Friday, February 26, 2016

Computer Science in the Middle School Classrooms

The middle school computer science teachers are a close group of innovative teachers that are transforming student learning.

Angie Mangina, Berry Middle
Vinny Chiaramonte, Bumpus Middle
Cindi Morris, Simmons Middle

We asked Mr. Chiaramonte to contribute to the blog today to share what is happening in the middle school computer science classrooms. 

  • Learning what binary is, how to convert it into decimal numbers and characters to decode messages as well as reverse conversion of decimal numbers to binary.

  • Learning and applying computational thinking and the CSP 7 Big Ideas in unplugged and plugged activities.
  • Use "binary magic" to introduce how binary works.

  • Utilizing ComputerCraft in MinecraftEdu. Students are programming "turtles" essentially little robots using a visual programming language to solve puzzles and complete syntax exercises. They can also use the turtles to mine and build for them by using the programs they create. 

  • Once they get a handle on how the visual language works we want to build on that and move them into a non-native version of lua language using the code editor. 

  • The next step we see in the vision for MS CS is to have students begin scripting in Python using Lua as a springboard. 

  • Here are some pictures a screencast and a link to Mr. Chiaramonte's blog

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