Coding GAFE Reflections

Coding in the Classroom – A Student Perspective

“One of the things I liked most was when you were making the scripts, it was kind of like making sentences.” MK

My class recently started a new math unit on probability and my teacher Mr. Carruthers didn’t want us to just do worksheets because, in my opinion, that’s boring, and I don’t remember things as well as I would compared to when I challenge myself.

Testing Theoretical Probability
Testing Theoretical Probability

We started the unit off with Mr. Carruthers sending my class two things in Google Classroom. One of them was a link that took us to a website with a spinner that had four colours. We spun the arrow on the spinner to see how many times we’d have to spin it to get percentages to show theoretical probability. The other thing shared in Classroom was a link to a YouTube video about how to make a coin flipper on a website called Scratch. The next day, we Facetimed the person that made the video (Mr. Aspinall – @mraspinall), and he showed us how to code a coin flipper. After we Facetimed Mr. Aspinall, we had the choice of coding our own coin flipper, die, or spinner using Scratch. Whatever tool we decided to code, we had to use it to conduct theoretical probability experiments. My friend and I decided to make the coin flipper so we got a Chromebook and watched Mr. Aspinall’s video, pausing the video along the way so that we could do it ourselves.

Before now, I had no experience with coding, but I caught on quickly. We had to start off by making three sprites. Sprites are basically icons or buttons. One of our sprites was a reset button, another was a turbo button, and the last one was a coin. The coin also had to have three costumes: one of them was heads, another tails, and an animation costume that was oval shaped. A costume is what the sprites can turn into. We wanted our coin to turn into either a heads or a tails, and we wanted the coin to make an animation when it was being flipped. The reset button is pretty self explanatory, it resets all the numbers to zero so you can do the experiment again. When you click on the turbo button, a textbox shows up and you can type in how many times you want the coin to be flipped and the code we created would simulate that number of flips. We learned that when you type in a big number like 1000, the number of tails and heads outcomes would always be even. This shows theoretical probability.

One of the things I liked most was when you were making the scripts, it was kind of like making sentences. The scripts are basically everything that’s going on in the background. My friend and I finished quickly, so Mr. Carruthers suggested we try coding a die. This was more challenging because instead of doing things two times, like for heads and tails on a coin, you now have six possible outcomes.

Sometimes we ran into a problems, but we persevered, and was fun to problem solve. We also like helping our classmates out when they got stuck.


3 comments on “Coding in the Classroom – A Student Perspective

  1. Wow…. I could go on about my excitement that you’re teaching your students how to code or I could once again share my respect for you as an educator who sees the power in maintaining a blog….. But today, I want to share how outstanding it is to see a teacher so effectively integrate literacy and numeracy! I loved how you provided your students with the opportunity to reflect on their numeracy activity by describing their reflections (in writing) on the process! What a game changer that would be if others embraced the power in this! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  2. Pingback: Coding in the Classroom – A Student Perspective @pluggedportable | TCDSB21C

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