Coding in Fifth Grade

A few months ago, Silvia and I were discussing things to do with the Fifth Grade and we came up with the idea of a basic coding experience for them.
When I told the class about it they were very excited and couldn’t wait to get started. Silvia came to our class and we began by talking about what coding is and the importance of learning this skill. She shared a wonderful blog post about coding with the students:
https://www.edsurge.com/guide/teaching-kids-to-code
We then went on a website called Code Academy( http://www.codecademy.com/) and learned some basic coding skills. I say we because I became a student for the lesson too. I realized very quickly that I had a lot to learn and I caught myself asking the students for help when I got stuck.
The students were amazing. They caught on to the skill and were creating codes like crazy! I on the other hand kept getting errors and had to start over. When I realized what I was doing wrong, thanks to a student, I felt incompetent compared to the kids. They are so tech savy it is unreal what they can already do.
The next lesson, Silvia had the students go to http://scratch.mit.edu/ which I found much more user friendly. It was fun to create images that moved and made sounds!
The best thing about the lessons was the level of enthusiasm. I had one student who was still talking about her creations at recess and said she could’t wait to code again. In her words, “It was the best thing ever!”
What else can a teacher want to hear?
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Teacher-Twenty-One

May 2013
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