Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Day 1 of Learning - Computer Science Crash Course

Sharing a few resources from day one of the Computer Science Crash Course at the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College in Los Altos, CA.

We started they day with a few unplugged activities, discussions, and videos around

  • Code
  • Computer Science
  • Computational Thinking
After polling all participants it was clear to our facilitators the group has a wide range of experience with these topics and we needed to build an understanding before digging in.

In this video, we saw an over view of how computers work.

In this video, we learned about how algorithms are used to create matches on Ok Cupid

Unplugged Activities

We all participated in a few unplugged activities.

Algorithms. Our goal was to get Ann to the door. The purpose was to help us think step by step about what the directions were. In addition, to if we could create directions that could be used to get her to the door even if she didn't start in the same spot each time. This activity reminded me of Move it Move it from

Sorting. As a class we were split into two groups. We competed against each other to see which group could sort in a line the fastest once in alphabetical order by first name and then by birthdate (not including the year).

Variables. In this activity, we had a partner, 3 envelopes, 3 cards, 1 dice. The goal was to learn about variables and values. It reminded me of Variables in Envelopes by

Thursday, May 24, 2018

DonorsChoose for Professional Learning

I am new to DonorsChoose.

This summer there are a few professional learning opportunities that I am REALLY looking forward to attending. I have been accepted to all of them!! Woohoo!!! Now, I have to work on how I will get to all of them. Unfortunately, I am interested in events that are happening outside of my state.

June – Computer Science Crash Course for Educators (4 1/2 day workshop)

Enjoy becoming a student again and fall in love with computer science! The Computer Science Crash Course will help you gain CS content knowledge and strengthen your coding skills in either Python or Scratch—you choose. Led by current computer science teachers who will demonstrate best teaching practices based on many years of experience, this differentiated course uses a variety of leveled activities and coding challenge sets to encourage middle and early high school teachers (grades 5-9) in all subject areas to advance their own learning. With K-12 CS standards-aligned lessons on algorithms, data, the Internet, and the impact of computing, you will discover that computer science is more than coding. You will also gain exposure to the many available tools and open curriculum resources that you can apply to your particular classroom needs.
Cost: airplane ticket, food, lodging, transportation, workshop fee
Here is my DonorsChoose page for this event:

July – Coding as a Playground: Scratchjr and KIBO Robotics

Pathfinders Summer Institute 2018 is an intensive week of in-person professional development in Computer Science and Making. The Institute will be hosted by Infosys Foundation USA at Indiana University Bloomington from July 15-20, 2018.

Coding as a Playground: Scratchjr and KIBO Robotics professional development targets teachers working with young children PreK-2 who are interested in integrating computer science (CS), computational thinking (CT) and robotics into their early childhood classrooms with a playful developmentally appropriate approach. 
Cost: airplane ticket, food, lodging, transportation, workshop fee

The Infosys Foundation USA is supporting educators by matching half of the cost for the week long learning summit.

"Donations to this project are now being matched, thanks to support from Infosys Foundation USA. At Infosys Foundation USA our mission is to help bridge the digital divide in America and to bring to everyone the skills needed to become creators, not just consumers, of technology. We are proud to support teachers everywhere who are working to bring greater access and inclusion in computer science education."

If attendees do not have funding from their district, they are recommending to go to DonorsChoose and create a professional learning project.
Here is my DonorsChoose page for this event:

August – Picademy – Seattle

Picademy is a two-day digital making workshop full of new learning opportunities, team collaboration, and community building. To give you the full picture, let’s take a look at previous Picademy events and hear directly from educators who graduated from the program last summer.
Cost: airplane ticket, food, transportation . I am lucky enough to stay with a friend and this is has a no cost registration for the two day event!
Depending on how my first to projects go on DonorsChoose, I may create another project for this trip!

My problem is, I am not finding people/companies to make a donation in the first place. I’m not going to ask family and friends to make a donation to my learning. Instead, I would love to find people who are seeking out the opportunity to make a donation. 
Solution, I am taking this to social media for help! For people who have used DonorsChoose, where are you finding your donors?

Side note- When you write about DonorsChoose, do you type it as one word like I do or do you separate them?

Summer 2018 Professional Learning Opportunities!

Summer is right around the corner!

I look forward to connecting with educators at professional learning opportunities this summer!

In the Midwest, we have a collaborative Google Sheet to share learning opportunities with others. It is open for anyone to share or edit. The doc contains events that range from a few hours to many days. Some are free, some are paid.
Check it out by going to

Many of the summer learning opportunities I facilitate are for's Computer Science Fundamentals program. Learn more about it by visiting their website or reading below!

 Please Tweet at me @mrskalthoff with questions!