Category Archives: Raspberry Pi

Hack the Pi Review – Days 3

Hack the Pi is continuing weekly and it is starting to get easier to manage. I have realized the videos are now unnecessary. Students are able to read the directions and look online for further guidance to help them complete their hacks.

Issue #1 Reflections: In order to make our Hack the Pi series I have created reflection questions that I make sure are aligned to the NGSS practices. The reflections are a VERY important piece to making sure computer science can be integrated into my current science curriculum. I originally was going to have them write their reflections in their science journals, but that would require me collecting their journals. Collecting journals is ALWAYS a hassle since I have 190 students so I definitely wanted to avoid this.

Solution #1: I decided to have students make their reflections on their seesaw accounts which were created earlier in the year. Seesaw is an online journal where students can record videos, post pictures and write reflections. I originally had them sign up so parents would get a peak at what is going on in class during the week ( labs, etc.). Having students post their reflections on Seesaw has really helped simplify the reflection process at the end of the Hack.

This is how I am currently having in class Hack the Pi time spent:

  1. Students enter the classroom and begin setting up their Raspberry Pi stations (includes plugging in and hooking up cords & logging into the Pi).
  2. I have students pause and give students the Hack the are currently on.
  3. Students work independently with their table partner to complete the Hack.
  4. Once the Hack is complete students log into seesaw and answer reflection questions. Once they have completed this they notify me.
  5. I check my seesaw and look at their answer and then I go to their station and make sure the code works. If the code works I mark they completed the Hack and they move on to the next one.

Here is the link for Seesaw:

I have posted a picture of a students reflection, it also points out the biggest frustration students have when coding. “Where did they make a mistake in their code?” They hate when they get the “syntax error” box, but they always swear to me their code is right and there MUST be something wrong with their Raspberry Pi. Oh the life of a middle school teacher.

Screenshot (1)

That’s all for this week!


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Hack the Pi – Day 1 Review

My first Hack the Pi Day is finally over and for me it will go down as a success. Were there many problems,hiccups and issues throughout the day? Yes, but overall the kids were challenged and excited throughout the process. My big picture goal is to create a student version of picademy. (Note – I have not actually been to a picademy, this is more of my vision of what I heard they were like.)

Hack the Pi – Day 1 Objectives

  • Set up a Raspberry Pi, log in, load the graphical interface and begin working with command line.
  • Explain, with evidence, the difference between a Raspberry Pi and a personal computer
  • Design a solution to the problem: Computer Science is not taught in many school due to how expensive computers are.

So how are my Hack the Pi days organized?

For homework on Thursday nights students will watch my Hack the Pi videos where I go over what they will be doing the following day. You can see my first video here (its my first video ever so be nice!). I made an Edpuzzle quiz using this video, you can take a look and create an account on Edpuzzle here. Edpuzzle is truly amazing! I can track which students watch the video and it automatically grades the quiz about the video for me so I know which students did not understand what I was explaining. In addition to watching the video students needed to make a drawing of their Raspberry Pi set up in their Interactive Science Notebook (ISN).  Continue reading

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Hack the Pi Begins!

Well it has been a LONG time since I have written a post. I have spent some serious hours prepping and organizing how I would integrate Raspberry Pi into my science curriculum. The day has finally come as my weekly Hack the Pi series is beginning.

So, how did I get to this point? 

I became interested in the Raspberry Pi at the end of last year when I was researching for ways to make learning computer programming more project based. I decided I NEEDED a class set of Pi’s and so the planning begun on how I would get the resources I needed. The computer science department chairman at our districts’ high school contacted me about helping with my girls coding club, so of course  I mentioned what I wanted to do with the Pi’s. He told me he had a few Pi’s he could give me to start me off. 10 Cana kits later my vision seemed to be happening. Continue reading

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