Making coding possible in the classroom ??

I will not lie that when I saw that this week we were going to be looking at the topic of coding and makerspaces, I started having flashbacks to my high school computer science classes where I always seemed to be lost amongst all the codes we were expected to use to create Excel Spreadsheets or Websites. I expected to be lost throughout the whole presentation and may have even panicked – just for a second – when I saw we were going to be trying out coding firsthand during class. Imagine my surprise, when I started trying out the coding program and not only understood the process but also enjoyed completing the activity. I was surprised to see how engaging and user-friendly the CODE website we were using was seeing as it had well-laid-out steps and tutorials to allow us to seamlessly follow along and complete the task at hand.


I feel like such an activity could most certainly engage my students to take an interest in their learning and technology. The following article entitled “10 Benefits of Coding for Kids: Why Learn Coding at a Young Age” lists ten different compelling reasons to consider teaching kids about coding. Among these advantages were benefits related to creativity, logical thinking, structural thinking, algorithmic thinking, math skills and others. Two of the advantages linked to coding that stood out the most to me were ones that mentioned persistence and immersion. I love the idea that coding could teach our children to not give up if they are not capable of achieving the code on the first try and that it can motivate them to keep trying until they manage to obtain the correct code. “[This] trial-and-error process doesn’t allow a quick defeat, but instead [motivates] kids to continue and pursue a successful outcome” (Robo WunderKind). Furthermore, coding is a way to teach our students to learn to be completely immersed on the task at hand and focus on the activity being asked of them to complete. “Working on a coding project is an interactive activity that involves several aspects (writing code, constructing a physical object, moving between the two to see how it works, looking up new information to solve a problem) while still setting out a clear task for us to solve. [This kind of activity allows us] to [be pulled] back into an immersive type of thinking that makes time fly and our brains burst with new knowledge” (Robo WunderKind).

I have not brought in this technology into my classroom and I will admit I believed it was too hard to teach this concept to Grade 2 students. Additionally, I was not very educated on the topic of coding, what it entailed and the resources that were available regarding this technology. I had no idea where to start when thinking of teaching the concept of “Coding” to my students. After going over “The Teacher’s Essential Guide to Coding in the Classroom”, I am not only more informed on the idea of coding, but I am also more prepared on how to proceed if I wanted to bring coding into my classroom and  I can also identify several reasons why bringing coding into the classroom would be beneficial. I have now come to realize that there is no specific age to teach kids about coding and rather than focus on age limitations, I should focus on the level of interest regarding this concept to assess whether my students are prepared to undertake coding projects in the classroom. I understand that “coding is the process of writing out steps for a computer to follow to achieve a goal or perform a task [and that it also] involves identifying a problem or challenge, considering potential solutions, writing code that can enact those solutions, and then testing and revising the code to achieve the desired results” (The Teacher’s Essential Guide to Coding in the Classroom).

I would have to disagree with the notion that coding can only be taught by techies. Rather than focussing on someone’s level of aptitude and their “techniness”, I would focus more on their motivation and willingness to learn a new concept. I think if someone is willing to put in the work to learn a new concept and prepare well thought out lessons and activities to integrate into their teaching, they would have a better chance at teaching a new concept successfully than someone who perhaps initially knew more on the topic but did not put any thought into teaching this concept in the classroom. To ensure my students learn how to code properly in class, I would make sure to be prepared by researching activities ahead of time and preparing well thought out learning activities. Having tutorials or live demonstrations where everyone is following along together and completing the same tasks would be essential before allowing students to undertake coding projects independently. Teaching a new concept in class where you have limited knowledge is the perfect opportunity to push yourself out of your comfort zone while it also allows you to grow and learn alongside your students.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *