Code Word: Programming

December 11, 2014

I’m feeling a little sneaky using Hour of Code this week:  do my students know they are building logic skills?  Do they know they are in a competency-based learning environment?  Do they have the rush of adrenaline when they finally get it right at the end?  I’m sure I do.

Hour of Code is part of a week to promote computer science in schools.  The premise is to get students programming.  Why programming?  I’m going to stick with the logic of it.  IF…THEN from my BASIC days.  Or maybe that was FORTRAN.  I learned both in high school.  Do remember them?  No, not really.  In fact, there’s a third language we had a class for and I don’t remember.  COBALT?  C++?  Regardless, it was a hands-on class with immediate results:  if it worked, it worked.  If it didn’t, you figured it out.

This is a skill all of our students need:  figuring out why something doesn’t work.  Asking questions, trying again and again and again…not giving up, not surrendering to the idea that failure is a bad thing.  (It is, but only if you stop there.)

Here’s my Hour+ of Code product.  I love learning alongside my students.

My creation.  I worked for it!

My creation. I worked for it!



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Challenger Learning Center

May 1, 2013

We are in the middle of a comet rendezvous simulation mission. This is the kind of thing I would have loved loved loved as a student. I was on a (albeit short) path to astrophysics at one point. This all reminds me that I need to keep STEM in my brain as I plan for reading and writing lessons. These skills can be taught with any content, you know. And it is their future, even here in remote Alaska.


One of the best reasons to do these things? My instructional decisions directly impact by own daughter. Lucky girl, right?


I also think a few video clips from the “Apollo 13” mission control room might be in store tomorrow.


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