Thursday started off with another upbeat opening session after breakfast. Brooke and Baker, our Code.org facilitators, have great energy and stage presence! They showed a video about equity, which was very powerful and sparked reflection about the students who have signed up for my CS Principles course. This was a great tie-in to the Recruitment and Student Needs session which I found to be a valuable discussion that included strategies to address equity challenges. Also, I gleaned many great ideas for recruiting students and for supporting them once they come to my classroom.
We posed for the Maine cohort group photo that showed up on the Slack #teachercon channel. We are a fine looking group! Scrolling up from that photo, I had a good laugh when our victory photo from last night's Escape Room activity appeared! We had a lot of fun in the escape room and then afterwards when we posed as the word code and tweeted it out!
As far as the actual training, the Teacher/Learner/Observer lessons have been key in helping me build confidence. These experiences really drive home the importance of the discovery process in scaffolding student learning. Being presented with challenges, both unplugged and then plugged-in with the Code.org widgets in order to experience the frustration students might feel while being led toward the learning goal is such a valuable training tool! Experiencing the ah-ha moment as a learner was a profound experience. It helped me truly understand the importance of holding my tongue when tempted to help my students during their discovery process. I look forward to leading my students through this curriculum!
My TeacherCon experience has been great!