I teach at a school located in the middle of the vibrant city of Las Vegas, Nevada. Sometimes visitors do not realize that nestled in neighborhoods near the iconic strip, where people are experiencing the latest in luxurious vacationing experiences, we have schools filled with teachers and students working hard to do more with less. At my school, we work with students from diverse backgrounds who share with us their cultures, languages, and desires to learn.
The students in my program are curious and innovative learners.
They love challenging projects that allow them to be hands-on learners, researchers, and changemakers. It is important for me to have the ability to provide them with engaging enrichment activities that support them in developing the skills they need to accomplish their goals now and into the future.
At the beginning of this school year, I found out that my students have a gigantic interest in learning computer programming skills. Therefore, my goal is to get them started in December with the Hour of Code. They will learn basic coding skills, become familiar with Code.org lessons, and also do unplugged programming lessons.
From there, I want to introduce students to programming physical devices outside of the computer.
I would like to do that with simple devices called BBC Micro:bits. These small devices connect to the computer and can be programmed to show messages, play music, and more. When combined with the Scratch programming language, students will be able to code their Micro:bits as hand controllers.
Giving students devices to program increases their curiosity and innately motivates them to seek answers, solve problems, and try new things. What's even better is that they will also be using their creativity to develop inspiring, entertaining, and personally meaningful projects.
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