MATHS + CODING in Ontario, Canada

Presentation at the April 2021 ATM Conference, UK

by George Gadanidis, Western University, Ontario, Canada

1. CONTEXT

WORKING in 1-8 classrooms

For over 10 years we have been working in 1-8 maths classrooms, using this approach:

  1. Asking teachers, “What do you need help with?”
  2. Designing classroom experiences that address teacher and student needs, and also incorporate:
  3. For over 5 years, we have also been adding coding, where appropriate, to dynamically represent, investigate and understand math concepts and relationships:
    • a low floor and high ceiling
    • mathematical surprise and insight
    • opportunities for students to share their learning at home

2. MATHS + CODING CURRICULUM, 1-8

Last year, the Ontario government added coding to algebra strand, in each of grades 1-8.

Over the last year, we have been working to develop support resources, based on our research, for 1-8 classrooms.

GRADES 1-4 (ALGEBRA STRAND)

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GRADES 5-8 (ALGEBRA STRAND)

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2. WHAT MIGHT THIS LOOK LIKE?

GRADES 1-2

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Sequential
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Concurrent
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GRADES 3-4

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Repeating

See https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/421900037/editor

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Nested

See https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/421910828/editor

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Variables

See https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/474587945/editor

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GRADES 5-6

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Inequalities + Python

See https://cscircles.cemc.uwaterloo.ca/console

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Inequalities + Scratch + 1D

See https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/494015607/editor

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Inequalities + Scratch + 2D

See https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/494017754/editor

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Inequalities + Python + 3D

Plot of x > 0.

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GRADES 7-8

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Numbers & their sums + Python

See https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/494017754/editor

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Numbers & their sums + Python

See https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/494213855/editor

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Numbers & their sums + Python Notebook

See https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1LfbK-USfaVoO6IyaGR-FSpITUup-1E1d?usp=sharing

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3. TRY SOMETHING

Try one of the above.

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Then let’s come back and discuss.

4. WHAT MIGHT THIS DO?

Is coding a computational literacy (diSessa, 2000, 2018) in Ontario?

“A literacy is a massive social/intellectual accomplishment of a culture or civilization.”

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Four principles are at play:

  1. Remediation of concepts, problems and processes, due to the new dynamic representational system.
  2. Reformulation creates significant cognitive shift, and has the potential to reveal cognitive simplicities.
  3. Reorganization of the intellectual landscape, changing who gets to do what and when.
  4. Revitalization of the field, and of related education.

A new literacy needs a literature. What does this mean?

Read the March 2021 report at http://mkn-rcm.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/CL-mkn-v3.pdf

5. MORE

RESOURCES

Self-serve workshops

See “workshops” at https://learnx.ca/math

Teaching Material we have developed

See https://learnx.ca/math

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Video: the affordances of modelling maths with code (6 min.)