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#TeacherCon Monday Recap

July 31, 2017 · by Jeff Bailey

#TeacherCon Day 2:

Today was a great day.  We got a chance to work in smaller groups that we will be with for the rest of the week.  In these smaller groups we are experiencing the lessons and units for AP Computer Science Principles in the role of students.  Our facilitators are really talented and knowledgeable teachers, especially about their practice.  

I love the philosophy behind this curriculum.  Code.org is based on the idea that students need to grapple with a problem by diving right in first.  This is highly engaging and sets a really good context for the concept and vocabulary that follows it.  It’s collaborative nature is a quick way to start creating a community among the students in your class, I know that because I’ve already started to build friendships with other teachers in my groups as a result of us tackling some of these challenges together.

We will also be preparing a lesson from the curriculum to teach our fellow teachers.  This will be good for me because I taught this course last year and it gives me the chance to revisit a lesson I don’t think went very well for me.  After feedback from my group members, I’m already seeing opportunities to conduct my lesson in a different way.  

The hands on activities involved in almost all of the curriculum allow students to start from a concrete idea and work toward understanding the abstract concept it represents.  This curriculum encourages students to be curious, take risks and collaborate.  It’s all the job skills we so desperately need students to acquire but often have difficulty making time for in our classrooms.  Code.org has so many resources and lessons that are highly engaging that it makes it easy for teachers to get started and be successful.  TeacherCon is a great way to immerse yourself in the curriculum to fully understand the powerful impact it has on student learning.

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