27 May 2020

Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook Review

Disclaimer: I received a FREE copy of this product through the HOMESCHOOL REVIEW CREW in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way.

Technology is an essential skill our kids need to know in today’s technical world. It seems like every part of our kid’s day from school to play involves technology and eventually the workforce. Sometimes that technology seems like a lot of information to retain in your head. Workman Publishing has put together a resource to help you understand coding and computer science with their  Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook.

Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook is for middle school and up for students who are learning computer science and coding.

This is a substantial soft cover book at 566 pages. The book chapters are broken down into 8 units. Within each unit you have several topics covered. The units are color coded the bottom corner of the book matches with the color of the Context section. My son liked this feature as it was easy to flip to an area quickly.

Table of Contents

The units are: 

Computing Systems: What is Computer Science, What is a Computer, & How Do We Interact with Computers. 

Data and Analysis: Storing Information, Collecting and Using Information. 

Software Engineering: Designing Computer Systems, Testing, Documenting, Incorporating, Feedback, & Collaborating. 

Algorithms and Programming: Using Algorithms, Programming Languages, & Computational Thinking. 

Universal Programming Principles: Variables, conditional Statements, Loops, Events, & Procedures. 

Programming with Scratch: Getting Started, Basic Algorithms, Data and Operators, Control Blocks and Event Blocks. 

Programming in Python: Getting Started with Python, Variables in Python, Strings, Numbers as Variables, List and Boolean Expressions, For Loops, While Loops and nested Loops, Conditional Statements, & Functions. 

Web Development: What is the Internet, Cybersecurity, Crating a Basic Web Page, HTML Text Elements, Link Elements, Styling with CSS, & Styling Individual Elements with CSS.

The book is very appealing and appropriate style for the intended age. It’s colorful and the pages resemble a notebook that gives you the feel like you are reading your notes from class or maybe someone else’s notes who is really great at taking notes.

Doodles are great visuals to learn the concepts taught

 There are fun doodles throughout that are appropriate for the topic to help visualize what they are learning. The doodles show you something important and what they call “big ideas” and they enhance the notes too. There are charts and graphics throughout also to present something big. It is a very fun book to read and learn from. 

Example of a doodle explaining the bits and bytes concept
 Example: When learning the difference is Bits and Bytes there is a graphic that was clear and concise and made me see the difference. With the doodle being there it gave me a good visual.

Vocabulary words bold and highlighted in yellow and the definition are in green boxes

A few other things that make this standout while reading are vocabulary words. The vocabulary words are bolded and highlighted in yellow. Your definitions for your vocabulary words are in green boxes on the page. There are several “Loops” in the vocabulary and seeing highlighted yellow showed me that I should pay attention to all the loops. 

Another feature that stands out is the terms that are written out in blue ink. The blue lets you know these are important people, dates, terms, and places.

Your main ideas are underlined throughout the topics.

Check your comprehension of the topic you just learned about with the Check Your Knowledge.

 Each topic varies in length in each of the units. Your units end with a “Check Your Knowledge.” This asks you comprehensive questions about the unit you just learned about. The questions vary with the amount questions. In Unit 5 one question is: “What’s the advantage of using the parameters with a procedure?” 

All the answers are provided for you to check your work
 Don’t worry if you can’t recall the information as it immediately follows a “Check Your Answers” section. 

My son said that the examples and information is very good throughout. He thought this particular one would have saved him a few mistakes when learning Python
  Examples and information is provided throughout the book for each topic to clarify information.

The symbols are easy to get mixed up and this is nice according to my son

In the Index before your glossary there is a page for the symbols and it also has the page number it you need to look up a symbol quickly. 

How I Used Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook? 

My 14 year old son loves technology and has been coding for a few years now. He is currently enrolled in an advanced online coding course. I had him look over the book and read it. I also have been reading it. A lot of this was new to me and some of the information I have heard my son explain to me a time or two or maybe five times! I found the book very informative and very easy to understand.

My son read the book quickly and enjoyed the information in it

My son has read the whole book; he is my reader especially if it is a topic that interests him. My son said, “This book is full of information on the basic foundation in Computer Science and coding and it won’t quickly outdate itself and it has nice step-by-step instructions on the topics.” When we first heard about the book he wondered how long the information would be up to date since technology is always changing quickly. He told me that the book sticks to the basic to get you started and really covers the foundation well. He thought that it was a good resource if you forget something while in the middle of a project, needing some quick information if you’re stuck or just can’t having a brain fog moment. 

A good resource when doing a coding class. My son keeps the book close by while doing his homework assignments
 My son pulled this out a few times to compare it with some of his homework while coding his homework and felt that it was good information if he needed assistance in those areas. 

Scratch is an area that he is the least familiar with as it’s been awhile since he used it. He built a laptop a few years ago that was Scratch and Python based. He just wasn’t challenged by Scratch and ended up using the Python mostly. He often gets asked a lot of questions about Scratch and he was glad to revisit the information so he can answer questions about it.

My son enjoys the layout and notebook style in this series

My son said, “I think older elementary kids who have started coding would really benefit from this book.” “I think nowadays most kids in middle school have already been exposed to coding and computer science in some way.” 

My son also became the teacher as he helps me with my blog when things go wrong or I need help with something. He took me through a tutorial with some of the sections showing me how some of the information is in the “back end” of my blog and showed me the HTML and CSS side of it and other features. I have a better understanding of how things work but I still prefer to turn things over to him!

Just a few books in the series that we have and love using in our homescchool

Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook is another great resource in Workman Publishing, Big Fat Notebooks series. I’m a big fan of the series. We have several of their books in this series for our homeschool. We have more than these book in the picture but I let a friend look at them before the stay at home order came in affect to see if she wanted to buy the series. She has already purchased several for her homeschool.

The books are user friendly and do a great job explaining the topics in terms I can even understand. 

Social Media Links:

Facebook: facebook.com/workmanpublishing/
Twitter: twitter.com/workmanpub
Instagram: instagram.com/workmanpub
Pinterest: pinterest.com/workmanpub
YouTube: youtube.com/workmanpublishing

25 others form the Homeschool Review Crew are reviewing Everything You Need to Ace Computer Science and Coding in One Big Fat Notebook from Workman Publishing. Click here or on the graphic below to find out what other think.


Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Twitter Pinterest Instagram Feed Burner Youtube Email
Protected by Copyscape Web Plagiarism Detection

Search This Blog

Grab my button!



Powered by Blogger.

Homeschool Planet

HSP Free Offer Email for REVIEWERS

Popular Posts