Tuesday, June 24, 2014

#2 Coding...our class obsession!

Back in February of this year, I attended the Georgia Gifted Convention in Athens, Ga.  I gained so many great ideas from these workshops!  One idea that I picked up was in a class taught called 50 APPs You Must Have-by Brian Housand (love him-check out his website @Brianhousand.com!), and learned about a site called: Code.org.  Coding is where your students (or you!) learn basic computer programming skills in a fun game-like format.  I thought to myself while in the meeting, "I'm not sure my 2nd grade sweeties will be able to handle this."  So, I took it back to my classroom, and on computer lab day-we tried it.  WOW!  I was astonished at how they took to it.  I had 7-8 year old students who were finishing the whole site activities in a few months. These were not easy to do!  They were very challenging, and I had some resisters and whiners at first because it was a challenge for them. I just said, if you get stuck, "Try it a different way and see if that works!" There is no need to sign your students up, unless you want them to be able to save what they are doing.  My students were good at remembering which puzzle number they were working on from the week before.  Signing them up does allow them to access the website at home too on their account.

Please promise me you will try this with your students.  I do have a classroom full of gifted students, but I'm pretty sure that high achievers (and maybe others) can use this to enhance their learning.  This is a terrific way to promote beginning computer programming with our primary students.

Other coding websites are that I have stumbled across are: 


There are many other apps that you can download that work in the same way for your student's devices: Lightbot, Bee Bot, Robofree, Cato's Hike, Hopscotch, Scratch, Daisy the Dinosaur, Cargo-Bot, Tynker,  and My Robot Friend are a few that I have on my Ipad.
Many Android apps are available as well.

Other apps are being added constantly to both platforms,  I have found though that the Code.org website is the easiest for my students to navigate. Here's a screen shot of the Code.org site--yes, you guessed it, they are trying to write code to move the Angry Birds around the platform.  

Good article on Coding....
How to Raise the Next Zuckerberg

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