CS Recitations Blog

A blog with thoughts and observations about the benefits of computer science education for kids and teens.

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Dave Horrigan - Tuesday, August 25, 2020

“Why are your classes a full year long?”  This is a question we frequently get from parents when discussing our unique computer science program.  Unlike other programs (some of which have popped up just since the pandemic created a demand for online programs), we don’t teach computer science in week-long or even month-long workshops.  Because Computer Science, like other academic subjects, is a deep and enriching discipline, our curriculum is organized around year-long age-appropriate courses designed to leave students empowered to code on their own once completed.

Would you sign your student up for an “Hour of Trumpet” or a “Week of Piano”?  Probably not. Your child might have some fun with a Week of Piano and might enjoy listening to some great piano tunes, but they would not make any meaningful progress toward learning to play the piano.  At best, they might emerge being able to play a perky rendition of “Hot Cross Buns”.  At worst, they might become frustrated that they’ve spent a week and still can’t play a song they like, or that they need to start over next summer and be taught “Hot Cross Buns” a second time or a third time in an endless cycle of disjointed week-long workshops.

Learning Computer Science is a lot like learning to play the piano.  You have to have an organized, age-appropriate curriculum taught by expert teachers, and you have to stick with it, building and applying skills and broadening your repertoire. Students who complete our courses leave empowered with the knowledge to create their own projects.  Most re-enroll for additional courses.  Indeed, our year-long CSR-100 Introduction to Computing course for 5th and 6th graders has seen 95% reenrollment for the past three years!  Students love to learn how to do things for themselves – and unfortunately most short workshops and camps do not teach students how to create code by themselves. Instead, they show students how to use software and how to copy and play with someone else’s creation.  Our courses teach them the skills and confidence they need to become lifelong coders and computer scientists!

All of our in-person courses meet 30 times throughout the school year, meeting once per week for either 1.5 hours or 2 hours.

Come visit us at Natick Days, Saturday, Sept. 9th!

David Horrigan - Tuesday, September 05, 2017

CS Recitations is a proud sponsor of Natick's 2017 annual Natick Days festival celebrating the Natick community. Come out to enjoy the food, fun, and entertainment, and stop by our booth to meet us and learn more about our offerings. The event runs 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Saturday at Natick Common in Natick Center. There is something for the whole family -- click here to learn more. We'll see you there! Rain date is Sunday, September 10.

A Computer Science Education Improves Math Skills!

David Horrigan - Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Computer Science is not just for aspiring engineers – it is for every child, and it is rapidly becoming recognized as a core competency in K-12 education.  In 2008, The National Mathematics Advisory Panel issued the following statement in “Foundations for Success: Final Report” (2008):

“The Panel recommends that computer programming be considered as an effective tool… for developing specific mathematics concepts and applications, and mathematical problem-solving abilities.”

New research confirms that students who learn computer science and computer programming before or during middle school achieve higher math scores on subsequent standardized math tests. For example, see:  “Programming Literacy Needs to be a Core Content Standard: A Case Study of Teaching 7th and 8th Grade Students Computer Programming” (Dr. Geoffrey Wright, School of Technology, Brigham Young University 2013).

At CS Recitations, we offer children aged 8 to 18 a comprehensive computer science education which emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Our students build analytical skills that transfer to a host of other disciplines, including math, all while having fun with challenging and varied computer science assignments, projects  and competitions.

CS Recitations Welcome Blog

David Horrigan - Friday, July 07, 2017

Welcome to the NEW CS Recitations blog! Here you will find information on our computer science classes, recitations, and competitions, as well as the latest in computer science education and technology.

We offer year-round computer science classes for ages 8-18, instructor-led in-person recitations to complement online MIT Edx courses, and add-on tracks to apply what is learned in the classroom in popular computer science competition. Our small classes are led by expert teachers using proven content. Our classrooms are equipped the latest, state-of-the-art technology to create dynamic, interactive learning environments. At CS Recitations, we set the standard for computer science instruction for school-aged students.

For more information, please browse our offerings, email us, or make an appointment to come in and speak with us!

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