Across the last two weeks, students in kindergarten, first, and second grades have been exploring coding! All these students began learning (or extended their learning) with the iPad app for Scratch, Jr -- a program designed by researchers from Tufts and MIT. This app has been specially designed to help children learn more about coding through visual programming. You can learn more about it here. In our introductory lessons, kindergarten and first grade students began by writing scripts and algorithms for non-digital enactment by a puppet, and then for each other to act out through movement. Students then began coding for characters within the app itself. They explored with the tools (e.g., making characters move, adding characters, adding a background) and some even figured out how to add voice recordings, hand-drawn characters, and text. We will continue to explore the tools for a couple of weeks and then move on to trying out specific tasks or -- as they say in Reggio Emilia programs -- "provocations" to invite deeper exploration and creativity with connections to real world experiences. Second graders explored in the same way after first engaging with Code.org's introductory visual programming course #1. Students log-in to their own account via our district Clever app, and the program keeps track of their progress. Code.org is a non-profit agency committed to supporting computer science. You can learn more about it here. Students can explore more coding games linked in our Coding Fun page. Fifth grade GT students have been exploring Lego Mindstorm Robots with Ms. Paeir and Ms. Abell, and third through fifth grade students will have opportunity to engage more with coding in the spring semester. We look forward to seeing what students can design. Happy creating!
VVE Tech & Learning
Holly Moore, Educational Technologist, shares student learning here, in our Cardinal Community Blog.