Persistence is an integral habit of mind for the completion of a new task, unfamiliar or challenging to students. During exploratory learning, in coding, students are constantly interacting with new, unfamiliar and challenging problems. Each student's ability to persist through their frustration with unfamiliar algorithms, key concepts and building blocks of coding is paramount for his or her success in gaining foundational coding skills.
In coding course E, students learn persistence is important because when interacting with computer science he or she will be solving unfamiliar problems and perhaps problems, which have not been solved before. As explorers in a new domain, students learn in the lesson titled Lesson 3: Building a Foundation that persistence is an essential habit of mind as computer scientists. In the lesson, students are presented with the code.org definition of persistence - trying again and again, even when something is very hard. During the lesson, students are encouraged to persist while attempting to build a structure with the supplies provided (toothpicks and Dots candy) that can hold their fourth grade grammar text book for 10 seconds. Throughout the lesson students persisted, determined to complete the task presented. The lesson plan titled Lesson 3: Building a Foundation for explicit teaching of persistence is displayed below.
Task - Building a Foundation
In this challenge, we'll work to construct towers that are strong enough to hold your fourth grade grammar textbook for at least 10 seconds, using toothpicks and candy dots.
Use only the supplies provided to build a tower.
The tower can be any shape, but it has to be at least as tall as the toothpick.
The tower must support the weight of your fourth grade grammar textbook for a full 10 seconds.
The Code.org coding curriculum, provides ample opportunities for students to relearn and revisit the habit of mindset of persistence in the classroom. All plugged in lessons provide students with a sequence of puzzles to solve, targeting a specific skill as a programmer. Students are constantly encouraged to interact with unfamiliar problems and persist through lessons for an end product of a coding sequence or program. Therefore, the curriculum provides opportunity for students to constantly interact with relevant objectives and vocabulary to the habit and mindset of persistence. Additionally the curriculum provides activities, which allow students to demonstrate they have internalized persistence that has led to their personal growth.
Coding Curriculum Example A
Coding Curriculum Example A is the first lesson and an uplugged activity, which gets students used to the habit of persistence as it relates to writing and rewriting code, adjusting for any found mistakes in the coding sequence. Students in the lesson, need to persist as coders, be comfortable with making mistakes. and apply different methods to solve the problem. In the lesson, students are tasked with writing a sequential code for his or her "robotic friend." The friend needs to be able to follow the code without conferring with his or her coder. Therefore, students need to work towards precision in code only listing instructions, which are relevant to his or her desired outcome. The lesson plan titled Lesson 1: Programming: My Robotic Friends is displayed below.
InLesson 1: Programming: My Robotic Friends, an unplugged lesson, students are practicing persistence with their introduction to coding sequence. Students in this lesson have to try again and again to create a sequence (debugging if he or she detects any errors), which works for his or her "robotic friend" to build their desired stack of cups product. The image demonstrates the "robotic friends" applying the and re-applying code written from his or her persisting programming friend.
Coding Curriculum Example B
Coding Curriculum Example B is also illustrated in the access portion of my portfolio on the sub-page: Access Example #4: Exploratory Learning (Code In The Schools). Lesson 2: Sequences in Maze is the second lesson in the coding curriculum, but first plugged in lesson for student learning. Therefore, in this lesson students begin to grasp the fundamentals of programming. Students receive introductory objectives and vocabulary, in addition to receiving encouragement to work with a partner and persist through the online puzzles. In this lesson, students are interacting for the first time with blockly code, in addition to working with a partner to share ideas and different attempts at moving the pig to the end point on the puzzle. The lesson template below for Lesson 2: Sequences in Maze highlights the points of persistence teaching and student internalization and action throughout the lesson.
In the video, students are working in pairs to solve the puzzles provided for Lesson 2: Sequences in Maze. The video demonstrates each student's persistence as coder, as he or she works with their partner to solve each puzzle provided in the online sequence.
Example #2: Persistence as a Writer
In addition to the coding curriculum, students apply persistence as writers. Students engage in the writing process submitting several drafts to meet content standards and writing mechanics expectations. The drafts are edited by the teacher and by peers before the final draft is written. One example of persistence in writing are students "Why NACA?" statements. Students were asked to share "Why?" students chose to attend NACA I.
Students received their “Why NACA?” statements back with teacher edits, at the end of the week and were instructed to complete the edits and make necessary revisions. By making revisions students are learning persistence as a writers and becoming familiar with the writing process.
The students writing samples are now displayed outside of my fourth grade English Language Arts and Social Studies classroom. The multiple drafts on display, show students persistence as writers, participating in a process of editing, which requires repeated attention to ones writing mechanics and expression.
Example #3: Hokusai's great wave: A Lesson of Persistence
In the Hokusai's great wave: A Lesson of Persistence students learn about persistence from the artwork of Hokusai Katsushika. Specifically, in the lesson students learn the importance of persistence as an artist. Students learn that the Japanese artist Hokusai Katsushika spent three years capturing thirty-six illustrations of Mt. Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan and a mountain deemed sacred by the artist and others. Following students close reading of the article in the lesson, students apply their habit and mindset of persistence to attempt to recreate Hokusai Katsushika's cherished "The Great Wave of Kanagawa" masterpiece. The lesson plan for Hokusai's great wave: A Lesson of Persistence is displayed below.
During the lesson, students read a Khan Academy article, titled Hokusai, Under the Wave of Kanagawa (The Great Wave)students are instructed to use the questions on the page above to read closely drawing key concepts and details from the text. In addition, to practicing persistence as writers students also exercise persistence as students read and reread for details in a text.
Parent/guardian permission is granted for each student displayed in the image.
Once students learned from the article that it had taken Hokusai Katsushika three years and thirty-six views of Mt. Fuji to capture his masterpiece or desired outcome, students applied great care and persistence to their artwork. Students in the lesson, were tasked with recreating Hokusai Katsushika's masterpiece, applying persistence as artists. Students used the image of the painting on the computer to trace carefully and capture all details.
Costa, A. L. & Kallick, B. (2009). Habits of mind. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.