Digital lesson planning: A deeper dive, part one

If you missed Friday’s blog post, you’ll want to start there. Today, we’ll start walking through the Digital Lesson Planning Template, linked here. So you can get a peek at where we’re going, I used this template to plan my content for this week for my students, which focuses on analyzing data (a CS standard),Continue reading “Digital lesson planning: A deeper dive, part one”

I am a Better High School Teacher Because I Taught Middle School First

For the first four years of my career, I taught middle school. When you tell people you teach middle school, they often respond with a sour look, and a “wow, that must be so difficult.” And, at times, it was difficult. Of course, they should also know that middle school is arguably the toughest timeContinue reading “I am a Better High School Teacher Because I Taught Middle School First”

We need more women in tech. Here are a few things K-12 educators can do about it.

According to the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT), careers within the Computer and Information Sciences are projected to grow 19% by 2026, as compared to 7% for all occupations. Within that classification, every category of job role will see growth with the exception of a basic computer programmer. Further, NCWIT reports thatContinue reading “We need more women in tech. Here are a few things K-12 educators can do about it.”

Project Management: Help Ticket System

One of the marks of a 21st Century Classroom is project-based learning (PBL). One of the oft-overlooked requirements of PBL is student-driven selection of their guiding question and/or how they’ll solve the problem. Make no mistake: it is absolutely easier to manage all students working on the exact same project. It’s easier to pace theContinue reading “Project Management: Help Ticket System”

Reflections on CSTA 2019

One of the things they don’t (or more likely, can’t) prepare you for as you move into teaching computer science is how alone you feel sometimes. As high of a demand as there is for computer science, both in the workplace and in schools, oftentimes you are the only computer science teacher in the building.Continue reading “Reflections on CSTA 2019”

Group Work That Works: Agile for Authentic Learning

The traditional, and widely-accepted, model of group work in the classroom encourages teachers to group students in teams of three to five, and to assign a role to each student. The reality is that, without fail, there’s always one student who ends up shouldering much of the work and there’s always at least one studentContinue reading “Group Work That Works: Agile for Authentic Learning”

Kickstart their love of coding: Two free resources and a gift idea!

As a middle school computer science teacher, I am often asked to recommend resources for kids who want to get their feet wet with coding. While it is my hope that one day, all students will have access to computer science as part of their everyday curriculum, the reality is that coding in the classroomContinue reading “Kickstart their love of coding: Two free resources and a gift idea!”

STEM? STEAM? Why the acronym doesn’t matter

I teach at a STEM magnet middle school where approximately 1/3 of our students are participants in a lottery-based magnet program. We’re essentially a school-within-a-school, where 1/3 of our students have access to cohorted classes that include PBL (project based learning) approaches to curriculum as well as special electives like the computer science classes thatContinue reading “STEM? STEAM? Why the acronym doesn’t matter”