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Brian DeMarco

Grade 4 teacher, East School

Describe your experience as a computer science fellow. 

“Fourth graders are naturally enthusiastic students and learners. CS has allowed teachers to explore other areas within the field and expand our knowledge beyond just robotics and into more classroom ready concepts.”

 

How has the professional development enriched your teaching?

“The professional development has enriched our teaching by expanding the number of hands-on experiences we can offer our students. The computer science field is a growing industry which makes it exciting.” 

What new skills or tools have you learned?

“For several years, I, along with other teachers, have wanted to incorporate more computer science into the curriculum. Through HEF and PTO funding, we have been able to purchase the tools needed to make our ideas a reality.”

 

What does computer science integration “look like” in your classroom?

“My students, and those of my fourth grade team are blossoming. CS integration makes learning even more interesting. These lessons enable higher order thinking skills and provide the students with opportunities to apply those skills in practical ways.”

Describe a favorite CS lesson that you have tried with your students.

“One favorite CS lesson involved Raspberry Pi where we worked on physical

computing and visual coding. The goal was to build an electronic buggy-which didn’t get fully functional, but a lot was learned in the process. Hopefully, this year the buggies will be rolling down the halls.  Another project involved Python code where the students worked to debug code in pairs, which promoted team work. Several of us also have created green screens on our walls, my classroom used it for Social Studies and Science lessons. Our classes have also explored stop motion animation. Through various Computer Science technologies we have found new ways to assess material.”

 

How have students responded to the new computer science lessons?

“The response from the students has been extremely positive. They are eager and excited to explore new things.”