Grade 7s Participate in Nationwide “Hackathon”

Hack•a•thon: An event, typically lasting several days/hours, in which a number of people meet to engage in collaborative computer programming.

On December 13, our Grade 7 students participated in a nationwide “hackathon”!

Schools across Canada participated in this event put on by Hackergal, a not-for-profit organization that helps introduce girls to coding. We were very excited to work with them to provide this opportunity for our students.

In preparation for the hackathon, students participated in lessons using the “Codesters” coding platform. During these sessions, students were introduced to the Python coding language and learned the skills needed for the full day hackathon.

Our hackathon started with a video call with several other schools across Canada who were also participating in local Hackergal events in their area and Kumiko Imai, the Program Manager for Hackergal, at York House, to host the call.

After introducing our group and meeting all the other schools, students began work on their projects. Students were given the theme for this year’s hackathon; “The Environment”. Though this was a very broad topic, we were very fortunate that it tied in directly with the work students have been doing with Ms. Chevreau in Social studies where they have been researching the impact of the environment on the development of early humans.

Working with their partner, students generated potential ideas and developed a guiding question. Next, students began work on designing the user experience and gathering the research they needed to answer their question. The girls then began the process of coding and debugging their program using the Codesters platform.

Our day ended with time for students to share their projects with the rest of the group and receive feedback from the judges. Programs were evaluated based on design, coding, and gameplay. We congratulate all the girls for their hard work and thank them for making it a fun and productive day.

Mr. Nathan Reimer
Junior School Educational Technology Coordinator

Math in the Little & Junior School

Carole Fullerton, an education consultant who works with teachers in the area of numeracy, continues to visit our Little School and Junior School teachers every month to provide ongoing support and resources for a variety of math instructional directions.  As part of her support, she goes into one or two classes, demonstrating for the teachers the particular math concept they are working through that day. One thing she has recently introduced is proportional reasoning using cuisenaire rods, which are learning aids that provide an active, hands-on way to explore mathematics and learn mathematical concepts. Other topics she’s been discussing with teachers are: using integers for solving equations, number patterns and equations, distinguishing between a variable and an unknown, and place value for the younger grades.  

The “Slice of Pi Math Club” is just wrapping up with Ms. Comeau working with Grade 5s and 6s who has been doing some amazing (and yummy) things with them. Most recently, they made strawberry shortcake and the girls were challenged to use a limited number of measuring tools and a conversion chart to measure the entire recipe. They needed to use their proportional reasoning, mental math skills, and knowledge of fractions. This Club has provided us with a tremendous opportunity to introduce math reasoning in a fun and engaging way. Be sure to sign up your daughter for next year’s “Slice of Pi Club”!

There is also an Elementary Grades Math Contest (ELMACON) at UBC on April 28, 2018. This contest is open to students in Grades 5 to 7 and gives them an opportunity to experience mathematics as an exciting sport!  It determines the winners right on the spot and students have found it instructive, inspiring, and entertaining. The last three years ALL the winners have been boys! We really want to encourage our girls to get involved. Check out their website for more information, and be sure to contact me if you have any questions.  Registration closes on April 9, 2018!

Grades 4, 5, and 6 have been continuing to work with Google CS First and Scratch on a number of different projects. I would encourage you to ask your daughter to show them to you. There are many exciting Coding Workshops for kids happening in and around Vancouver over the next couple of months. More information can be found here on the Canada Learning Code website.

If you have any questions about Math or Technology at the Little School or Junior School, be sure to contact me at your convenience.  

Charmalee Kirk
Interim Assistant Director of Junior School