When I first began incorporating technology into my Kindergarten classroom, I would have never thought coding was something we would even talk about. When someone said the word coding to me, I automatically thought of older students coding games and apps but I soon learned that my initial thoughts about coding were far from reality!
When first introducing the idea of code to my class, I showed students videos from the Hour of Code website. (www.code.org). They have some great videos that introduce coding to students in an age-appropriate way and they were very interesting to our students. They wanted to learn more!
Once my students had a basic understanding of what coding was, we practice some real life coding! We asked our students to code the teacher! This is now an activity we do every year because it helps our students to get some hands-on practice as a large group and our kids LOVE it. The K-2 NOW classroom book has for more specifics on how to do this activity!
The next step to coding was to let our students have some time to explore some coding apps. There are a lot of great options, but we started with two of our favorites….codables and bee-bots. Our students worked together in pairs to try to solve the puzzle and get from one end to the other. They were hooked and they could not get enough!
Finally, we moved from the basic Novice and Operational lessons of coding to the Wow! We were ready to code a toy Mouse. Our students worked in small groups using problem-solving skills, taking turns, listening, observing, and speaking to one another to get the job done! The 4 C’s of collaboration, creativity, communication, and critical thinking were evident throughout the entire activity! Our Kinders love any chance they get to practice their critical thinking skills to code and we often integrate them throughout all the subject areas!
Here is an example of some coding we did this week with Earth Day and 3D shapes!
Earth Day Shape Coding in Action!
The students were proud to share their work on @Seesaw with their parents and an authentic audience on Twitter. I hope our student products inspire other teachers and students to try coding in the classroom. Please share your examples with our authors and readers using the hashtag #NOWclassrooms
Students were again asked to code our toy mouse but first, they needed to create a pattern using the 3D shape Earth Day pictures. The patterns they created varied in difficulty from simple AB patterns to more difficult ABC and ABB patterns. They even tried to “trick” the mouse by putting the wrong pattern throughout the open portions of the maze. This activity was out at our centers all week and they asked for it again this week! That is a teacher win! Check out the K-2 Now Classrooms book for additional activities you can use right now to integrate coding into your curriculum because Kindergarteners can code too!
By: Kristy Hopkins Kindergarten Teacher @HopkinsKinder