Tag Archives: iste

8th graders designed computer games in @BootstrapWorld during Algebra class with @mattgusto!

I learned about Bootstrap (@BootstrapWorld) from Cindy Gao of CSNYC (The New York City Foundation for Computer Science Education). Cindy locates, organizes, and publicizes awesome meetups and workshops for educators around the city. I attend many CSNYC events, and I always try to bring along other educators.

Back at the very start of the the school year, I approached Dr. Sabrina Goldberg (7th Grade Math) and Matthew Guastavino (8th Grade Math) about attending a two-day bootcamp for teachers to integrate Bootstrap into their curriculum so their students could learn math through coding and game design. As stated on Bootstrap’s website, “Unlike most programming classes, Bootstrap uses Algebra as the vehicle for creating images and animations, and is designed from the ground up to be aligned with Common Core standards for Algebra.

In January, Matt led a Bootstrap unit with his 8th grade Algebra students. They recently shared their games with the community, and Matt told me he and his students really enjoyed the experience. Here’s the game, Lizard Problem, created by Matt’s student, George. I love it when a plan comes together!

Sabrina, Matt, and Cait Bradley (Matt’s student teacher) will be offering a poster session at ISTE in Philadelphia in June. If you’re heading to ISTE, please visit their table and ask them about it:
Game On! Middle School Algebra through Coding and Game Design
Tuesday, June 30 from 10:30 am–12:30 pm.

As per Bootstrap’s website:

Bootstrap is a curricular module for students ages 12-16, which teaches algebraic and geometric concepts through computer programming. At the end of the module, students have a completed workbook filled with word problems, notes and math challenges, as well as a videogame of their own design, which they can share with friends and family. Our mission is to use students’ excitement and confidence around gaming to directly apply algebra to create something cool.

Bootstrap is proud to partner with two leading organizations: Code.org and CSNYC. Code.org and CSNYC allow us to bring our professional development, materials and support to teachers

Bootstrap also builds in a pedagogical approach to solving Word Problems called theDesign Recipe. Students solve word problems to make a rocket fly (linear equations), respond to keypresses (piecewise functions) or explode when it hits a meteor (distance formula). In fact, this same technique has been successfully used at the university level for decades.


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iBallz are an amazing way to protect your tablet! @i_ballz

@i_ballz are a well-designed and unique way to protect a variety of tablets and devices (and provide seemingly endless opportunities for low-brow jokes). They cost $24.95 retail, and he price goes down to $15 or less for schools. They come in a few colors, and there’s a mini version for smaller tablets and Kindles. I can totally see having a bunch of them in a bucket next to the charging cabinet. Then kids strap on the balls when they take an iPad to use for class. Depending on the charging cabinet, the iBallz could just stay on all the time.

The guys behind iBallz are a dynamic duo based out of San Francisco. They also designed a great holdover iPad case Check our their website at iBallz.info

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July 1, 2014 · 12:15 pm

Presenting “Connecting the Curricular Dots: Integration Across Disciplines” with @klemify at #ISTE2014

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 4.22.19 PM

Rachel Klem (@klemify) and I are currently doing a poster session at the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). We are sharing some of the integrated projects that we’ve developed over the years at The School at Columbia University. For instance, 6th graders study Renaissance Italy by reading Romeo and Juliet, networking about renaissance instruments in Music, playing renaissance games in Wellness, making a stop-motion animation based on Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches, and more. We’re at Table 1 – stop by and say hi!

You can visit our GoogleSite where we highlight a few projects using the QR code below:


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Starting to gather summer PD opportunities on this GoogleCal:

I created this GoogleCal a couple of years ago when I was President of NYCIST to gather the various Professional Development (PD) opportunities that cross my radar. Many of these are in the New York City Metro area, though I included others that seemed interesting as well. Please feel free to alert me to additional events that could/should be included on the calendar.

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