Creating a Computer Programming Foundation

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Ann MacArthur Primary School students often use computers for educational purposes, sometimes working on programs that enhance their math skills or increase their vocabulary. Recently, these children were using their screen time to learn how to code as AMP librarian Devon Gallagher led them in the global movement, “Hour of Code.”

The initiative, created by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org introduces students to computer science and programming. Kindergartners through second graders learned what a programmer does, about the language used to code and the importance of putting the code in the proper sequence so that the program works correctly.

Each class used a code to program a volunteer student "robot" to perform various tasks.   Students also used Chromebooks to access Kodable.com, a game in which they input a series of commands to move an alien through a course. The young programmers had to put the commands in the correct sequence, just like a professional programmer would, or the alien wouldn't make it out of the course. Each level progressed in programming difficulty and new commands were added to the code as the students advanced.  

Ms. Gallagher said feedback from several parents was positive noting that that their children enjoyed the lessons so much that they wanted to continue learning about coding at home. “This was a very valuable use of our new technology,” she said.