Presentation on theme: "Things That Seem To Make My Students Tick and the Philosophy of One High School CS Teacher Josh Paley, Teacher Computer Science & Mathematics Henry M."— Presentation transcript:
Things That Seem To Make My Students Tick and the Philosophy of One High School CS Teacher Josh Paley, Teacher Computer Science & Mathematics Henry M. Gunn HS (Palo Alto, CA) SIGCSE 2011
What I Care About The Three Tenets 1.Show the students what I love and hope some of that rubs off on them (Brian Harvey) 2.Do No Harm (Hippocratic Oath more or less) 3.Help my students be the ones that other students go to for help when they are in college “The reason that my classes are good is because I do what I like.” -- Michelle Friend Hutton on teaching at her middle school
What I Am Supposed To Care About Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLRs) 1.Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts, principles, processes, facts, and skills in the disciplines of language arts, history-social science, mathematics, science, physical education, visual and performing arts, foreign language, career-vocational education, and health/practical living skills. 2.Effective communication through listening, speaking, and writing
What I Am Supposed To Care About 3.Strong research skills 4.Ability to integrate knowledge among disciplines 5.Reading with understanding 6.Critical and Creative thinking to solve problems (The Golden ESLR) 7.Effective use of technology
What’s Missing Fun – I tend to think that Fun is kind of important. Aiming at Fun and the Golden ESLR (Critical and Creative thinking to solve problems) seems to take care of all the other ESLRs.
What I Am Actually Doing Trying to make the classroom environment friendly and happy When possible, let students determine their own project ideas and run with them – This often means letting students go off the beaten curricular path Try to make students feel like they are playing with toys as opposed to doing rigorous work. (But they do rigorous work!)
What I Am Actually Doing I teach from my strengths, so students get a very Berkeley-ish curriculum. – Simply Scheme – Subset of Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs Many of the best problems ever written reside here – Big Java (SJSU, not Berkeley) However, I let students propose projects all the time. (Shout out to the Nifties!)
Academic Rigor Animation Using Virtual Worlds (BYOB) – See UC-Berkeley’s CS10 athttp://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs10/sp11/http://inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs10/sp11/ Programming Concepts (Scheme) – Functional programming, data abstraction, etc. Intro to Java – 90% of AP CS A curriculum AP Computer Science (Scheme, Java) – 2/3 to 3/4 of what a first-year CS major might do – AP CS A test is a byproduct, not the core focus
New And Future Stuff Added “Animation Using Virtual Worlds” that uses Alice and Scratch/BYOB – Students are programming without it feeling like it – Students are having fun – Loops, concurrency, conditionals, 3D-modeling – All students—not just the ones who like math a lot–really get the “Beauty and Joy” Moving to Berkeley’s CS10 curriculum over time
PBJA Things Students Seem To Like Mobile problem from Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs by Abelson and Sussman Conway’s Game of Life Fractal Fruit Tree (riff off the fractal tree lab in CS10 at UC-Berkeley) War (ought to be a Nifty—great for a data structures take-home test or project) Dot Racing
PBJA Things Students All Like Doing projects that they choose Give them requirements that are general and let them do their thing – Example: Must have at least one REPEAT UNTIL Must have at least one IF-ELSE Must have at least one use of recursion Etc. Sometimes they cannot find a logical fit for one or two big ideas in their project; don’t punish them for this.
Suggestions Teach to your strengths (Zelenski) Be enthusiastic (Harvey) Show students that you care (Basic Human Decency) Let the students be playful (Fun as ESLR) Remember Michelle’s quote about doing what you want in the classroom – Without standards, you have a flexibility that can be a force for passion, beauty, joy, and awe!
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