This year I have had the amazing opportunity to participate in a few Voxer groups that have given me the nudge to pursue coding at my school. With great mentorship from Adam Welcome and Dr. Brad Gustafson I was able to really wrap my head around-do kindergartners really have the ability to code?
In January of 2016 we started a ‘Coding Club’. For 6-8 weeks I will get the opportunity to work with small groups of students during the day using a variety of technology tools to develop our skills in the following:
By learning to code and operate robots we will be able to:
- Create solutions for problems
- Collaborate with each other
- Develop visual spatial skills (the ability to mentally orientate, manipulate, track and rotate robots)
- Reflect on our learning
- Read and interpret visual information
- Demonstrate the safe and cooperative use of technology.
- Independently apply digital tools and resources to address a variety of tasks and problems.
- Communicate about technology using developmentally appropriate and accurate terminology
In order to get this all up and running I needed to secure:
- Space (play centers when not in use)
- Materials (we have 6 Spheros and a ‘Hive’ of Beebots as well as 6 iPads and a cart soon to come).
- Parent communication (we are adding a section to our blog https://packersintraining.wordpress.com/ for parents to watch our progress).
- Connection with current programs (we ran by our vocabulary with current VEX Robotic Coaches at our Intermediate, Middle and High School)
- A tentative lesson plan format and focus for the week. I also identified ISTE Standards as well as Minnesota Kindergarten Standards for linkage back to classroom learning.
- STUDENTS! Teachers are working right now to identify a few students that might enjoy developing a Spark in computer science, programing and collaborating with their peers.
My hope is to have a mini open house during conferences so parents can ‘see’ what we are doing. So to answer the question-YES we are Coding in Kindergarten!
Keep Dreaming BIG for our Littlest Learners,