Friday, January 16, 2015

Cs-First, Scratch, Fifth Grade, and Coordinate Geometry

Over the past two weeks, I began taking Merrily Besvinick's Fifth grade class through CS-first.com's "Game Design" Club.  Some of you may first be wondering, "What is CS-first"?


"CS-first is a free program that increases student access and exposure to computer science (CS) education through after-school, in-school, and summer programs. All clubs are run by teachers and/or community volunteers." http://www.cs-first.com/overview 



This program has been created in order to, "Increase confidence, instill courage, grow perseverance, provide a sense of belonging, and demonstrate the impact computer science will have in the future." http://www.cs-first.com/overview 

In the Dr. Besvinick's class we have noticed a multitude of outcomes in the two weeks that we began implementing the program.  

During the time that I am working with the students, the class productivity has risen astronomically. I typically work with groups of 4-5 students for approximately 30-40 minutes each.  During the time that I am working with one small group, Dr. Besvinick is either working one-on-one with students or students will have a variety of assignments to complete (from ELA to Math, Geography to Reading and Writing, etc.).  Classwork and motivation has increased dramatically.  Students are more productive (and effective NOT JUST EFFICIENT!)  Although these student's just believe that they are "just making a game" they are learning in the process.  Last session, I was teaching the students coordinate geometry as students needed to understand the x and y axis of a plane to understand how different sprites moved across a screen and from what position they started, ended and then returned to.

Overall, Dr. Besvinick and I have seen growth in just the few sessions that we have been working with the students.  I am excited to see where these students will go in the future with this program.