This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s time, again, to take a look at the roundup of blogs and content that I enjoyed this past week contributed by Ontario Edubloggers.  Please follow along and see the thoughts/insights from these folks.


Remembering Seymour Papert in Ontario Education

I like to toss in Peter Skillen’s direction some of the superficial references to Seymour Papert’s work that are so often referenced and increasingly used to indicate why students need to code.  I guess it’s our society of 140 characters and sound bits that generate it but it really does a disservice to the amazing work of one of the owner of shoulders that we should all be standing on.

In this post, Peter reflects on some of the time that he spend with Dr. Papert and how Peter sees his influence on Ontario education.  I think that it’s a worthy inclusion to your reading.

Peter and I have been bantering back and forth about the opportunity to recognize Dr. Papert’s influence at the Bring IT, Together conference in November.  I hope that we can put together something appropriate to celebrate one of the great minds in education.


It’s not about the Tech…..

With apologies to Jonathan So, I really hate it when this is used as a title or in most references.  

The inspiration for his post came from a podcast and, in particular,

There was a line that I heard in the post that I just hit a big aha moment. Peter mentioned that the OTF Summer conference was titled “Pedagogy before Technology” and that he wasn’t fond of the title but that it was something that was current in education.

I think that, even the discussion, demeans the efforts of educators who are doing the best they can.  I keep thinking of a quote from Wayne Hulley “Nobody wakes up wondering how they’re going to screw up today”.

I think the last quote from Jonathan sums it up nicely…

I know that as teachers we also need time to learn new tools and how they work but first and foremost we need to understand what their purpose is and why we would be using them in the classroom. Love to hear your thoughts on this and if you haven’t heard it already listen to Rolland’s podcast some fantastic educators on there.

It’s a chicken and egg thing but has any other tool in technology been so scrutinized and criticized?  If you search history, there was a huge concern that ball point pens were just the “beginning of the end”.  Some teachers are new to effectively using technology and they need to be supported in their endeavours.  Those that have used it should be those who are supportive with examples and ideas.

Curriculum consultants and district leaders should constantly be providing learning opportunities for staff to learn no matter where they are in their learning.  If they’re not, well … you get what you get.

Education has toyed with the concept of Programmed Instruction, abandoned it, and moved on.  I just wish that the conversation would as well.


TELL 2016

Mark Renaud attended the Technology-Enabled Learning & Leading Institute 2016 this summer along with about 1000 of his closest colleagues.

In this post, he shares his highlights from conference.

It’s interesting to read his observations and hopefully further blog posts will give us an idea as to how they’ve made an impact in his school and to his leadership style.

There are lots of links to slidedecks from some of the presenters at the TVO website.  There’s much Google stuff there, most of the sessions are tagged “Beginner” and kudos to the presenters from my former board.


Collaborating with Colleagues using OneNote Staff Notebook

What about boards that have used Microsoft Office 365 instead of going the Google route though?

Andre Quaglia recently added his blog to the Ontario Edubloggers collection and I went back to a post of his from February.

I recently discovered the advantages of using OneNote Staff Notebooks as a collaborative tool to keep the momentum of conversations flowing after department meetings with teaching colleagues.

In the post, he shares three examples of using OneNote Staff Notebooks.

  • Creating an inventory of instructional technology
  • Verifying class textbook and planning
  • Discussion about how to allocate new classroom workspace

Time

One of the great things about blogging is that you can be or create anything you want.

In this post, Joan Vinall Cox shares a short poem about “Time”.

It’s a reminder to all of us that we’re getting older.


Squirrel!

My classroom was probably the least desirable room in the school.  I don’t know whether it was the block design or the fact that we were air conditioned but there were a few rooms that had no outside windows.  I had one of them.

So, I can’t really empathise with Ashley Soltesz’ first day of school.

It’s actually distractions rather than squirrels that form the basis of the post.  We all have them.

She does end with a question that we all have – how do you handle distractions?


The question is not, “how best to teach mathematics?” The question, educator, is “how best for YOU to teach mathematics?”

After the title, the rest of Matthew Oldridge’s post is pretty much redundant!  When you’ve taken as many courses in mathematics as I have, you’d like to think that you’ve seen it all.

I’ve been drilled, investigated, explored, charted, drawn, programming, puzzled, heard mathematics jokes, …

Unfortunately, for most teachers, their last formal kick at mathematics would have been at a Faculty of Education which has to include that in amongst everything else for some teachers or focus on the teaching of difficult mathematics for those who would aspire to be secondary school specialists.

So, it comes as no surprise that some folks think that they have to chalk and talk in order to get their dollar and a quarter for the day.  Fortunately, we’re having the discussion about teaching and I really enjoyed the approach in Matthew’s post.  In true mathematics tradition, he illustrates with a chart…

I think that it’s a good read and anyone who will be teaching mathematics, at whatever level, would be well advised to read and consider their approach.  And, question when you’re advised to embrace “high impact strategies”.  To be sure, they can be good research, but don’t necessarily address your skill set or the learning needs of your students.


It’s absolutely another great week of reading.   Thanks to all the bloggers who contributed to my learning.  Please take a moment and drop by their posts (I’ve given you the links so it’s easy) and extend their conversations.  If you’re a blogger yourself, do what Andre did, and add yourself to the list.  I’d really like to have you included.

Learning HTML all over again


If you’ve been around constructing content for the web for a while, you’ve undoubtedly created your own using a plain ol’ text editor.  

That was me, in the beginning.  I had a printout of all of the HTML tags available to me along with the source code of a website or two that had impressed me.  That’s how I learned to develop for the web.  There was a great deal of typing, saving with a .htm or .html extension and then opening it in a web browser to see how badly I had been.  Then, back to the editor for a tweak here and a tweak there, save, reload in the browser and see if that fixed it.  Talk about your step-wise refinement.

Then, along came an update to Netscape and its Composer.  It was a huge improvement although it felt like cheating!  We used it at the heart of our Women in Technology program with a great deal of success because you could be up and running pretty quickly.  Next, through OSAPAC, we licensed Dreamweaver and never looked back.  And yet, despite the tools we have today, the skills from those early days of learning all the HTML tags is still one that I use with this blog to tweak content here and there.

So, I guess the bottom line message is that there still is a need to learn HTML at some level.  I know that many use it with their Hour of Code strategies because it’s easy to publish for the web and see familiar results.  At the teaching heart of it, though, you need to keep in mind that typing text just doesn’t have the motivation factor that dragging and dropping coding has.

Until you give Codemoji a shot.

When you enter the site, you do have a choice of going to a Playground or take some Lesson.  The ego in me said to go and play but I quickly learned that maybe that wasn’t the best of choices so I went back and took some lessons.

Essentially, you have an open workspace where you drag and drop some emoji to program your webpage.  Think of it as Scratch-like for HTML.

You’ll see that each is attached to the familiar (at least to us) HTML tag.  Like other drag and drop languages, you essentially drag a template for an instruction onto the workspace.  Then, with your keyboard you modify it so that it does what you need it to do.

Once selected, each of the emoji has details about just what it does and how it’s used.

Quickly frankly, it was a nice review for me to go through and click on each of them to refresh my memory as to what each tag does.

Of course, the proof is to actually run your code to see what happens and you do it right in the environment.  Certainly, the web doesn’t always run on emoji so you can flip to see the actual code that you’re generating.  

I actually quite enjoyed poking my way through the lessons.  There is a great deal of the basics that I hadn’t had to remember for quite some time.  Today’s tools have largely made things “behind the scenes” invisible.

The more I poked around, the greater kick I got from the choice of emoji to represent the HTML.  Get the hamburger reference?

I would encourage you to kick the tires to see if this has a place in your coding plans.  It’s a rather unique way of presentation.

I’ll bet that it wakes some memories of your own.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


Here they are – hot off the press – and those from Southwest Ontario understand hot.  Great blog posts that I’ve read recently from Ontario Edubloggers.


Pokemon Go and Moral Panic

Andrew Campbell gives us a quick run down of the news stories surrounding this summer’s obsession, Pokemon Go.

But, as he notes…

andrew

I suspect that we won’t have heard the end of it as school starts.  You’ll stumble into all kinds of “good” educational ideas for its use already.  Brace yourself for more.  Then there will be another rash of “power down in the classroom” discussions.

Hopefully, the discussion will end soon and get back focused just on good teaching – with or without the use of technology.

Quite frankly, I’m not holding my breath.


Teacher Identity: It’s Such A Personal Thing

My head was bobbing in agreement with Stephen Hurley’s post.

stephen

As a first year teacher, I wanted to be an amalgam of the best teachers that I had ever had and wanted to distance myself from those who I felt weren’t so good.

Truth be told, over time, I realized that it was really, really hard to be that best teacher.  On the other hand, I got insights into what made the others the way that they were.

So, I eventually ended up being who I was.  Good, bad, ugly, I guess the final evaluation is in the minds of the students that I had.  The nice thing about education is that you get the opportunity for a fresh start every 12 months.  Not many other professions offer that luxury.

As you plan to head back to school, and I know that many of you have already been in to do this and that, give Stephen a read and see if he doesn’t help you with your plans.


Google Forms and Siri Unite For Recording Anecdotals and Classroom Walkthoughs

Brenda Sherry shares a marriage of technology that many might find helpful – using Siri and Google Forms to record anecdotal notes.  It’s complete with instructions and pictures if you’re interested.

brenda

The combination is a natural and her description certainly worked for her.

Like the commenter to the blog though, I had to wonder – what if you have different technologies?  Office 365, Android phones, Windows Phones (yes I know one person who loves his).

So, it was off to experiment here and it worked well with Android and Google Forms, Android and Windows 365.  Windows Phone?  Not available for testing!

Of course, the key is the ability to click into a field expecting text and then the little microphone that’s part of the keyboard.

The other key is a quiet background.


Georgian Bay Sunset at McNab Rocks

This post, by Jessica Outram, brought back great memories from my youth.  Georgian Bay was a popular destination although I never understood the geography well enough to know where “McNab Rocks” is.  But, apparently Google Maps does (if this is indeed them)

If this is true, then we spent most of our time on the other side of the bay!  We were more Lion’s Head people.

Regardless, it’s beautiful and the post comes complete with some wonderful pictures.  It’s a reminder that you don’t have to have a long distance vacation if you’re in Ontario and you’re over the top if you get a chance to go out with the right people.


Crippling with Kindness

Diana Maliszewski has written a hugely powerful post that she’s delayed making public until now.  She’s shared, in the context of working with a blind student, a powerful message.  I never learned this in school.

However, I did learn about it in Scouts.  We were going to make a visit to a Senior’s home and, as Lord Baden-Powell would have us, we needed to “Be Prepared“.

I never needed the skills again until later at university where one of my classmates was blind.  He really resented when someone would just grab him, thinking that they were helping.

Not being there are continuously grabbing the keyboard is a powerful methodology when teaching computer science.  Not everyone “gets it” at the same moment and so are you really helping when you’re quick to inject yourself into the situation?

Diana concludes with her observations and some very good questions of herself, and I would suggest should be asked of everyone.


My Three Measures For Success

I was working on this post this morning when I got notification that Aviva Dunsiger had released a new post.  I wondered – what question is she asking now?

She lists and elaborates on three measures for success for herself.

  • Have students successfully self-regulate so that they are ready and able to learn
  • Meet and/or exceed the Board’s reading benchmarks by the end of Kindergarten
  • Help develop independent problem solvers

As I look at her list, three things come to my mind.

  • These are really ambitious goals – are they realistic?
  • Particularly with the first and last one, how does she plan to measure success?
  • Will she share these measures with the parents of her students?  If she does (although it could be argued that this blog post has done it), will she be accountable to them for results?

It’s good that she’s sharing her thinking and planning with us.  I wish her all the best and do hope that she’s successful.


How To Create a Culturally Responsive Classroom for Refugee & Migrant Students

This post, by Rusul Alrubail, is very appropriately timed as people are thinking about the new class(es) for the fall and what the future might bring.

That future might include some “refugee and migrant students”.

The post has two distinct parts

  • Strategies to try out in the classroom to help create a culturally responsive environment for all students:
  • How to Create A Welcoming Environment in the Classroom:

and there are some wonderful and helpful ideas in there.

I also thinking that the sharing of success stories from the local news media can be helpful.  And, if they aren’t doing enough, create your own success news and distribute your own news releases.

Sadly, there’s an elephant in the room as well as the US election steams ahead.  I shudder all the time as all formal news media, including Canadian ones, seem compelled to cover it.

I’ll look forward to the full release of the interview.


I know that these and other posts have given me a shot for thinking recently.  I hope that they do and that you drop by their blogs and leave a comment.  It will help to encourage the great blogging and thinking efforts.

Whatever happened to …


… eating with students?

The inspiration for this post came from feedback from the “Whatever happened to …?” padlet.

What ever happened to…. Getting to eat with your students everyday! Long before detailed, contractual supervision schedules we used to enjoy 20 minutes each day of eating with our students ~ getting to talk to them on an informal basis. Time well invested

This was one of those topics that really illustrate the difference between the elementary and secondary school environments.

In my school, we had what I considered the perfect timetable.  There were eight sections and we would tumble through six on any day.  So, a Day 1 was periods 1-2-3-4-4-5-6.  Day 2 was 2-3-4-5-5-6-7 and so on.  There were classes that rolled off the timetable for a couple of days before returning.  You’ll notice that a period was doubled in the middle.  That was split over the lunch time.  One of the periods was junior lunch (9, 10) and the other senior lunch based upon the subject that a student took at that time.  It was also one of the many supervision tasks that we had.  When our lunch was scheduled for one of those periods, you ate in one and often had supervision during the other.  “Pig pen duty” involved supervising the cafeteria with a partner or guarding the door to the classrooms so that you could keep quiet in the school.  Lots of stories to share about that!

I won’t mention the length of lunch periods but suffice it to say they were certainly longer than 20 minutes!

If you wanted, you could “dine” in the staff room or at your desk or periodically leave for a restaurant but that was risky because you needed to be back at school for the class after lunch.

Or there were alternatives.

  • since the computers were on the same timetable as me, they’d be unscheduled for classes during my lunch.  I’d regularly have students ask to eat and work on projects during that time.  They needed to be supervised so I would chow down with them
  • it was also a perfect time for the computer programming team to practice, with my supervision
  • during football season, often we would have team meetings at lunch to go over Xs and Os or watch video of a previous game
  • at times, students who worked the yearbook would need time to work on computers, again with supervision
  • it also was the perfect time for installing software and cleaning keyboards – my group of computer workers were really helpful at that

There was significantly more than 20 minutes to do the above.

When I became a consultant and had the opportunity to visit schools, lunch was a puzzle!  No two had the same schedules for busing or just legacy reasons so one of the things that I carried were school timetables.  I knew that those short eating times were sacred for teachers and would do my best to avoid them or if I had to interrupt, I’d bring dessert.  It became even more of a challenge when the balanced day schedule became in vogue.  At that time, I had no formal lunch and often it was a sandwich in the car en route to somewhere.

Regardless, though, it was a terrific time to talk to students in a setting other than the academic/formal learning class and, as the anonymous poster in the Padlet noted, it was time well invested.

Having said all that, it still is important that there is “me” time built into the schedule.  The calling of nature, a time just to regenerate, a time to plan, a time to organize, a time to mark (yeah, like that works), and more shows the importance of breaks.

Your thoughts?

  • what kind of “me” time does your schedule allow?
  • how do you connect with students other than during class time?
  • if you’re on a balanced day, how do you keep your strength up?

As always, your thoughts via comment are always appreciated.

This whole Sunday series of “Whatever happened to …” is available here.  How about taking a walk along memory lane with me? 

Got an idea, share it on this padlet.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs


It’s been another great week of reading blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers.  Some of what I caught appears below.

Please take a moment to click through and read their complete thoughts.


My New Work Flow

David Fife made sure that I didn’t miss this post from Jennifer Aston.  Jennifer and I had actually exchanged some thoughts about the topics she blogged about so it was like another deja vu to see it in that format.  But, the nice thing about blogging is that you get to see the thoughts completely in context.

If you read the post in its entirety, there is a great deal to be learned.

  • when you move your files and data to the cloud, “who” really owns it?
  • a decision made by the folks at the board office, or what was referred to with my former employer, “downtown” can have cascading effects throughout the district
  • related to that, it’s fair to ask “Is there a master plan?”
  • if you live by the cloud, you can die (or at least get a bit injured) by the cloud
  • YOU need to be in charge of everything or there are consequences
  • Linux isn’t a four letter word and puts you back in the driver’s seat of your computer
  • it’s nice to have a cadre of people that you can ask when these questions arise

There’s another one that I think that all educators need to consider.

When your students “check out” at Grade 6 or 8 or 12 or whenever, do you provide a mechanism for them to check out their work as well?


Literacy Tests: Not Just Kids’ Stuff

When I first read the title of Stephen Hurley’s post, I got myself ready for another rant and rationale to ditch standardized testing.

So, I felt like the victim of a bait and switch when I read the post.

He draws an interesting parallel between the literacy tests that we subject students to and the wedding speeches that so many of us have had to give.

So here’s to all of you who have been asked to give a speech or a toast at a wedding this summer. Embrace the opportunity, embrace the anxiety and remember—literacy tests are not just for kids. Whether we realize it or not, they are part of all of our lives—for the rest of our lives!

It’s a fun read and yet makes so many sense.

With the exception, of course, that students don’t go and do shots when the testing is over!


Advice for New Teachers

Who knows how many new teachers will be entering classrooms for the first time this fall?  Or how many people are making a career change by moving from one school to another.  Even that can be a culture change.  Matthew Oldridge has a wonderful post just full of advice.

He concludes with:

The post is full of good advice.

Except…

Well, maybe there will be a followup post about Parent/Teacher nights.


Coding in French

Larissa Aradj shares to her blog, a guest post from French teacher Ashley Soltesz, and an interesting take on teaching coding in French.

As noted, French teachers don’t always have access to the same collection of resources as the regular classroom teacher but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t find a way to make it happen.  In this case, it was to create Coding Blocks in the French language and allow students to create projects without the benefit of a computer.

What’s not to like?  It gets rid of one more excuse.

You don’t have to start from scratch.  <groan>  Check out the resources in this shared folder.


It IS about the Tools!

Opening Up My Technology Can Of Worms

I’m going to clump Peter Skillen and Aviva Dunsiger’s posts together here.

I’m not neutral on this topic.

It’s Not About the Technology

It Better Be About The Technology

and a bunch of others.  It’s a regular theme around here.   I still love this graphic.

I deliberately chose the word “neutral” above because I believe that the use of technology is not a neutral activity.

I touch technology every day.  It touches me every day.  I can only remember one moment where I wanted to scream and it was at one of those PD sessions that you’re forced to attend.  Normally, that doesn’t bother me but the presenter started out by asking, no demanding, that people turn off their technology so that we could listen to her.  Then, having shut that door for me, she went on to ramble about learning styles or something.

Technology isn’t neutral.

  • In the hands of a master teacher, you can have students create, explore, and do things that aren’t possible in any other way.  This is where the magic lies.
  • In the hands of a teacher that uses it for some menial task, it turns off students from even trying.
  • If it’s never used by a teacher, it’s just opportunity lost.

We lost one of the great Edtech minds this past week in Seymour Papert.  There was no bigger advocate for the technology using student.  By inheritance, we include the technology using teacher.  It’s 2016 – we shouldn’t have “computer teachers” – that belongs to our past where we had limited access to technology and an entire profession that was learning.  Those excuses just don’t cut it today.

Never has the profession had so many great things happening and discerning teachers using technology to its greatest ability.


An interview with Michelle Cordy

I’m going to call my own number here.

I had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing Michelle Cordy who delivered the closing keynote at the recent ISTE Conference.

Of course, I had to wait for her to return from a trip to Berlin to get things together but it did come together nicely.

We chatted about teaching different grades, research, 1:1 iPads, delivering the closing keynote at the ISTE Conference, and much more.  She gives a shout out to her five biggest influencers.  I think it’s a great read and I hope that you take the time to do so.


Thanks to all of the above for continuing to provide great thoughts for educators.  Drop by each blog for the complete content and leave a comment of your own if you’re so inclined.  They’ll appreciate it.

Whatever happened to …


… parent/teacher interviews?

Last week’s post about report cards serves as inspiration for this week’s thoughts.

At the Faculty of Education, the parent/teacher interview was made in passing.  “It’s the most important thing that you’ll do to communicate with parents”.  I still remember the advice.  Although exactly “how” this was to be done was never covered.  I never had the experience during practice teaching outings although I did ask the question.  The advice that I got was pretty much worthless “Just talk to the parents and tell them what their kids are doing”.  So, ever naive, I thought that was all that there was to it.  After all, my parents had attended interviews about me and I survived.

On the eve of my first set, I asked my department head who was equally as useless in his advice.  “Just talk to them”.

So, I never was prepared and went in cold turkey.  The school bell would ring every 12 minutes so that you knew that the time was up and the conversation ended.  In subsequent years, we got rid of the bells (we never actually used them to signal class change so the sound was bizarre).  There’s nothing more abrasive than a bell in a building made of blocks without bodies to absorb some of the sound!)

My first experience was actually pretty good.  Nobody came.

I found later that, being on the second floor made us pretty hard to find and that the parents pretty much gravitated to the “important” subjects.  You know, the mathematics, English, history, science …  Plus, as a first year teacher, I was pretty liberal with my marks; I hadn’t failed anyone.  I also didn’t realize that we could send home a note indicating that we’d like to see a particular parent.  And, I was new to a school, teaching a subject that many people didn’t understand and probably all of those things served to keep people away.

But that changed.  I became very aggressive in promoting computer science and data processing and it became more important to parents and students to the point that I had a full timetable of the subject and we were recruiting new teachers to teach the overflow. With a bigger selection of students, I did see some students that had challenges with the subject and I did end up getting to chat with parents.  I used to remark that, as could have been predicted, no two interviews were the same.  If there ever is a case for differentiation, just look at the parents of your students.  I had some productive sessions, a lot of sessions seeking advice for what home computer should be bought, and then there are those damn teachers who have kids.

They are the toughest.

Just when you think you’re the world’s greatest teacher, you get challenged on the types of assessment that you use.  I still smile when I think of a few who challenged my decision to not have so many tests but rather focussed on projects and collaboration.  I even had one university professor visit who thought that everything should be a test or exam so that I could conclusively assign a number to a student and not have a waffely mark based on group work.  Sigh.  Where are they now?  (Actually, I know but that’s as far as I’m prepared to go here)

Into the fray, we had a change in the head of Student Services who had a better idea from the school he transferred from.  Instead of the interviews being done in our classrooms, we were all assigned a table in either the gym or the cafeteria.  While it was easier to schedule, I guess, there was certainly a lack of privacy and you haven’t lived until you’ve spent two hours at a table near the servery.  The smell of grease for that long was just sickening.  Later, as a department head, I was part of a revolt that took us back to classrooms. It just made so much more sense.  And, it was easier to pull out portfolios of student work to go along with the discussions.

Parent/Teacher interviews are still the lifeblood of communication and I do hope that Faculties of Education are not failing their students like mine did.  But, is there a more effective way of communicating with home?

Time and technology has made a process available to all.  Just like assessment should be ongoing, so could the sharing of information with parents.

Electronically, we now have classrooms on Twitter and Facebook, class blogs, school / class websites, teachers and parents sharing emails.  Even here, there’s this little guy that hangs out at our house whose parents get daily communications with the Montessori School (including pictures) to show that learning is not an event; it is continuous.

There is a danger with electronic communications that I don’t think every school realizes and stays on top of.  If you say you have a class website or blog or wiki, it should be kept up to date.  I can tell you of school websites that have teacher websites linked to a host that doesn’t exist any more.  That certainly doesn’t speak well for that teacher or school.  Then, there’s the whole privacy issue.  There are so many angles to that topic.

That’s my story.  How about you?

  • did you ever get good advice before your first parent/teacher interview?  Have you mastered them now?
  • do you use report cards and attachments as communication tools?
  • do you have a class blog/website and use it effectively?  How?
  • does social media fit into your communication plans?  Is it effective?
  • do you worry about the privacy of student/parent information in any of these formats?
  • where would you be without computers to facilitate this?
  • is a physical meeting a thing of the past?  Couldn’t you just do a hangout or Skype instead?

This whole Sunday series of “Whatever happened to …” is available here.  How about taking a walk along memory lane with me?  Got an idea, share it on this padlet.

Déjà vu coding


Part of the problem of having so many programming environments is that you can’t remember them all.  Yes, there are big lists but the reality is that you typically get really comfortable with one or two and take it from there.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t keep your eyes open.

This morning, I read a post from the ACSE discussion list where Ontario Educator Justin Yantho had waded into a discussion about the best way to teach OOP principles to students.  In his reply, he made reference to a Trinket resource that he had created to share with a group of elementary teachers interested in learning coding beyond blocks.

Of course, I had to check it out.

It’s very nicely done.

I thought that Justin had done a good job of providing code for the learners.  Even more impressive was the documentation provided at the bottom for the learners.  If you had difficulties working through and modifying his examples, you could read about what the code was doing.  That’s so important.

At the point of the screen capture above, my memory cells kicked in.

I’d worked in this environment before.  But where and when?

The power of blogging is that, if you’ve blogged about it, it’s there somewhere.  So, I did a search for Trinket and I had in fact blogged about their Hour of Code example almost two years ago.  It was called “Python with Ease“.

Somehow, I felt good about the fact that I had remembered.  Somehow, I felt bad that I had gone this far through Justin’s tutorial before I realized it.  Maybe I should do my morning reading later in the day when I’m fully awake.

Regardless, it is in interesting and well-created tutorial.  It’s definitely worth a look for understanding and evaluating to see if it fits into your introduction to coding plans.