Joe Jamison, Sue Timothy, Ashley Hedin, Mike Campbell
Minutes (fill in notes under each bullet):
· SHARE: What was helpful at the October ECS Group Meeting?
· Sue: Getting together with other teachers to find out how they are doing and compare notes on the activities and lessons we have taught so far. Also, seeing ideas on how to go about teaching scratch.
· Mike: I liked the fact that we could talk together and find out what others have done and also to learn a little about Scratch.
· Ashley: It was great to see some of the lessons taught in Scratch. I learned how to do some new things in Scratch and I enjoyed seeing how people tweaked some of the lessons and still made them work to follow the curriculum.
· SHARE: What was one thing you took away that you used in your class?
· Sue: The way people grade and how to use methods of finding out if they were able to understand things by discussion and thumbs up and down method. I liked the suggestion that you have the students write a problem solving steps before they do the scratch project.
· Mike: Everyone works at different levels. I liked the when we did the walk around and was able to see what others have done. My students liked it as well.
· Ashley: I liked being able to see a few different examples for the Name assignment. I think it is important to give them lots of examples on that since it could be the very first programming some of them have ever done. Have the students write down on paper what blocks they would use before they get into the program.
· SHARE: What was one thing you tried that didn’t work out so well? What can you do to change it, so it is better the next time you do it.
· Sue: I didn’t do very well at the linear and binary search. I think I would try the Battleship game method in the CS Unplugged
· Mike: I really struggled with the whole problem solving section. The Linear and Binary Lesson was hard for me too.
· Ashley: I need to play around in Scratch more so when students have questions I can be more prepared to answer them and know the different options available.
· SHARE: What is something (discussion, content, and curriculum) that you still have questions about?
· Sue: Being able to go deeper into the parts of a computer and information that will help them for the computer for the buying a computer so they know more parts of the computer. The cornrow activity was a little difficult for student’s to understand why we were doing that activity.
· Mike: It has been a rough semester. Students who joined the class were expecting Computer Hands-On learning, not discussions and journal writing. Many asked “How does this relate to computers?” For example, The Cornrow activity.
· Ashley: I still feel like it is hard to come up with questions for quizzes and tests to help prepare the students for the state test. Many of the items don’t have a “right” answer so it is hard to quiz/test in the traditional sense.
· Joe: The Tower Lesson is yet a question to me. I Could not get it into terms for ninth grade students to easily understand. AND a comment or two otherwise... I have struggled the most with the need to pre-prepare the lesson materials (handouts) that require manipulation such as the Muddy City project...(had to enlarge, splice, then laminate the diagram so students could use). OR simply the need to spend a lot of time on a lesson before hand in selecting materials from unplugged books or deciding which way to teach a lesson. I'm a business teacher and have not taught anything like these before. With four new preps this year the time drain has been horrendous! I'm sure if I wasn't stretched so thin already the ECS lessons would be the best because there are some very cool lessons.
If there were a "materials kit" to accompany each lesson so a teacher in a hurry could put it together in a more rapid fashion it would have made a huge difference for me this year. Next semester should be better, having taught through this one and being better adjusted for the other three preps.
PAIR, THEN SHARE: Decide on one of these activities (Candy Bar, Community Solving Problem, Donald Trump Towers, Cutting-sorting, and Muddy City) from Unit 2 and discuss the following:
o What went well with the activity?
o What would you change for next time?
Come up with a list of problems together for them to look at, have them draw a problem out of a hat. Introduce the project a few days before so the students have time to collect data.
Joe: Work into the entire problem solving unit slower using more and different types of scenarios that students can have some ownership with, can relate to on their life levels. Engagement has been a major problem because students simply did not connect with the objectives.
o What didn’t work out so well the activity?
Collecting data can be difficult in one day if they need to go out in the community.
Sue: Students came up with the wrong kind of problem to solve.
o How would you change up the activity?
Have it be school related problem instead of community so they feel more invested.
Joe: My students had a difficult time relating to the NEED to solve this type of problem. Maybe I (the teacher) should have spent more prep time researching various scenarios, which were applicable to students then adjusting to the students as they displayed their levels of “connectedness” to the objectives. Like algebra, students really need to understand the need before they connect to the concept and subsequently to applicable solutions.
Sue: To put scenarios in a jar to have the student choose from for the community problem.
Mike: Demonstrate a simple activity then have them choose one from the jar.
SHARE: What would be a helpful workshop/training at the winter conference or summer conference to help you in your ECS class?
Sue: More ways to use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Joe: Ditto what Sue said and definitely more connection to Excel...this application is the proverbial “jumping off point” into computer science apps for many students.
Ashley:Quiz/Test options for ECS.
Mike: Teachers to come up with some suggestions for questions to be added to Carl’s bank of questions. I also like the idea you said, about having page numbers to where the question was taken from.