Tag Archives: curriculum

New Hopscotch Curriculum

Hopscotch has been a favorite programming app of my students ever since they tried it for the Hour of Code a couple of years ago. One of my 5th graders chose to use Hopscotch to create his entire Genius Hour presentation last year.

Hopscotch is now offering a new curriculum for educators and I had a chance to sneak preview it before yesterday’s release.  I am very impressed by the format of the lessons, which were created using the Understanding by Design framework.

There are 6 lessons, about 45 minutes each, targeted for 5th-8th grades. However,  there is a lot of flexibility that allows for modifications for younger and older students.  The lessons include ideas for differentiation and detailed suggestions to include many levels.

Math, Engineering, and Computer Science Standards are included in the lessons.  Videos links are offered for all 6 activities to either use with your class or for the teacher to watch to gain better understanding.  Hopscotch not only differentiates for the students, but also for the teachers by making the instructions very clear for even those who have never used the app before.

I am excited that Hopscotch is offering such an amazing free resource for educators.  This app encourages creativity and problem-solving while teaching logic and many math skills.  Don’t worry if you have never programmed before.  With Hopscotch, you and your students can learn together.

Hopscotch Curriculum

What Should We Be Teaching?

The other day I ran across an article authored by Mark Manson for the Business Insider called, “5 things we should teach in school but don’t.” (You’re probably thinking someone should have taught me to capitalize important words in a title, but that is actually way the title appears, not my lack of capitalization education.)

Before I read the article, I jotted down a few of my own ideas so I could compare them to Manson’s.  This is what I came up with:

  • Career Counseling
  • Innovation and the Design Process (including reflection and revision)
  • How to Handle Money
  • Metacognition
  • How to Protect our Brains in the Case of a Zombie Apocalypse

Okay, so maybe the last one is somewhat extreme – but a little survival training could do us all a bit of good.

Manson’s ideas don’t quite match mine – but first on the list is Finance.  I completely agree with his assessment that our nation’s lack of education in this area is behind a lot of the economic difficulties we are experiencing today.

Logic and reasoning are also recommended requirements according to Manson – something I do not dispute.  I think these skills are implicitly taught in many subjects (including computer programming), but an actual class or two on this topic would benefit many students.

I urge you to make your own list (feel free to add suggestions to the comments below) and to read Manson’s article to find out what else he finds critically lacking in today’s high school curriculum.  He has a good point that we shouldn’t rely on our grandparents’  course of study to prepare today’s generation for the future.

Public domain image by Russell Lee on Wikipedia.
Public domain image by Russell Lee on Wikipedia.