I wouldn’t even have considered trying the computational thinking approach to my Year 10 topic of Talking about Sport unless I was fairly certain it would succeed or , at least, sustain a level of competence in myself and my class which was credible. These are Year 10s going into Year 11. Calculated risk and intelligent trials are worth the effort and will improve performance and outcomes. Flying blind with no sight of the ground is not an option. As you can see from the last post I restructured the topic to ensure it met with the computational thinking elements. I am refreshing my own coding skills so I was more than acutely aware that every tiny bit matters and that it is not a sin to be working in the dark. I was also aware that when you take yourself up to higher level learning you have to copy. You have to look to who can do it and learn from them by leaning on them and their knowledge. Soon, your brain patterns the information and you can start doing things for yourself. The end part of my Sport topic was an assessment of a dialogue where one student was wildly enthusiastic about sport and the other one was very reluctant and negative. We built it up from vocabulary, to expressions, to specific sentence patterns for positives and negatives. We reinforced it all with online training. We listened to French people talking about sport and listened for what we could recognise. We did small exercises to practice one thing and put them on our blogs. We did tiny orals to get used to saying things. They then had to emulate a dialogue we could hear and see online. They changed it a bit and we listened to the original dialogue and then they had to do their version and record it. We then came to their having to do an authentic dialogue of their own. I had marked a dialogue of theirs at the beginning of term. They weren’t bad but they were a bit awkward and I could hear the students were not comfortable at this level of French even though they could understand it. I am now really glad I decided to go about the Talking about Sport dialogue in a computational thinking way. It has made a considerable difference. I was marking the sport dialogues yesterday. They had all handed them in. They sounded confident and competent. They sounded like they were relaxed and having fun. The dialogues were far more natural and their pronunciation was so much better. Working though a topic or lesson from a small thing to a bigger thing is not foreign to me because I have been using gaming principles for a couple of years now. The computational thinking approach has refined that further and is a logical next step to that methodology.
Filed under: blogging, classroom, e-learning, methodology, resources, technology | Tagged: applied computational thinking, Computational Thinking, computational thinking for educators, gaming principles, ict in the classroom, metholdology, Teaching for Effective Learning, TfEL |