Today, computing is involved in almost all aspects of our lives, from communications and education to social media, banking, information, security and shopping. Networked computers are capable of controlling our homes’ thermostats and lighting, our cars and our health records.
If grade-schoolers are taught biology and mathematics in order to understand the world around them, then knowing the basics of how computers communicate—and how to engage with them—should be a given.
The skills that come with computer programming help kids develop new ways of thinking and foster problem-solving techniques that can have big repercussions in other areas.
Computational thinking allows preschoolers to grasp concepts like algorithms, recursion and heuristics—even if they don’t understand the terms, they’ll learn the basic concepts.
We’ve started coding in our class, which means that we’re telling a computer, app, phone, or website what we want it to do. This week we used an app called Lightbot and a some robots named Dash and Dot to practice our skills in communicating, solving complex problems, and thinking logically and critically. The class found designing repeating patterns using Dash and Dot especially fun! As this CBC article reports,
I am also leading a coding club for grade four students at Millgrove which has been a blast, and younger grades will have the opportunity to join later this year. You can read more about the thinking behind students being exposed to coding here, and we will keep you updated on our further adventures in coding!
Mrs. Barker is a grade two teacher at Millgrove School. She loves science and reading, and lives in a little brick house with Mr. Barker and her kids Jack and Ellie.