With daily interaction with our Chromebooks, second graders are experts when it comes to turning on, logging on, and using a variety of applications to support their learning. Being able to operate computers is second nature but learning how to code computers presents a higher level of thinking.
Mrs. Sayre, our LRC Director, facilitated an Introduction to Coding class for second grade. Students worked as partners, one person was the programmer and the other was the computer. Using cups and directional arrows, the programmer had to lay out step by step directions for the computer to follow. The task involved taking three stacked cups, picking up moving to the right the correct number of steps, then putting the cup down, in order to create the pyramid pictured below.
Once the programmer and computer were successful in executing these steps they were then ready for the next challenge of coding the movement of five cups.
Through this activity students realized that computers can’t think for themselves, they need people to write programs that tell them what to do. The next step is for students to use “Kodable.com” which will further their knowledge of basic computer programming.
Coding teaches important skills in problem solving, logical thinking, communicating, and perseverance. Having programming knowledge, even at this basic level, makes technology seem less magical and more manageable.