Pair Programming!

What is Pair Programming and why do we LOVE it?

Pair programming is exactly what it sounds like, we pair up students and they work together during our courses to program. With the wide range of classes we offer we have many students and we have found that having them pair up not only helps them understand programming on a higher level; it also helps with social skills and helps them prepare for real world working experiences. As adults we know that we have to work with many people and sometimes it can be a bit frustrating but learning how to work together at a young age helps as our students grow and venture out into life.

Programming is fun but it can also be a bit challenging, but fun without a challenge, would be way too easy. What most parents don’t know is that with our classes programming starts as young as Kindergarten/1st grade and goes all the way through Junior High. Pairing them up when they are younger teaches them to work together and problem solve with one another before asking the teacher. The outcome of this is success, because the happiness students feel when they can problem solve without the teachers help, is joyful and rewarding for both students and the teacher.

As a mother of a kindergartner I know firsthand that at that age they need the practice of working in pairs. As a teacher I also know that older students also need the experience of working together. When I teach my Junior High students or even middle school students they each want a computer for themselves. The older they get, I feel the less social they become because of all the technology these days, so when they step into one of our classes they work together and become socially interactive. Personally, nothing makes me feel better than to see my students getting along and enjoying working together and grow as individuals in their partnerships!

We-Do Robotics and why its a great idea to sign your child up for more than one session of our classes!

This last week I presented in a webinar on our we-do robotics class and why I feel the class is still so important. After much debate and with Spring sessions still having openings and Summer sessions creeping up on us, I thought that I’d share some of my ideas and thoughts from the presentation with you. I feel like so many of us lose interest because we feel like there is a limit to what our robotics classes have to offer, but I am here to tell you today that the possibilities are endless.

There is so much more to our robotics classes, and the majority of our other classes if I am being completely honest, than creating the designs and learning only the materials that are intended for the class. There are after class activities that students can do, these activities reiterate what we did in class and show the parents what we learned. There is so much learning potential for our students in this class, and the fact we start out young is definitely an advantage for your child.

I know, just like with other classes some parents hesitate to re-sign their child up for a class they have taken, and its understandable but when you do this you are giving your child more and more experience. I can also assure you that although they may have taken the class before, they will most definitely learn something new, something they did not learn in the last session. Returning students are on a higher scaffolding stage as well as more socially developed. Social skills are key to success in our classes because we pair our students up and get them comfortable working with others and they learn how to problem solve together. Sessions fly by and by the time we realize it, it is over and there are topics and areas we haven’t been able to even touch on.

As a parent I encourage you to look for programs run by educators that are consistent. Consistency doesn’t always have to mean that the same teacher will be returning returning, consistency is also good educators sharing the experiences they had with the class and students so the teacher going can and will teach their very best they can. Most of our classes are set up in a way that if you sign your child up more than once, they will still learn new skills and be taught new knowledge. One of the most successful ways we at Computer Explorers do this is through variations of curriculum, whether it be for the whole class or for an individual child. We do this because we know that students do like our classes and chances are they will want to re-sign up for a class, so to re-assure you, the parent, that they are learning new ideas each and every time they walk into class, we as teachers are always coming up with fun and new ideas to bring with us into class each session.  So please come join us for our Spring and Summer sessions because we have some NEW and EXCITING classes starting. You asked, well your child asked, and we listened:)

Stay tuned because in our next blog I will be going into what our new classes are and what our students and teachers think of them. So until next time, Happy Blogging!!!!

Coding, coding, and more coding!

Did you realize that coding is so important these days? That is the reason why we offer so many different coding classes, starting at pre-school aged children. Yes you read that correctly, we have classes that involve coding for preschool students. In today’s classroom teachers use programs that students may not be familiar with because they may not have the knowledge or the tools needed to be successful with the programs.

Coding is really important and that is why we start teaching this skill at such young ages. Mark Zuckerberg states that “In fifteen years we will be teaching programming just like reading and writing… and wondering why we didn’t do it sooner.” Fortunately for children enrolled in our programs they aren’t waiting fifteen years because they are learning it now.

As I was researching coding and the importance of needing to know how to code, program, and work with computers, I found an interesting link that I would like to share. This link clearly shows that coding is important in all career areas and that most jobs these days do require some type of computer science skill set or degree. Another thing we all know is that in real world careers we have to, at some point work with others, which is why we have our students work in pairs. This helps them problem solve together and it prepares them for real life experiences.  I hope you enjoy reading what all these known people have to say, and to be quite honest I was shocked at some of the people that are speaking about coding and programming in this article. https://code.org/quotes

Our beginning coding class 2code starts at age 4-5 and it teaches coding through clicking and dragging pictures. I have personally taught this class and find that not only do the pictures help but it teaches students how to use a laptop, because these days most of all my students use tablets, iPads, phones, etc. Using a laptop and/or a computer is a skill that benefits all students.

Scratch is another program that we run and it is also used in schools, talking to students I teach, I have been told that they are very successful at school because of the skills learned in our class. Scratch comes in three different levels and that makes it available to younger students such as 1st graders and older students as old as middle school..

Alice is another successful coding class that students love programming. They start out with a background and then have to add different objects and program these objects to become animated and do what they want them to do. The programming is so detailed that in order to be successful students need to be extremely engaged and working continuously throughout the time of the class, and they always are!

Minecraft is HUGE these days and we offer a MineCraft coding class that is a huge success. I have had more than one student take the same coding class 2-3 times because they are always learning something new. With the curriculum we have, no class is the same. Students can take this class more than once and still learn and what makes it much more enjoyable for them is the knowledge they come back to the second session with. The teachers on our team can and do alter the curriculum to challenge students who have taken the class before.

We have recently added a coding class Python which is a huge success with students. This is not your typical click and drag coding class. It is a very hands-on course in which students explore Python, a complex coding language used in every day programs, apps, and games. They learn to code in a fun interactive way which includes coding games and learning animation using Python. This code-oriented program is fun and challenging, and blends the worlds of computer science and programming. I am currently teaching this class to Jr. High students and they are now creating fun and interactive games of their very own.

To end this blog I want to just reiterate how important coding really is and although I have talked about many of our classes, we offer many, many more. We hope to see your child in one of our classes in the near future! Until next time, Happy Blogging!

 

Spring and S.T.E.M

Wow, time is really flying by. I guess the saying “Time flies when you’re having fun” is true! I know it most definitely is every day I step into my classroom and see all of my wonderful students. I feel so lucky and honored, as all of our teachers do, when we have students who come back session after session and we get the chance to know them really well, and we feel just as honored when we see new faces and get to know them. We at Computer Explorers LOVE what we do and I can say that it truly show in the way we teach our programs and the way we have open communication with parents, schools, park districts, and students. We don’t just go to any school or any park district we are in these places because they have become second homes to us and we have built strong and trusting relationships with them and with our parents and students. I believe that is why we stand out and that is why we have so many amazing students!

 

I am amazed at the knowledge my students bring with them but I am also stunned at the knowledge they leave with. Each week we learn something new and the following week we re-visit for a few minutes and then move on to our next task. One of our newer classes, Python is a popular class that teaches coding in a completely different way than any of our other classes. It is text based coding, and although it can seem hard at first, the reward the students and I feel once they understand it and they can get it done is the best feeling in the world!! Python takes time and patience but when my 4th and 5th graders and now 7th and 8th graders are getting through the lessons it really shows how important technology and coding really are. I had a high school student who told me he had just starting learning Python. A high school student who is just now learning what we are already teaching kids at such a young age. Our mission is to teach and help them achieve the high level of technology through our S.T.E.M courses. All the classes we offer, integrates S.T.E.M, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. I’d have to say that each day a student walks into our classroom they walk out with more knowledge while also having fun and that is why we do what we do.

 

Now that I have said that, I really feel like these sessions are just flying by and for some their next Spring session is right around the corner, and I don’t know about you but I cannot wait for the warmer weather. But what I and the other teachers are most excited about are all the amazing classes we have running this Spring session. I know that I have quite a few students returning but there are some who aren’t sure what their parents have planned. If you have been enrolling your child in our programs you know classes fill up quickly, especially once the word gets out about the class we will be running. If you haven’t yet or aren’t quite sure about signing your child up for one of our amazing classes this Spring session, please take a moment and see what classes are being offered at your child’s school or your local park district. I am sure we have classes that have room for more young and inquiring minds! We know that schedules can be quite hectic so we try to make it easier for you by offering our classes at multirole locations and at different times.

Winter Break has crept up quicker than we could say “Winter Break”

 

Holy cow, can you believe that winter break is upon us, I can’t. We would like to give you some ideas that you can use at home to keep your childrens’ mind rolling while on break. we offer a wide variety of classes and we focus on many different topics. One thing that never gets old for any student is working with any type of Lego .They are loved and played with by children of all ages. so we’d like to give you some fun at home activities your child can do from home. Extension activities

As you may already know Computer Explorers does a lot of work with coding. We have so many different coding classes and keep adding more. Coding is becoming a norm for elementary aged children and we help them learn the knowledge they need to excel in and out of school. Just take a look at this link and take a peek at what is going on in today’s coding world https://hourofcode.com/us. Here is another link of some coding examples, these are definitely some of the coding your child can learn in our classes, I recommend taking a look to see the many different types of coding there really are http://ey.westside66.org/wiki/pages/62T9F8/Coding_Examples.html, and lastly, here is a link that proves how important it is for your child to learn coding, it will soon be coming into your childs school (if it has not already) http://www.edutopia.org/blog/add-coding-elementary-curriculum-now-matt-harrell. We truly help all of our students understand the different coding languages such as Java, C++, etc. and with this knowledge they will not be fearful of coding in school, because coding can be very intimidating. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me directly at compexplorers.danae@gmail.com. If you would like more ideas for your child or if your child would like some extension activity ideas from a class that has just ended, please reach out to me, after all that is what I am here for. I would also like to give you a glimpse into some of our classes, so if your on the fence about enrolling your child, maybe this will help make your decision! COMPUTER EXPLORERS TechStars Programs Winter 2015-16. On behalf of Computer Explorers we would like to wish you and your families a very Happy Holiday Season and we hope to see you in 2016!!

 

Until next time, Happy Blogging!!

 

 

 

 

Page 5 of 7« First...34567


Links to Programs





Who We Work With


Educators
Community Centers
Preschools/Child Care



© 2013 COMPUTER EXPLORERS®
All rights reserved.