Higher Education News
For several years our kindergarten and third grade students were accustomed to pairing up as reading buddies to improve their literacy skills through a mentee/mentor relationship. As a result of that success we decided to use a similar model to encourage our kids to collaboratively explore coding.
The first step was to find a coding platform that was best suited for our students, one that fosters creativity and diversity and encourages students to drive their own creations and progress at their own pace. It was easy to research and there are several options that are tailored to a school setting.
Once we selected one, we quickly watched our students engage with it after only a short introduction, which was amazing. You just don’t get that level of engagement, cooperation and excitement in young students with traditional teaching practices like paper and pencil work. Our students were paving the way and creating their own content. Whatever our students imagined soon became reality on the screen.
There was always bustling around the classroom, with students exclaiming, “Wow, how did you do that? Can you show me?” We created a “Code and Tell” component at the end of our coding time, so students could share something they discovered with the class and teach each other something new while building on their oral presentation skills.
In an effort to show students that coding can have real life applications and to provide them an authentic audience with leaders in our district, we developed the Operation Code Happiness project. Through this project, a third-grade student could write a letter of introduction, including a short survey, to members of our school district’s leadership. These administrators, also known as VIPs, were asked to complete and return the survey. Upon receiving information from the VIPs, such as their favorite color, song or photograph, coding buddies worked collaboratively to design aproject specifically with their VIP in mind.Huge Leaps of Growth
In the spring, each set of coding buddies had an opportunity to present their creation to a room full of VIPs and others interested in learning more about the students’ creative process and experience with coding. Through this effort, we saw huge leaps of growth in students’ problem solving and resilience in the face of difficult coding challenges. It often took several attempts before coding buddies would get their creation to look, sound and move just right. Students were motivated to complete their project as they had envisioned it for their VIP. They also leaned heavily on each other to learn new elements and build outstanding projects.
As we talk to other teachers in our school and at technology conferences, we know this is only the beginning of coding in our classrooms. Our students are excited by this unique opportunity to take charge of their learning and to weave coding throughout multiple disciplines. As teachers, we know that it’s not our job to have all the answers all the time. It is our job to supply the right learning tools and environment to set our students up for the best learning experience possible. Coding is the perfect tool to help create a collaborative and creative environment, no matter what the age or grade level.
Juliann Snavely is a Kindergarten Teacher at Keith Elementary located in West Bloomfield, Michigan. She has been an early childhood educator for nineteen years and has been learning to code with her students since 2014. Juliann was honored to be selected as a Michigan Voice Educator Fellow (2015-16) and as the Keith Elementary Teacher of the Year (2008).
Angela Colasanti is a 3rd grade teacher at Keith Elementary in the Walled Lake Consolidated School District. Angela is a MI Educator Voice Fellow, a Galileo Teacher Leader and is passionate about coding with her students.
Public Comment Sought for Report on Obtaining Input from Rural Schools and Local Educational Agencies
SUMMARY: In accordance with section 5005 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Secretary seeks information from the public regarding actions the Department of Education (Department) can take to improve how it considers the unique needs of rural schools and local educational agencies (LEAs) as it develops and implements its policies and programs. The Secretary intends to use this information in issuing a final report, required under section 5005, describing the actions it will take to increase the consideration and participation of rural schools and LEAs in the development and execution of the Department’s processes, procedures, policies, and regulations. (Preliminary report in pdf format)
DATES: We must receive your comments no later than February 18, 2018.
ADDRESSES: Submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal or via postal mail, commercial delivery, hand delivery, or email. To ensure that we do not receive duplicate copies, please submit your comments only once. In addition, please include the Docket ID (ED-2017-OCO-0139) at the top of your comments.
Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov to submit your comments electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing agency documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket, is available on the site under the “Help” tab.
Postal Mail, Commercial Delivery, Hand Delivery, or Email: The Department encourages commenters to submit their comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. However, if you mail or deliver your comments in response to this request, address them to Michael Chamberlain, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, room 5E260, Washington, DC 20202. If you email your comments, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Privacy Note: The Department’s policy is to make all comments received from members of the public available for public viewing in their entirety on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. Therefore, commenters should be careful to include in their comments only information that they wish to make publicly available.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Chamberlain, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, room 5E260, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453-7527 or by email: Michael.email@example.com.
If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf or a text telephone, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.
Background: Section 5005 of the ESSA (Pub. Law 114-95), which was enacted on December 10, 2015, requires the Department to:
“review the organization, structure, and process and procedures of the Department of Education for administering its programs and developing policy and regulations, in order to—
(A) assess the methods and manner through which, and the extent to which, the Department of Education takes into account, considers input from, and addresses the unique needs and characteristics of rural schools and rural local educational agencies; and
(B) determine actions that the Department of Education can take to meaningfully increase the consideration and participation of rural schools and rural local educational agencies in the development and execution of the processes, procedures, policies, and regulations of the Department of Education.”
Section 5005 also requires the Department to publish a preliminary report containing the information described above and provide Congress and the public with 60 days to comment on the proposed actions. Thereafter, the Department must issue a final report to the Department’s authorizing committees in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and carry out each action described in the final report or explain to the authorizing committees the reason for not carrying out any action described in the final report.
Request for Information: Since the passage of the ESSA, the Department has been engaging in the required review and report, including conducting listening sessions on issues facing rural schools and LEAs and ways the Department can address those issues. It gives a brief overview of how the Department is organized and describes how the Department solicited and incorporated input from rural stakeholders as it developed the preliminary report. Additionally, the report explains the processes we currently use to incorporate the rural perspective into our policies and procedures, including processes we have recently implemented in response to stakeholder input, and describes additional proposed actions we can take.
While we invite comment on the entire report, we particularly encourage comment on the proposed actions, as described in the section of the report titled “Additional Actions the Department Can Take to Increase Rural Stakeholder Input.” Specifically, we request feedback on whether:
- The actions described in the preliminary report will meaningfully increase the consideration and participation of rural schools and LEAs in the development and execution of the Department’s processes, procedures, policies, and regulations; and
- There are other actions the Department can take to achieve this goal.
Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.gpo.gov/fdsys. At this site, you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.
You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.
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