coding lessons reflection will be of dubious use to you without having read this post. Don't let me dissuade you though, read away. What follows is an outline, and reflection on what I have done for the coding lesson I am working on so far.…

Creating Coding Lessons – Grades 6-8: Part 1
As a STEM teacher I am continually taking workshops, and courses to get better at my job. As a public school teacher I am always on the lookout for those who are willing to donate equipment to my program. When I was on a follow-up call for a coding PD I took last summer, and was asked what I would need to implement coding fully into my curriculum my answer was simple: "I need 9 new Android tablets". I was half joking, but you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. When the response was: "Okay we should be able to get those to you in January". I realized I needed to begin Creating Coding Lessons for my grade 8 students, and the idea fore this post was born.…

Coding Lesson : Intro To Block Based Programming
I love Lego Mindstorms Ev3 for teaching a coding lesson, but the price to get started is tough to swallow. Enough kits to teach a coding lesson to a class of 16 is 4, which translates to over $1,550.00. Even after getting the kits, you still need 4 computers (not Chromebooks) to run the software. The unfortunate financial reality of Public Education in America is that we are constantly in a state of near starvation. As such, it is not easy to get funds for unproven curricular tools. Stories from other teachers about STEM with robots is not enough to get you the money you need. Typically you need to demonstrate some major benefit in order to get extra money. How then, do you prove that learning coding has a positive impact on your students without breaking your budget?…