Kodable Road Tour: Day 10

After 2 great days in Minnesota, we headed south to Sioux City, Iowa where we spent the day with Loess Hills Elementary doing PD sessions and programming workshops with a wonderful crew!

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What we learned: Connecting coding to the common core

Loess Hills spoke at length with us about their desire to continue expanding their coding curriculum, but also their plans to integrate it with the common core. We spent our PD session brainstorming and demonstrating how Kodable can be integrated with the CCSS. It also taught us the importance of making this connection easier in Kodable, and this is something that we plan on adding in the future. As of right now, we have a list of the common core standards that Kodable aligns with, but many of these are math standards. After our PD sessions and workshops, we realized that we should work on making Kodable align with more reading standards, and we came up with some great ideas together to make this a possibility in the future. So thanks to the team at Loess Hills, look for many more exciting changes to come!

Favorite Moment: Functions??!

When we began our lesson with Loess Hill 2nd graders we planned to cover loops at the most to challenge them, but we quickly saw that they were quite advanced and ready for functions! After we wrote our first line of code for our robot and went to write a second, one of the students immediately responded that a loop would be appropriate in this situation. In addition to this, another student countered that a function would probably make more sense given what our goals were for the program. Wow! Needless to say, we were very impressed. 🙂

The Future: Curriculum integration and making more time for coding

Loess Hills is doing great with teaching coding so far, but thanks to Polly Meissner (@libraryPolly), Layne Henn (@sctechbuzz), and many others, they plan to expand this in the future. This means more time spent coding, and further integration into the school curriculum with more teachers onboard and taking part.

Thank you everyone for the warm reception at Loess Hills! We hope to get back to check in again in the future. 🙂

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Off to Texas!!

#KidsCanCode Chat: How Can I Integrate Coding with Math?

We need to change the way we teach math to include computer science and coding
In this week’s edition of #KidsCanCode chat, we discussed the ways that we can integrate coding with math! We covered what math concepts overlap with computer science, shared our favorite programming/math combo projects, and gave our best suggestions to others based on what we have learned from our own experiences.
Join Us EVERY Tuesday at 8pm EST for #KidsCanCode Chat!! 

This Week in #KidsCanCode: Aligning Coding with the Common Core

Aligning programming and technology with common core standards

“I want to introduce technology and coding to my lesson plans, but I am not quite sure how to align this with the Common Core State Standards?”

This is a common question for many teachers, and often half the battle is finding the right resources to make this possible.  In last night’s #KidsCanCode chat, we discussed a number of resources to help guide teachers to properly aligning their curriculum with the Common Core.  Here are some of the resources we came across:

Assembled by Ben Rimes, this is an enormously valuable resource that not only has gleaned every standard related to technology from the CCSS, but is meticulously organized and easy-to-follow.  The sections are delineated by standards, starting with ELA and proceeding to Math.  Each section is then broken down by grade level, similar to the actual standards themselves, but presenting much less information to process.

For those interested in just the ELA Standards, this is another resource that I recommend checking out that was put together by Tara Linney (@TechTeacherT).  Again, pulled directly from the Common Core State Standards, sections are separated by grade level, making for easy reading and unnecessary to skim through the entire original document itself.

Ever need something to send to parents?  This might be a resource worth checking out.  The Standards are broken down in this parent-friendly version for all of K-8 with a separate Middle School & High School Section.  There is also a section that answers a common question (pun intended), “What is the Common Core?” for parents.  This site also has sample/practice test questions, and other valuable CCSS related materials.

What Everyone Needs to Know About the Common Core State Standards

Finally, these Computer Science standards/recommendations are an invaluable resource for setting up any curriculum or lesson plan.  A must read for those beginning to teach their students programming.

Many curriculum tools have already aligned their products to the CCSS for you.  As for Kodable, we have all these standards mapped out and available along with other materials on our Resources Page.  We also provide an abbreviated CCSS document specifically for parents or for easier reference.  Before you do all the work, be sure to do some research or simply ask if these resources are already available.

If you are looking for more resources relating to technology/coding and the Common Core, be sure to check out the #CCSSchat website.  And as always the original Common Core Standards can be found on CoreStandards.org.

#KidsCanCode Chat: Where Does Coding Meet the Common Core?

Teaching programming while meeting common core standards
In this week’s #KidsCanCode chat we discussed how we can align our coding lesson plans and use of classroom technology with the Common Core State Standards.