For one of our tech tasks we were required to check out some coding sites and play around with some of the codes and think about how it would work in a classroom setting.

First, I did the Flappy Bird one where you had to try and figure out what codes to put in. I was confused at first because it was more difficult. Then I tried a simpler coding exercise and below is a screenshot of what I started working on:


This program was much easier to work with (and especially so because I’m just a beginner with no experience at all).

I think something like these exercises will help students with problem solving and give them a chance to understand how games work — especially the Flappy Bird coding exercise. It is also relevant for high school students who are thinking of going on to major in something like Computer Science. This would be a way for them to get a feel of the program and what it all encompasses.

If students have computers at home, their parents can become involved in helping the students solve some of these problems of coding and help their children understand how games are created. Programs like these would work well in a math class because they require problem solving skills — just like the Angry Birds game simulation I did above. You needed to look at the situation and figure out how you were going to get the Angry Bird to the pig.

Coding is a neat way to bring something new to the students. An almost “behind the scenes” look at how games are made. Maybe having your students code could be a way to introduce them to the field of Computer Science. So many possibilities.

Teaching and Reffing

Recently, a fellow blogger posted his thoughts on Hockey and Teaching. You can read Donovan’s post here.

He talked about how reffing a hockey game relates to teaching.

Just recently I was at my hometown’s basketball game watching my brother play. The school I graduated from was, and still is, very much into basketball. So when it was the championship game and my brother and his team were up against a challenging school, the crowd became very involved in what the two refs were doing. They were constantly yelling at the refs who were just trying to keep things as fair as possible. Of course, it didn’t help that our team was losing but it wasn’t nice to yelling at the refs. Both the refs had been around the school lots. One graduated from there and the other taught there a few years ago. Some people in the crowd were calling out the ref’s names which is not being a fan of your own team.

Finally the refs became irritated and told one audience member that if he was going to keep it up then he would have to leave the gymnasium. That quieted the crowd. After the game, the one ref left the gym immediately and the other one broke into tears. It was horrible to see.

Even though our boys lost, it was still an intense basketball game to watch. As a spectator, you need to just cheer on your own team and not beak the refs who are doing their best to control the game. Same with teaching. Parents need to support their children in school and realize that the teachers are doing their best to help them learn.

I can also relate to this incident because I’ve reffed volleyball a few times and some of the audience members comment on the calls that I make. Being up on the stand, though, is very intimidating because you are the one making the calls and ultimately choosing whether or not the team wins. Same with teaching. We assess students’ abilities on learning certain subjects and, a lot of the times, choose whether or not they should continue onto the next grade.

Donovan’s point about teachers working together and coming together as a whole is very important. When I was learning to ref volleyball, I was with a senior volleyball ref every time I reffed a game. I was glad I had someone to answer my questions if I was unsure about what to do in a certain situation. That was the best way I learned how to ref.

Overall, there are many similarities between reffing and teaching. Both of them require patience, knowledge, and skill. Someday I will take up the challenge of reffing basketball.