The final project was a great source of motivation for me to make a stronger effort to bring coding to the classroom. I had tried in the past but was only able to occasionally teach what was considered one or two “coding” classes school wide. I think this may be partly due to everyones busy schedule, a lack of knowledge between coding logic and curriculum connections and/or the fear of limited resource and lack of knowledge of how coding works.
This year, as coding was my final project, I knew I had to take a different approach at integration. Being an Ed Tech Coach, I don’t have the opportunity to consistently work with my own students. To remedy this, I sought out two to three teachers who would be willing and able to consistency provide class time for coding integration. I knew I also had to find teachers who would be able and interested in meeting on a regular basis to discuss the curriculum connections. Fortunately, I connected with three eager teachers from Grades 2, 4 and 5 EAL. Together we brainstormed the connection listed in the document below as a good starting place.
I noticed that there are a great deal more resources than I had originally realised. Not only are there a variety of books on block coding such as Scratch but also on different coding languages such as Python and Java Script. 3D Game Programming for Kids is a great book that was recommended by a student. Once I started working thought the chapters I found it difficult to stop.
The resource books were only the tip of the iceberg. There are also a variety to sites such as Scratch Education which helps to make the connections to Maths and Language.
Astro Pi is also a terrific introduction to Python coding. It also connection directly to any type exploration inquiry because the students create a small script which plays a short message and the temperature on a Raspberry Pi at the at the International Space Station.
There are also the ample resources associated with the Hour of Code.
However, my goal was to stay away from thinking about teaching coding and instead shift to thinking how can coding be used as a tool to reinforce a students understanding curriculum content. Thinking in this direction also help me to see the many different ways that we were able to implement the ISTE Student Standards.
Once the teachers started to see the power within coding with Scratch, the news spread that it is a great tool for reinforcing corse content. I soon had more teachers asking me to come into their class to introduce coding. They also asked for resources so they could start thinking about the integration on their own.
Is every teacher 100% on board with the idea? No, but I think through the course I was able to start a shift in the way coding can be taught at my school.
I am excited to continue working with students and teachers to find new integrations ideas using a variety of different languages and programs.