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Computational Thinking and Math — Creative Coding Projects All Students Will Love

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Location: Virtual
Experience live: All-Access Package Year-Round PD Package Virtual Lite
Watch recording: All-Access Package Year-Round PD Package Virtual Lite

Explore and create : Creation lab

Dominic Hill  
We will create our own simple coding projects using free software that will encourage your students to develop key mathematical skills while giving them freedom to be creative and most importantly, have fun. I will also cover how computational thinking and math have a distinct key skills overlap.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Everything is web based, so ensure you can access the web on your device.
Topic: Computer science & computational thinking
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Math, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
Designer
  • Use technology to create, adapt and personalize learning experiences that foster independent learning and accommodate learner differences and needs.
For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants of the session will discover how to implement simple coding and computational thinking projects into their mathematics classrooms.
Participants will create a simple Scratch project as a student would do in their own classroom, which they can take away and use in their own teaching.
Participants will know where to access further resources and should feel empowered and engaged ready to implement some new strategies into their classrooms or schools.
Success will be evidenced immediately in two ways, completed projects that participants can take home, and a quiz results from a fun pre and post session quiz which will also provide useful feedback on their understanding of computational thinking and show progress during the session.
Also after the event, I hope to have extra sign up to my first international maths and coding event for all students, a fun online competition to share work across the globe.

Outline

(Times are flexible dependent on length of the session)

The first portion (10-20 minutes) will be an introduction and a quick quiz using Blooket or something similar. This will be our pre-test, of which we will then redo the quiz at the end to see if our results have improved. I will briefly go through some theory about computational thinking and its links to maths.

Creating a maths project on scratch (30-50 minutes) Depending on virtual or in person, I will then go through some step by step instructions on how to make a simple Guess My Number game on scratch. Virtually, this requires participants to flick between windows, or use a separate device. I will also provide a PDF file step by step, though not before the session, but it will be accessible after. In person they will see the instructions on screen or have a printout. I will be available to troubleshoot either in person or through the online session.

Further investigations and extensions (5 minutes)
A discussion about where this project in particular can take you, and the quite advanced maths that could be explored for older students.

Review and Post Test (5-10 minutes)
A recap of the original quiz, to see if our results improved - and then a review of what materials are available and introduce the free international maths and coding challenge that will run the following year.

Time for questions and reflection (2 minutes) A chance to share advice questions or feedback with fellow attendees and the presenter.

Supporting research

There are countless research papers for further reading including:

https://www.learntechlib.org/p/173103/
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14794802.2020.1852104
https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/275655708.pdf

Also shared will be some useful links to Scratch Libraries, My Websites and Twitter Handles

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Presenters

Photo
Dominic Hill, Tokyo, Japan
ISTE Certified Educator

Dominic Hill is an international educator who specializes in K-12 math and technology. An ISTE Certified Educator, he currently teaches at the British School of Tokyo in Japan. Born and raised in Lancashire, England, Hill studied and taught secondary/high school math in the northwest for a number of years before beginning a career in international education. While working in Hong Kong, he transitioned to a more technology-focused role where he developed a love for the ISTE Standards and applied them in his teaching. One of the first international ISTE Certified Educators, Hill began to embed the standards into teaching throughout his school, and took an interest in how to apply computational thinking as a key skill in subjects other than computer science. While working as a technology specialist, Hill maintained a teaching workload in math, but in the context of enrichment, giving students an opportunity to learn topics not usually covered as part of the syllabus. These sessions covered popular mathematical ideas and games, such as the unsolved Collatz conjecture, or how math helped prove that a famous Minecraft YouTuber had cheated in his videos. It was in these sessions that Hill observed the strong links computational thinking has in helping students problem-solve. In response, he developed various projects and ideas that allow students to develop their computational thinking skills. Due to his avid interest in cognitive science and its impact on education, Hill also leverages technology to increase opportunities for retrieval practice through gamification and game-based learning. He’s currently developing a game-based learning suite of apps that can be used across a number of subjects. Hill shares many of his lessons and activities on his website Maths Beyond the Curriculum (mathsbtc.com).

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