Today we visited North Star Downtown Middle School and the Browning School!
We start off the class period with a “Do Now.”
A “Do Now” is a short activity to start that class that gets students involved and active right away. Brian Smith is the computer science teacher at North Star Academy Downtown Middle School in Newark, New Jersey, and he is leading the “Do Now” activity today.
The activity has the students working on the syntax for defining functions. There are a few examples that the students have to go and correct, and identify the error. After the students find the errors themselves, they check them with a partner, and after that they are reviewed as a class.
After that I do a short introduction and question & answer with the class period before moving into a normal computer science class.
This is a self-paced class so students work at their own pace through the materials. I got to help the students who were struggling a bit as well as the students who were zooming along.
A number of students stay after class to ask me more questions. We do the same visit with another class.
Next I head back into the center of Manhattan for another visit. I head to the Browning School, which has been using CodeHS to teach their intro computer science classes. I met with the computer science teacher, who has been helping to build out the whole technology program. We got to speak with some students who took AP, as well as run a workshop with some of the younger students.
They’re big fans of CodeHS at the Browning School and plan to continue to use it as they expand their classes.