" I heard a great talk a few months ago. It was Conrad Wolfram (probably one of the world's leading mathematicians) who suggested, that we should stop teaching our kids maths. Whoah!
He said, and I'm paraphrasing, we needed to teach them computational thinking instead. What is that? He said every problem needs breaking apart, exploding it into its parts - if we are to begin to properly solve them. And better still that we explain to kids how to put that idea into practice. Explain to them, for example, that to make their bike go faster they might figure out how much bigger the peddle wheel needs to be than than the one on the back wheel.
According to Wikipedia computational thinking is an iterative process based on three stages: 1. Problem formulation (abstraction) 2. Solution expression (automation) 3. Solution execution and evaluation (analyses) That REALLY works for me."
"If there is one piece of advice that is drilled into you as a new parent, it is to limit screen time. Bringing home our first baby, I may have not known how to effectively swaddle or change a diaper, but I did know, "back is best" and "no screen time for children under two." Yet, screens are something we as parents are constantly interacting with. In those early days of parenting, our parents laughed as we announced that we would not expose our children to screens. Yet screens are such a piece of our world. How could I expect a child not to find interest in the screens and technology that we interact with routinely? Does this abstinence approach to teaching new parents and those who work with our youngest learners do more harm than good? Does coding and computational thinking have a place in early childhood education? Yes, it certainly does. "
"Looking for some fun and engaging ways to have kindergarten kids participate in problem solving (and creating), I turned to my trusty friend, Lego. Like many division one teachers, I use Lego often because it has so many applications. But as the 2014-15 school year came to a close, I was looking for a challenge. So, what I did was created a maze with Lego that a marble would travel to and showed this to the kids. I then challenged the kids to make a maze that would fit the marble (there had to be three empty spaces for width at all times)."
"For many years, digital learning games have been helping kids of all ages build new skills, grasp difficult concepts and improve their understanding of school curriculum. Young children find these games especially engaging, which can be useful when it comes to teaching kindergarten math."
"I am aware that the computer science aspects of the new computing curriculum creates extra work for some teachers as they need to learn many unfamiliar concepts. I know this can be challenging and time consuming, but I think we are very fortunate because there is a vast range of free programming environments /apps available for teachers to use for teaching computer science elements to children. What we need to remember is that the program itself doesn't just make children develop computational thinking, the context we use, the pedagogical approach we employ shapes the learning experience of our students.
On the next page I have shared a simple activity which can be used as a main task or as an assessment task at the end of a coding session. The aim is to support children to design solutions for a specific purpose by selecting and using correct blocks in a sequence. These activities can encourage them to think in logical steps which is the main foundation of problem solving skills and at the same time provide opportunities for peer or whole class discussions."
"Welcome to the ORC Stella website. The core of this collection is a library of more than 600 non-routine mathematics problems known as Stella's Stunners to be launched set by set over the coming months. The problems range from simple visual problems, requiring no specific mathematical background, to problems that use the content of Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and Trigonometry, up through Pre-Calculus.
The Stella problems are not typical textbook exercises. They are considered "non-routine" problems because the methods of attacking them are not immediately obvious. Because these problems can supplement and enliven traditional mathematics courses in a variety of ways, we have included materials to assist in using Stella problems in your teaching: "