Coding Creations

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Coding is the language of computers, apps, blogs, and all electronics. It is also a fantastic critical thinking skill that can engage students in the classroom. From the Teach your Kids Code Website they highlight 8 reasons why coding is important for kids to learn:

  • Programming helps children learn to problem – solve
  • Computer programming gives kids a challenge and helps them develop resilience
  • Coding teaches children how to think
  • A child expands their creativity when they learn how to code
  • Computer programming is the future
  • There is a lack of skills in the software industry
  • Coding helps children learn how to have fun with math
  • Coding is learning while having fun

There are a variety of free resources available for educators to access to support their learners to learn coding.

I have some experience with coding already. I have played with/used Microbits, Spheros, Makey Makeys, and Hour of Code within my classroom.

Here is some of my students work

Originally tweeted by Tina (@tinambowley) on January 8, 2021.

Since I have some experience coding already, I decided to try coding with Scratch.

Coding With Scratch

Upon first impressions, I was really excited to try Scratch as there was tons of options and easy to use block coding. However, I really missed the step by step progressions that is offered with Hour of Code. The level of inquiry was too broad for my linear mind. I prefer step by step instructions, like a recipe. So, I did a few tutorials and Googled some how – tos to create the animation I envisioned.

Below is my attempt at Scratch coding. I was able to change the costume of the unicorn, add sounds, and make another sprite appear. The sound quality is low from using Screencastify, but trust me when I say there was some epic fairy music.

Final Impressions

I think all the tools I have used (Makey Makey, Spheros, Hour of Code, Microbits and now Scratch) are all applicable to use in the classroom. Each tool has a variety of levels and adaptations to accommodate all learners abilities and engagement. Even though I didn’t like the openness of Scratch, as much as the step by step sequence of Hour of Code, I was still invested in finding out how to do it. I think coding is a very valuable skill to teach students and any of the above tools would be a great place to start.

-Tina

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