Monthly Archives: November 2015

APCS MOOC: edhesive

If you haven’t checked out this free MOOC yet, it is definitely worth your time. With the free student account, students have access to video tutorials, multiple-choice practice problems, quizzes and programming activities (with a built-in coderunner) ; students can also track their progress through the course.   The videos are a great resource for the beginner student. The multiple choice questions give students the correct answers providing them with immediate feedback. With the built-in coderunner students can check their programs to see if they met the expected results of the programming description.

I am using this MOOC to help reach the needs of all of my students. The advanced students can work ahead of the class, and I can prescribe specific lessons/activities to help remediate my struggling students.

It is nice to see another APCS teacher’s approach to the curriculum. This is an incredible resource. Visit to create your own student account and gain access to all of these resources.

edhesive curriculum description

If you need more support, edhesive offers Coach Support for a fee.

coach support

edhesive also provides free courses for AP Computer Science Principles and Introduction to Computer Science.

edhesive logo

I have spent the last 18 years teaching math and computer science at Powhatan High School in Powhatan Virginia. I currently teach Algebra 2, Exploring Computer Science/Game Design, and AP Computer Science. I also facilitate a Middle School Tech Club, Game Design and Tech Divas Summer Camps.

Computer Science Education week for Existing Programs

Earlier this week I got a request from one of our partner schools asking for ideas for how to incorporate an hour of code into their existing computer science program.

Computer Science Education Week can be a great opportunity for recruiting new computer science students and building a school culture that supports computer science for all kids.

CS Ed Week 2015

CS Education Week Events

We have had folks do a variety of things:

  1. Have current Computer Science  students help run an Hour of Code activity with middle or elementary school students
  2. Have current Computer Science students help run hour of code activities in their school – we’ve even had folks set up laptops at lunch to let kids outside the Computer Science program try some code.
  3. Do a gallery opening where kids from outside the Computer Science classes are invited in to see projects the Computer Science kids are working on or have completed. Let current students act as docents.
  4. Have the Computer Science  students do posters advertising and promoting cs.
  5. Invite parents and families in for an evening of code – let current cs students teach their families the programming they’ve been learning.
  6. Also – don’t forget the Computer Science Unplugged activities – – these are great for both showing that Computer Science is more than coding, and work really well when computer resources are limited.

Hope some of these spark ideas – it is a wonderful way to spotlight the great computer science classes you have and help recruit more students.

~ Rebecca

Rebecca Dovi
As CEO (chief educational officer) of CodeVA Rebecca is responsible for training teachers and developing computer science curriculum as CodeVA works to bring computer science education to all Virginia students.

Computer Science – Children’s Reading List

I am super excited – I get to go to Williamsburg next week for the VAASL Conference next week – that’s the Virginia Association of School LIbrarians. Any excuse to visit my hometown is a good one, but add books and I am definitely in.

Virginia Association of School Librarians

For the presentation we will be talking about how librarians play a central role in bringing computer science education to all students. Included in this is an overview of the Hour of Code in December.

For this presentation we compiled a list of books, fiction and non-fiction, for K-12 students to support computer science education.

By far my favorite suggestion was using Amelia Bedelia to teach algorithms and sequencing.



It is fun to see how many great options are available compared to just a few years ago. Huge thanks to everyone in the CS Education Facebook group for all of the suggestions!


Elementary Books

A is for Array Brandon J Hansen Elementary
Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine Laurie Wallmark Elementary
Amelia Bedelia Chapter Books Herman Parish Elementary
Codecrafter Erica Sandbothe Elementary
Computational Fairy Tales Jeremy Kubica Elementary
Hello Ruby Linda Liukas Elementary
If Ruby Dances Liz Lah Elementary
JavaScript for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming Nick Morgan Elementary
Lauren Ipsum: A Story About Computer Science and Other Improbable Things Carlos Buen Elementary
Learn to Program with Scratch Majed Marji Elementary
Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming Jason R. Briggs Elementary
The Cryptic Case of the Coded Fair Barbara Tinker Elementary
The Harrowing Case of the Hackensack Hacker Roberta Baxter Elementary

Middle and High School Books


Best Practices of Spell Design Jeremy Kubica MIddle and High
DK Workbooks: Coding with Scratch Workbook MIddle and High
DK Workbooks: Computer Coding MIddle and High
Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women Catherine Thimmes MIddle and High
Hacker’s Delight Henry S. Warren MIddle and High
How to Code in 10 Easy Lessons Sean McManus MIddle and High
Masterminds of Programming Lethbridge, Lucy MIddle and High
Nine Algorithms That Changed the Future MacCormick, John MIddle and High
Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age Rushkoff, Douglas MIddle and High
Secret Coders Gene Luen Yang MIddle and High
The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography Singh, Simon MIddle and High
The Desperate Case of the Diamond Chip Penny Noyce MIddle and High
The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems . . . and Create More Dormehl, Luke MIddle and High
The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage Sydney Padua MIddle and High
Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet Blum, Andrew MIddle and High
Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe Dyson, George MIddle and High





Rebecca Dovi
As CEO (chief educational officer) of CodeVA Rebecca is responsible for training teachers and developing computer science curriculum as CodeVA works to bring computer science education to all Virginia students.