August 20th

Dynamic Teaching Ideas for teaching Music Theory
Judith Bell (New Zealand)

Target audience: Primary school teachers & Music teachers

Format of the workshop: A range of music learning ideas will be demonstrated, and you will be able to participate actively including role-play as a student in the class.

Expected outputs: Ideas to engage students and grow interest in music theory.

In this workshop you will try out a range of effective, outside-the-square, tried-and-true theory activities based on Judith’s creative work with the very popular Chisnallwood School Theory Club. You will learn about music theory games are suitable for a range of ages and easily adaptable for different levels and music abilities, but ideally from ages 7 – 12. Some activities use digital technology, while others are completely unplugged. They are suitable for use in groups – even of mixed levels – and you’ll be amazed at the learning that comes out as well as the amount of fun.


Computer Science Unplugged for Teachers
Tim Bell (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)

Target audience: Primary school teachers

Format of the workshop: A range of teaching techniques will be demonstrated, and you will participate actively to find out what they are like from a student’s point of view.

Expected outputs: Ready-to-use lessons for classes in computing (computational thinking/computer science)

This workshop will demonstrate ideas from the "Unplugged" approach to teaching Computational Thinking topics. This approach provides opportunities for students to encounter the great ideas in computer science away from computers, and is a useful complement to classes that focus on "coding". We will look at how you can engage your own students with the material, and also "plugged in" activities, which connect the activities to programming. You will learn about free resources that you can use in your classroom immediately, and also how you can integrate these activities with other school subjects. The workshop will be suitable for both primary and secondary educators.


Developing Algebraic habits of mind in students
Paul Goldenberg (Education Development Center, USA)

Cynthia J. Carter (The Rashi School, USA)

Target audience: Mathematics Teachers for students ages: 11–18.

Participants will see one puzzle-centric approach (elaborating on the work of mathematician W.W. Sawyer) aimed at developing the language and logic of algebra in grades 5 and up. Most of the focus of the workshop will be on the beginnings of that algebraic development, but we will also spend some time looking at activities - from paper-ripping to factorials of negative numbers - that help build students’ comfort with the mathematical idea of extension, extending ideas that have “natural” meanings in the natural numbers and extending them to “unnatural” places, like negative numbers and fractions. Participants will be encouraged to pose problems of their own, extending problems presented in the workshop, and will receive a packet of materials they can adapt and use with their classes.


Puzzles & Programming to develop mathematical habits of mind in 6–10-year olds
Paul Goldenberg (Education Development Center, USA)

Cynthia J. Carter (The Rashi School, USA)

Target audience: Primary School Teachers for students ages: 6–10

This workshop will focus on tested work using a puzzle-centric primary mathematics curriculum with an algebraic focus(inspired by mathematician W.W. Sawyer), and new work we are doing now to infuse that curriculum with programming (inspired by work by Jenny Sendova and others in Bulgaria and by the ScratchMaths work done by Richard Noss and Celia Hoyles of the UK and Ivan Kalaš of Slovakia). Puzzles help develop children’s logic; programming provides an extra language to help them express that logic. Expressing and experimenting with one’s mathematical ideas helps develop them further. Participants will solve and create puzzles that are suitable for young students and will see how computer programming by young students can support their mathematical learning. All materials that will be used or described are available free.


Powerful ideas in lower primary programming: high time to recognize them
Ivan Kalaš (Comenius University, Slovakia)

Target audience: All educators interested in lower primary computing (of pupils aged 5 to 9), general primary teachers are welcome as well

Note: we do not require any previous experience in educational programming.

Goals: The transformation of popular and populist “coding for everybody” movement to regular, appropriate and sustainable intervention for ordinary primary schools and every pupil in the class is slow and hard.

Format of the workshop: Participants will be encouraged to work in pairs. We will combine simulated class experience – in exactly the same format as our collaborating design schools’ teachers run the lessons, with discussions about our pedagogical framework, learning outcomes and early experience from our observations.

Expected outcomes: Discussions about different strategies in elementary educational programming, discussions and demonstration of our strategy, with practical hands-on experience.

We think that using any of the dozens of existing programming environments in regular primary school setting, with general primary teacher does not work well, mostly because of the following reasons: (a) these environments are not designed for collaborative constructivist teaching where the teacher has to support everybody in the class, and (b) these environments often neglect basic, simple, but key important powerful ideas that pupils should discover and adopt before computational constructs that are considered in general as introductory (sequence, selection, repetition, variables...)

In the workshop we will use our latest development of Emil, a new programming environment and its systematic pedagogy constructed and trialled in a group of design primary schools, with pupils aged 8. Together with the participants we will experience, identify and discuss several powerful ideas that pupils should experience before all other powerful ideas that we have exploited in our ScratchMaths curriculum.


SNAP! - Beauty & Joy of Computing (visually)
Witek Kranas (OEIiZK, Poland)

Target audience: informatics/CS teachers, lower, upper secondary schools (6-12 grades).
Workshop is based on Berkeley, ECD CS course for 9-12 grade students.

Goals: familiarise new visual programming environment, reflect some examples of functional programming in Snap!

Format of the workshop: presentation, hands-on activities.

Expected outputs: some experience with new environment – Snap!, some useful for computer science course examples of programming in Snap!

What we will be doing:

  • Acquaint Snap! similar to Scratch environment for visual programming.
  • Share and discuss some examples in Snap! from “Beauty and Joy of
  • Computing” Berkeley, ECD CS course for 9-12 grade students in US.
  • Discuss possible benefits and limitations of visual programming.


ViLLE – Electronic Learning Path for Mathematics and Programming
Mikko-Jussi Laakso (Centre for Learning Analytics, University of Turku, Finland)

Target audience: Primary school teachers

Format of the workshop: The workshop starts with general presentation of ViLLE, our pedagogical ideas and results achieved by using VILLE. After the presentation teachers will complete a selected set of exercises from primary mathematics. Finally the workshop is concluded by examining the learning analytics gathered during the workshop.

ViLLE is an exercise-based education environment that enables easy learning and teaching of mathematics, programming and other topics. The development is research-based, and the features and the methodology utilized have been thoroughly studied with various setups in the Centre for Learning Analytics at University of Turku. For students, ViLLE offers more than 15 000 carefully designed, motivating and activating exercises for learning mathematics and programming. All exercises are automatically assessed and provide immediate feedback. For teachers, ViLLE provides comprehensive learning analytics that visualize everything you need to know about your students’ learning process – including automatic detection of misconceptions and real-time analysis of students’ progress.

In practice, ViLLE is used to transfer one lesson a week into an electronic learning experience. There are existing exercises and materials for all nine grades of primary and middle school. Moreover, there are programming exercises integrated into all levels to give students a head start in learning computational thinking and basics of computer science.

Using ViLLE provides evidence-based, scientifically proven results for all grades. In the studies conducted in Finland – the country that excels the Pisa assessments each year – it was confirmed that the students using ViLLE improve their learning significantly more than the control group learning mathematics with traditional pen and paper method. With matching skill levels before the experience, groups using ViLLE achieved at least 20 percent higher scores in the exams conducted at end of the school year. Students using ViLLE also make 70 % less errors than students in a control group. Moreover, the students find ViLLE as highly motivating and fun tool to use. The teachers value especially the large number of exercises, customizability, the possibilities for real differentiation, and the comprehensive statistics and reporting provided by ViLLE.  The complete results from studies using ViLLE can be found in our research archive.
More information


Constructionism in Action: Do we Need to Start from Scratch?
Evgenia Sendova (Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Nikolina Nikolova (Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)

Target audience: All teachers.

Goals: To motivate younger and older for mathematics and art, integrated together through programing in the spirit of constructionism, the educational philosophy of Seymour Papert!
Format of the workshop: Interactive presentation, demonstration, hand-on activities.

Note:  Using your own mobiles/laptops would facilitate the practice session.

Expected outputs: Creating attitude to the programming as a means for active learning, formulating of materialized hypotheses and creative self-expression.

Children in the digital era are surrounded by information and communication technologies. The development of digital competences and more specifically –the ability to express their creativity through computational thinking, is evaluated by the society as vital for the contemporary society. This makes it natural to introduce programming courses for students of younger age, new curriculum and even a new school subject – computer modeling.

Should the programming be taught per se though? Does the introduction of new syllabus put a threshold and ceiling on the performance of the teachers? What about programming languages with no threshold and no ceiling (the ceiling being only the user’s imagination)?
Bulgaria has a long-term experience in teaching programming, and even better – in learning through programming. The Logo philosophy, named by Seymour Papert as constructionism, promotes the programming as a means for learning and creative self-expression. It is in harmony with the family of contemporary programming languages, successors to Logo and developed specially for children.

There will be no threshold for the participants. However, this does not mean that we would start from scratch (pun intended:). Rather, we will start with the traditions of the Logo philosophy and Logo culture in Bulgaria and in international setting, we’ll present the potential of their development through Scratch and of course, we’ll work, create and have fun together! Most importantly, we’ll rely on high enough ceiling!


Teaching Coding and Physical Computing
Gary Stager (USA)

Learn how a project-approach to computer programming, robotics, and physical computing can serve a diverse student population while developing your own skills. This workshop will explore powerful ideas from computer science and engineering that may be employed in the solving of problems across the curriculum. A review of software and hardware options will be explored in addition to two focused programming and robotics activities. Participants will also have experience with Hummingbird Robotics, the BBC Micro:bit and other low-cost "microcontroller development boards" offering great potential for learning through making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom.


The Essence of Programming at School – Logo in a Spiral Curriculum
Jacqueline Staub  (ETH Zurich / Pädagogische Hochschule Graubünden, Switzerland)

Target audience: Primary and lower secondary school teachers.

Goals: Participants will be enlightened with the main design ideas behind our curriculum involving the concepts of repetition, modular design and parametrization.

Format of the workshop: After an interactive presentation and demonstration of our curriculum and teaching environment, participants solve selected exercises at the computer and discuss their experiences.

Expected outputs: Workshop attendees immerse into algorithmic thinking via programming in Logo and experience how to teach core CS concepts in a spiral curriculum.

School is responsible for priming and preparing pupils such that they develop a deep understanding of technology. Computer science education serves a vital role in fostering algorithmic thinking and problem solving skills, as exemplified by programming. This form of learning is constructive, enriches creativity and teaches precision. We have been introducing primary school pupils and their teachers to programming in Logo for more than a decade and thousands of children across Switzerland have learned to program using our curriculum and purpose-built programming environment. In this workshop, we give insights into how our curriculum guides pupils to progress individually and how we make pupils building up competence by recovering from their programming errors autonomously. This workshop caters towards educators and people interested in how to introduce computer science to novices. Participants gain practical insights into our curriculum and discuss its didactic structure.


How to Create and Sustain a Progressive Pedagogy in a Traditional Setting (Roundtable Discussion)
Carol Sperry Suziedelis (Millersville University, United States)

Target audience: All teachers

Format of the workshop: We will encourage a vibrant discussion of ideas, efforts, questions, and fears about creating dynamic and engaging projects as well as the nurturing of an atmosphere of free expression and exploration in the classroom.  Without the support of each other, it may be difficult to relax and let go of the “controls” many think are necessary for a workable classroom. However, students and teachers must have the latitude to pursue the construction of their own knowledge, the freedom to make mistakes and “recalibrate,” and the time to discuss the powerful effects of the process. We will consider ways to do it all within the constraints of the average classroom setting.

Along the way, we will revisit some of Seymour Papert’s profound insights into the remarkable endeavour of teaching and learning.

Expected outputs:
I believe the prediction of “expected outputs” is usually precarious for a constructionist teacher.  To “expect” certain outputs is, to my mind, a way of limiting them.  So, I would say, I hope that we have a lively discussion that inspires ideas, creates new relationships, and bolsters the courage needed to follow a joyful and innovative path.


Joyful Learning of Geometry in Cultural Context. Analysis and Construction of Geometric Ornaments

Khayriah Massarwe (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, The Arab Academic College for Education in Israel - Haifa)
Igor Verner (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology)
Daoud Bshouty (Technion – Israel Institute of Technology)

Mathematics education seeks to accommodate pedagogical approaches that enhance learning mathematics and make it relevant to today's students who prefer hands-on visual and joyful activities, and are socially inclined. The challenge of teaching is to expose students to the interconnection between real world practices and culturally rooted mathematical ideas. The subject Geometry is unique in its combination of intuitively rooted figural concepts and abstract logical statements. The geometry teacher should facilitate the learner to acquire the language of geometric terms and the ability to use this language correctly when communicating geometric ideas. We have been developed two courses that introduce prospective and in-service teachers to teaching and learning geometry in cultural context using the ethnomathematical approach. The teachers analyzed and constructed, by compass and straightedge, geometric ornaments from different cultures, posed and solved geometric problems related to the ornaments. In this workshop, we aim to engage the participants in constructing and analyzing of culturally meaningful geometric ornaments. The participants will solve geometric problems related to the ornaments and develop new problem by themselves. Then we will discuss the arguments for introducing activities with geometric ornaments in school geometry learning.

Workshop description: In this workshop, participants will explore the way of teaching geometry by engaging students in the analysis and construction of geometric ornaments, posing and solving geometric problems related to the ornaments, and discussing their cultural symbolism. Participants will be enlightened with the principles of ethnomathematics approach in teaching culturally diverse students and with the examples of ethnomathematically based constructive and joyful learning activities. Workshop attendees will experience construction of ornaments by compass and straightedge and their geometrical inquiry. We will share our experience of teacher education and professional development courses based on the ethnomathematical approach. The educational value of this approach will be discussed.


The ER4STEM Repository for Educational Robotics

Annalise Duca (AcrossLimits Ltd, Hilltop Gardens, Triq L-Inwkina, Naxxar, Malta)
Angele Giuliano (AcrossLimits Ltd, Hilltop Gardens, Triq L-Inwkina, Naxxar, Malta)
Sofia Nikitopoulou (University of Athens, Athens, Greece)
Nikoleta Yiannoutsou (University of Athens, Athens, Greece)
Chronis Kynigos (University of Athens, Athens, Greece)

Format of the workshop: During this 90-minute workshop, we will be doing an introductory session to show how the repository functions, following by an interactive session where participants will be brainstorming on activity plans that they can create. Participants should ideally have a laptop or tablet during this session.

Target audience: All teachers.

Using robotics in education is an engaging method for student motivation towards STEM subjects and more. Teachers, educators and researchers who are newly experimenting with the use of robots in the classroom are all asking a very similar question. “Where can I find inspiration to introduce constructionism in my teaching?”, “What can I do to teach my subject using robotics?” The answer to this is “The ER4STEM Repository” which will be full of educational resources, activity plans and suggestions for educators. “The ER4STEM Repository” has been underpinned by the basic pedagogical theory underlying its’ design in constructionism. This happens through an Activity Plan Template. This template is aligned with the Repository and provides a generic design instrument that identifies critical elements of teaching and learning with robotics based on theory and practice and is expected to contribute to the description of effective learning and teaching with robotics.

The ER4STEM repository answers a need in the educational market for a simple one stop online shop to find teaching materials and inspiration for teachers that want to use robotics in their subjects. All materials are open and free of charge, and with constant inputs from the teaching community they will continue to increase in number and variety spanning all subjects and ages.



Registration and fees

Registration deadline: July 10th, 2018

Online registration for international attendees.

Online registration for local attendees / Registracija Lietuvos mokytojams.

Online payment for Teachers's day.

More info (in Lithuanian language).

Please note, if you wish to join Teachers' day workshops you are required to register online and pay a fee in the amount of 15 EUR (registered conference participants can also pay the fee on site in cash). Participation fee of 15 EUR includes refreshments, lunch, conference bag and certificate.

Mokytojų dienos mokestį (15 €) galite sumokėti e. banke atlikę pavedimą į Lietuvos kompiuterininkų sąjungos (https://www.liks.lt/kontaktai/) sąskaitą Nr. LT107044060001106494.