Last week was really wonderful. My students, some parents and myself participated in the Hour Of Code. This is my 2nd year participating and I am already thinking more about how I can use the Hour of Code week as an opportunity to introduce coding to my students and then continue to weave in opportunities for my kindergarten students to continue to explore coding.
Last week our technology integrationist, Bonnie Birdsall visited Kindergarten. She was awesome. She shared a video of coding happening globally and then alongside me and my students we explored code. We used Daisy the Dinosaur as a way to begin. The children were very interested and intrigued about how they could make the dinosaur do things. After this introduction I then began to explore more coding alongside my students and families.
My students were so proud and happy when they finished a challenge. I was so excited to hear how they were all supporting each other and asking questions to help them solve problems. Lots of critical thinking happening!
I had 2 fathers volunteer to come in and work with small groups of children using Daisy the Dinosaur. What I noticed was lots of collaborating with students and I was amazed at how my students were supporting each other when stuck and the connections that were being made. Remarkable really.
Here were some of the responses my students made about why everyone should know how to code:
- It helps you think mathematically.
- It is so fun.
- It helps you learn.
- Coding helps your brain solve problems.
- It helps my thinking.
- It helps us learn to use technology.
- Coding helps us think and justify our thinking.
- Coding is learning Mrs. D.
- Coding helps you learn about math.
- Coding is important because you can do it by yourself or you can collaborate.
We created a poster to display in our classroom. I really liked how a few of my students made brains. I asked why and I was told that that is where we think! Wonderful.
Later in the week my students created a Kidblog post about coding. I am always reminded about how easily young children can make connections and build on their prior experiences when trying something new. A couple of my students were creating their Kidblog post and wanted to know “how to” spell a word, so 1 child went to get a book to find the word he needed! Another child went to get our ‘how to” use Kidblog book to help guide her through the steps. Wonderful. What a great example of young learners using prior experiences and tools that we created together to create and design what is important.
As a teacher I am able to learn so much from my students through this experience. How are they figuring things out? Sounding out words? Looking for environmental print? Print in books? Other ideas? This is also an opportunity for me to grow and to begin rethinking about what I need to do, where do I need to go next in regards to learning opportunities that my students need.
Technology really offers so many ways for even our youngest learners to not only connect and engage, but also problem solve and build their own confidence with digital tools. I am grateful for being able to be a teacher and work alongside so many wonderful people.
Then I was inspired to write a project in regards to coding! If interested, my project for Bee-Bots can be found here.