Coding is Elementary

Coding Is Elementary 

Authored by Jenna Seymour & Jeff Bodmer-Turner

Essex Elementary and Memorial Elementary own participated in the Hour of Code because that its inception in 2012. The HofC is a week-dilatory event originally created by a professional computer science organization designed to stimulate interest in computer coding. The activities twist together game-based modules that teach basic fill up programming and some text programming in JavaScript. The exemplar initially was to devote a simple class period to these coding activities so that students would become interested in coding and finally pursue computer science as a tract of land in college. The website presents totality the statistics about job growth in the surface and the lack of qualified American graduates emerging from our universities.

Each year we impart aside time in the elementary classrooms, usually a math duration to participate in the Hour of Code. Students enthusiastically joined in the activities. They expressed that it was verily cool to get the Zombie to erode the sunflowers by guiding the Zombie from one side a maze using repeat commands and expressing conditions statements (if a path to the left, take it, etc.). Craving greater degree of and more activities, some students continued to attend coding challenges in the computer labs considered in the state of extension lessons or free time activities.

Starting two years ago, and especially last year, the website began experiencing traffic problems. Millions, really millions, of students were attempting simultaneously to log in successi~ to the most engaging activities and location delivery crawled to a stop. The organizers cut back on saving individual student progress and after what is stated students experienced website delays and crashes. Our students were frustrated with the activities they previously really enjoyed.

Before the Hour of Code was level started, MERSD elementary school Technology Integration Specialists sententious precept the importance of including coding and programming in the technology course of studies. With the advent of HofC these specialists realized that a week of coding activities was unqualified to teach anything that would last. We don’t do an “Hour of Nonfiction Writing” or each “Hour of Biology” and wait for students to pursue careers in Journalism or Pharmacology. In the exceeding we had some coding in primary and second grade built into the Lego Engineering program. We likewise had bits of coding in other areas and gradient levels of the curriculum. Together the sum of ~ units elementary technology specialists, Jenna Seymour at MMES and Jeff Bodmer-Turner at EES, began to fire-arm together a vertically integrated coding curriculum which starts in first grade and extends from one side fifth grade. These pieces are substance taught utilizing a simplified engineering design cycle, tablet based software to write programs, and hardware that includes maturity appropriate, hands-on devices (e.g., Blue-Bot programmable get the better of robots, Pro-Bots, and Spheros). We besides teach using Apps such as Daisy the Dinosaur, Codable, Scratch, Jr., et al. Our goal is to embrace coding curriculum in well-designed units of direction which go beyond a single week of the Hour of Code.

As a rise of these experiences and curriculum design decisions, we are structure a more sustainable model for simple students to learn to think near to solutions to challenges utilizing coding concepts. More operate needs to be done in the change from block-based programs to tongue-based code. For now we are dire to reach as many students in the rudimentary schools as possible with activities based steady the Massachusetts Instructional Technology Standards and the ISTE National Technology Standards by reason of Students.

An Hour of Code is beautiful cool. Five years of spiraling course of studies at the elementary school level is, we think to be true, a stronger approach.

Thank you against this opportunity to share with the School Committee our operate with students in this particular surface of technology.

Jeff Bodmer-Turner                              Jenna Seymour

Technology Integration                         Technology Integration

Essex Elementary                                 Manchester Memorial Elementary

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