I’ve moved schools, and so far it’s going well. I am working through my “getting to know the children” routine, and I realised this makes a perfect topic for a blog post.
First, I am indebted to Ben Newmark, a prolific education blogger whose insights I find extremely valuable, for this post on making a good start with a new class. Because of this advice, I made sure the first experience my new students had in my classroom was working: with pens, on paper, in silence. Let me tell you, for the last two years I have had a very different “first lesson” based on the idea of “fun”. Trust me, “fun” will come later, but I need to set expectations, and so quietly sitting and writing was the order of the day.
I spoke to them in the corridor, told them they needed to quietly go in, look at the seating plan on the board, go sit quietly and start work. There was already a paper starter on the desk, and they needed to get out a pen and start work on it.
The classes settled and started on the task. I tackled those that spoke, with polite reminders, I only needed non-directed instruction e.g. “I can hear some talking, no-one should be talking right now, just writing”. When the class was utterly silent I took the register.
Let me tell you, my fist lesson with a class has never been so silent and hard working. I know I’m only in my third year of teaching, but… My lessons today with Year 7 and 8 went far better than any “first lesson” previously, and I’ve now had around 24 of them.
I will write more soon, as this blog turns into “experiences of a Computing Teacher as he moves school”. 🙂
Although the NEA is no longer being marked, we still need to deliver it. I’m planning to make the most of the opportunity to grow skills needed for Paper 2.
To maximise success, this year I am starting my Year 10s on NEA prep early. I am setting a collection of “mini-NEAs” which we will do this term (Summer Y10) so that in early Y11 they can tackle the proper NEA with greater confidence.
I’ve made the attached resources for myself, and share them here under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 licence as usual. In other words, go for it!
NEA Intro Lesson Student Worksheet
NEA Intro Homework
Slides NEA Intro Lesson
Instructions: Open the slide show, use this over 1 or 2 lessons with the Intro Lesson Student Worksheet to build the basic skills, give out the Homework, then start them on the Mini-NEA Workbook.
I’ve made some quizzes over the years on Socrative. Here is a non-exhaustive list
You can import them into your account at this link, then type the SOC quiz code below:
I wish Socrative made sharing these easier, e.g. by folder. (You can see all my Quizlet sets at this URL, for comparison: https://quizlet.com/MrAHarrison )
I’ve created these to go with the Edexcel GCSE Computer Science course, but they can be adapted to fit other board’s material easily. The Edexcel Pseudocode is very different to OCR/AQA as it is based on Haggis, but otherwise it should be easy to “port”.
Hat tip to Chris Whitworth, whose KOs (available free on TES) I used as a basis for these, so much of the work is his, thanks Chris. I’ve rearranged, changed a few things and added lots of images, but the commentary section is still his.
I’ve included samples of Python, so if you use another language that’s another thing to change. Anyway I hope it is useful. Feedback welcome in the comments or on my Twitter.
Sorry WordPress doesn’t support zip files, so I’ll upload to CAS soon as a zip.
The Quizlet resources referred to are also available for free on my Quizlet account here.
Edit 16 April. I’ve tidied up the paper and now uploaded the solution / mark scheme.
There are precious few mock papers out there for the new spec Paper 2, so I’ve written one. It’s on CAS here
CAS Resouce 5573 – my Paper 2 Mock and also attached to WordPress at the link below. In both cases shared under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 licence – feel free to use non-commercially. Enjoy!
Linked documents below:
Computing Edexcel GCSE Paper 2 PPE AH
Computing Edexcel GCSE Paper 2 PPE AH Mark Scheme
I’m all set. Tomorrow I pair up my Year 10s for programming. I’ve asked them who they want to work with, giving me several options each. I’ve then paired similar abilities (following advice from @teknoteacher), and created a booklet of challenges from absolute beginner to fairly advanced GCSE coder.
I’ve given points for each, and we’ll be doing this all week (3 hours) with me hovering around helping when they get stuck, but mostly facilitating them in getting unstuck themselves. I’ll report back later on how this works. But if you want the resource, it is attached…
GCSE Coding Workbook 1 AJH
Kids love a puzzle or two at Christmas. This is mine, compiled mostly from unplugged activities at cs4fn.org and teachinglondoncomputing.org used with permission. Feel free to use, just retain the attribution in the footer please. Merry Christmas!
Download link for Word Doc:-
Computing Christmas Challenge 2017 public