TCDSB #1

Grades 1-9 Math + Coding Workshop

4 October 2021, (c) George Gadanidis, Western University


A. WHAT’S NEW?

grades 1-9

  • Coding across all grades, in algebra (and beyond)..
  • Some more sophisticated mathematics.
  • A focus on the beauty, aesthetics and wonder of mathematics.
  • Social-emotional learning skills.

GRADE 9

  • De-streamed classes.
  • Research and tell a mathematics story.

B. BIG PICTURE – part 1

START WITH CODE THAT WORKS

  • Have students execute the code to see its output
  • Ask them to alter the code to model the different intervals in the table
  • Ask: how does the code do what the table does?
  • Ask them to share what they understand and what they have questions about
  • Have students try to answer one another’s questions
  • Don’t be in a hurry to explain

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE THE EXPERT

  • Make “understanding” their “problem”
  • For example:
    • Print and post the code on a whiteboard
    • Draw arrows to the parts that students are unsure about
    • Students may use sticky notes to write/post descriptions of what the code sections do
  • The more you explain the less they will think about it

C. INEQUALITY PUZZLES

The following is a set of activities I did in June during virtual visits in grades 6-8 classes.

1. PUZZLE #1

1.1

A. Alter the code to get the following output.

B. Alter the code to get the following output.

1.2

Alter the code in other ways and notice the effect.

  • What part of the code do you understand?
  • What part of the code do you have questions about?

2. PUZZLE #2

2.1

A. Alter the code as shown below.

  • Predict how the output will change.
  • Run the code to test your prediction.
  • Explain the result.

B. Alter the code as shown below.

  • Predict how the output will change.
  • Run the code to test your prediction.
  • Explain the result.

C. Alter the code to get the output shown below.

D. Alter the code as shown below. [Notice that “and” changed to “or”]

  • Predict how the output will change.
  • Run the code to test your prediction.
  • Explain the result.

2.2

Alter the code in other ways to get similar results.

  • What have you learned about about inequalities and their graphs?
  • What else do you want to know?

3. PUZZLE #3

3.1

A. Alter the code to get the output shown below.

B. Alter the code to get the output shown below.

3.2

Alter the code in other ways and notice the effect.

  • What more have you learned about about inequalities and their graphs?
  • What else do you want to know?

4. PUZZLE #4

4.1

A. Alter the code as shown below.

  • Predict how the output will change.
  • Run the code to test your prediction.
  • Explain the result.

B. Alter the code as shown below.

  • Predict how the output will change.
  • Run the code to test your prediction.
  • Explain the result.

C. Alter the code as shown below.

  • Predict how the output will change.
  • Run the code to test your prediction.
  • Explain the result.

4.2

Alter the code in other ways to get similar results.

  • What more have you learned about inequalities and their graphs?
  • What else do you want to know?

5. SHARE

5.1

Think back to the 4 puzzles above.

  • What surprised most you mathematically? Why?
  • What new ideas, concepts or relationships did you better understand? Explain.

5.2

Share your favourite inequality experience with family and friends.

  • How will you share your experience so others may also:
    • Experience mathematical surprise?
    • Better understand a math idea, concept or relationship?
  • Ask:
    • What surprised you?
    • What did you learn?
    • What else do you want to know?
  • Back in class:
    • Share and discuss your sharing experience.
    • Share and discuss comments of your family and friends.

D. BIG PICTURE – part 2

GET READY TO BE SURPRISED

  • I’ve spend many, many days in grades 1-10 classrooms co-teaching with math + coding
  • A common event is teachers telling me to look at a student whose engagement and understanding surprises them

CODING OFFERS ADVANTAGES

  • Coding models mathematics concepts & relationships dynamically
  • It makes abstract ideas feel tangible
  • It affords agency
  • It offers a low floor and a high ceiling
  • Coding has the potential to change what mathematics can be done and who can do it.

scratch, scratch JR, python … ?

  • No all coding languages offer the same affordances.
  • It’s not so much an issue of transitioning from one language to another, or from block-based to text-based.
  • It’s more an issue of which language is most appropriate for the task and setting.
  • Some students will need language options and extensions, and sometimes you will be surprised by which students they are.

E. MORE MATH + CODING

Grades 5-6

See https://learnx.ca/w56s/

Grades 3-4

See https://learnx.ca/w34s/

Grades 1-2

See https://learnx.ca/w12s/

Grades 7-9

See https://learnx.ca/w78s/


F. BIG PICTURE – part 3

DON’T TEACH CODING, TEACH MATH

  • The pressure around us is to teach all kids how to code
  • Mathematics education is about offering all students access to the structure, beauty and wonder of mathematics
  • Coding is a great tool to think with, especially when we have good conceptual structure of the mathematics

G. RESOURCES

UNDERSTANDING MATH + CODING

MATH + CODING PUZZLES

READINGS

Computational Modelling in Elementary Mathematics Education – Making Sense of Coding in Elementary Classrooms (May 2018). Read the White Paper by CT CoP members, George Gadanidis (Western University) and Beverly Caswell (Robertson Program, OISE/UT).

Integrated Mathematics + Computer Science – Grade 10: Reforming Secondary School Mathematics Education (April 2018). Read the White Paper by CT CoP members, George Gadanidis (Western University) and Jeff Cummings (Wellington Catholic DSB). See the Grades 1-3 lesson studies.

Coding in the Ontario Mathematics Curriculum, 1-8: Might it be transformational? Read the March 2021 report at http://mkn-rcm.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/CL-mkn-v3.pdf