Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code

September 27, 2017

by Laurie Wallmark
illustrated by Katy Wu

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Grace was a curious girl, exploring how clocks work by taking them apart and putting them back together again.  That curiosity and tensity continued into college where she took courses in physics and math while other women were taking courses called “Husbands and Wives” and “Motherhood.”  She continued to persevere until she convinced the Navy to enlist her even though she didn’t meet the age and weight requirements at the time.  Good thing they did, too!  Grace went on to write computer code that no one else had done, and fix problems that no one could seem to solve.

BUG! This term is known in the computer science world for a mistake in the program’s code.  In this book, the author shows how Grace Hopper and her colleagues actually found a bug inside their computer which cause a switch to malfunction.  Even since then, computer glitches have been called bugs!

At one point in the book Grace needs to pass Latin (she had a failing grade) in order to go to college.  Briefly, this book shows the hard work she does in order to accomplish something she didn’t like to get to her dream of going to college.

Check out this PDF for some discussion questions and extension activities to do with this book.

*Timeline activity in the PDF link above.


It’s Okay to Make Mistakes

April 4, 2016

It’s Okay to Make Mistakes

by Todd Parr

Just as the title suggests, this easy picture book teaches readers that mistakes are okay; in fact, they are points of learning!  Todd Parr gives various examples of mistakes that kids are likely to make.  Then he shows a resolution on how that mistake is okay, or even better than okay.

For example: It’s okay to change your mind.  (Shows an elephant afraid to dive off the high dive). Everyone is ready at a different time.

Example #2: It’s okay to be shy.  Being quiet can make you a good listener.

While teaching a great social skill of being okay making mistakes, this book would also be a great addition to a cause and effect lesson.