Today we headed to the computer lab to try it out. When I explained to my kiddos what "coding" is, there were cheers that we were going to try it. They were intrigued by potential careers using coding and there was a buzz in the room as we prepared to go to the computer lab.
The first challenge was going to be typing in the web address. Typically we have the website open for them when entering the computer lab, and in the classroom, I have control over the bookmarks, so I put it in the bookmark bar for them. I typed the web address and handed them out. This was great because they were able to take this home in case they wanted to do some more at home.
As each person got to the website, they began to work at their own pace. I showed them 2 levels in the room before going to the lab, so they had some idea of what to do. We used the partner links part of the hour of code website and worked in Tynker. This was my students' first experience, and I wanted it to be fun for them, not frustrating. This seemed like the most straight forward, game-like site.
|"I think coding is hard because you really have to think."|
All the kids agreed that it made them think, which in my world was a win! This was big for us because there are times my students tell me things are easy, so it was nice to have them recognize that they had to think about what they were doing. I downloaded the app "The Foos" for them work on in the room and bookmarked the Tynker page for them to use in our classroom too. We also have Dash & Dot robots received through a recent DonorsChoose.org project that we'll be exploring soon.
How do you engage your kiddos in critical thinking through technology?