Garde 1 teacher, Plymouth River School
Describe your experience as a computer science fellow.
“It has been a wonderful experience to be a CS Fellow. I feel fortunate to be part of this group of fellows and exciting initiative for HPS. I have found the workshops to be very valuable in exposing me to the tools I will be using to integrate CS into the classroom.”
How has the professional development enriched your teaching?
“The PD (professional development) has enriched my teaching by helping me “think outside the box” in my approach to teaching any concept. It has also opened up a new toolbox of resources that I can use to support students’ access to curriculum. One other aspect of enrichment that I have found very valuable is the ability to collaborate with teachers of the same grade level at the other elementary schools.”
What new skills or tools have you learned?
“I have learned Scratch Jr, Stop Motion, Green Screen, Bee Bots and Dash, to name a few.”
What does computer science integration “look like” in your classroom?
“CS in my classroom looks fun! Students are engaged, excited and enthusiastic about any topic that involves a component of computer science. I like to give students an activity to complete and then challenge them to modify the activity in a different way and share that information with their peers. I think inquiry-based learning engages the students in an activity immediately.
At PRS, we have been using the engineering design process over the past few years during STEAM week so most students were able to quickly apply some of the skills used during STEAM to computer science programs being introduced. It’s amazing how quickly they adapted.”
Describe a favorite CS lesson that you have tried with your students.
“I have tried a couple CS lessons with my students, but my favorite was using stop motion animation to show the voyage the pilgrims took from England to the new world. The students were fascinated with the stop motion and how it worked. I also liked a lesson we did on seasonal change in Scratch Jr.”
How have students responded to the new computer science lessons?
“To say that the students have LOVED the new computer science lessons is a huge understatement! The CS tools that we have introduced are highly motivating for all learners in the classroom.
I am a believer in Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. As a teacher, I am always thinking about how to meet all of the learning styles and different types of intelligences in my classroom. It is refreshing to see that some of my student’s unique ways of thinking and learning can be met and maximized by using some of these CS tools. It has been wonderful to experience the excitement this initiative has brought to my classroom!”