Becoming a Coding Master

Becoming a Coding Master

This week, I tried my hand at coding for this first time! I’ll be honest, at first I was super nervous. Starring at a screen full of code feels like I’m trying to read a different language (which I guess I am haha). Next semester I have to take my first ever computer science class, so I figured I better embrace the challenge and overcome my fear of coding, and boy was I pleasently surprised!

I decided to try out one of the Hour of Code lessons since it seemed more my style. I wanted to try a lesson for grades 9+ since I am currently not in grades 2-8 and wanted a slightly harder challenge. I also decided to try a math lesson, since I think that’s somewhere I would really utilize coding. There were so many options, but I finally settled on Codesters: Soccer Shot. In this lesson we were coding a game that let you guess the slope of the line and make a shot on net.

Opening screen

When I first started the lesson I was met with a screen full of code, which honestly didn’t help my nerves! However after that first page, it got much less intimidating. I found the lesson explained things super simply and didn’t include more than 3 or 4 steps per page.

Each page you’d slowly add more and more to your code so that at the end you’d have a full game! This part was super fun and I actually found I was able to understand enough that I could experiment with changing colours of things as well. At the top, where you can see the progress bar, it would show you if you had completed a step or needed to go back and fix something.

The lesson also had checkpoints where you would get to “debug” the code and find the problems and little quizzes to test your understanding. These were both fun and very helpful. The whole lesson took me about 30 minutes, so it’s a very doable lesson for a single class period. I found it was super enjoyable and very informative. I think this is a great way for kids to learn problem solving as well a fun way to teach math! Coding uses a lot of math and mathematical language so it’s a great way for kids to experience practical applications of things they do in class. I had so much fun doing this lesson that I decided to try another called   “Bot is sus?” This one was for younger students and was more of a mini game. It was actually really fun and a great way for kids to think about how to problem solve as well as doing things as simply as possible. These are crucial skills for math, and doing it through these games is a great way to experience it!

I have never been a fan of computer science or coding. I always figured it was something that would never apply to my life because I had no interest in going into computer science. However after these lessons, I think I’ve changed my mind. One reason for my change of heart is that coding is such a fun and useful way to learn mathematical thinking. Logic and language are very overlooked in the world of math; the goal is not to create a mini human calculator but problem solvers. As part of my degree I’ve taken a lot of my math classes with computer science majors, and the way that math is approached in computer science is very logical, step oriented, and as simple as possible. It’s a different way of thinking and learning to code young would have been such an amazing opportunity. I also think it’s so important that we start utilizing these tools because computer science is a huge and versatile field that many students are likely unaware of. If we can expose children to the field young, we offer greater opportunity for them in the future. It’s also a great way to promote gender equality in the field, as young girls will feel more confident entering into the field. Over all I really enjoyed the lessons I tried on Hour of Code and I would highly highly recomended for students of any age!


2 thoughts on “Becoming a Coding Master

  1. Hey Ava, I’m glad you had a good experience with coding! This is my first time coding and I’m kinda struggling with it. I haven’t been able to fully grasp the content yet. I think it’s important that we teach students these skills are the future is all digital. If we think the world is digital now, just wait. The world is going to get a lot more digital. And interesting point about gender equality. I normally wouldn’t of associated coding with promoting girls in the science field. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  2. I found coding so tough!! I’m glad your experience was great with it!! I loved your soccer ideas. Very you! ?♥️

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