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Speaking the Language
Posted 10/11/2018 08:55AM

PreK students learn how to code

Mrs. Boodoo introduces coding to PreK 4

If you happened to stop by the Early Childhood Campus in the past two weeks, you may have noticed our PreK 4 students learning a new language - computer coding!

As part of the schoolwide STEEM (science, technology, engineering, entrepreneurship, math) initiative, Carrollwood Day School teaches every student, in age-appropriate lessons, about computer coding. That education begins at the ECC. In PreK 4, the students go back to basics, as they learn that coding is all about giving explicit, step-by-step instructions to reach a desired goal.

For their introductory lesson, the students were inspired and guided by the lead character in the book, Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding, written by Linda Liukas, a Finnish computer programmer, children's writer, and programming instructor. Ruby is “a small girl with a huge imagination, and the determination to solve any puzzle.” The purpose of the lesson was to expose and assist students with learning the basic fundamentals of coding, such as computational thinking, creating patterns, problem solving, and breaking things down step by step. This lesson also fostered collaboration and communication skills as well as the development of coding vocabulary and language.

These basic concepts at the core of coding and programming were reinforced through fun, hands-on activities with Mrs. Boodoo, the Assistant Head of the Lower School.   The children worked together, using signs and symbols, to navigate their friends through a large grid, with the ultimate goal of capturing a gem. This provided opportunities for the students to practice giving clear directions and creating patterns to achieve desired results.  And our young computer programmers made many insightful observations along the way:

“Coding is like jump, slide, jump, slide...it's telling something what to do.”

“Coding is numbers and figuring things out.”

“Coding is hacking into a computer.” 

The coding lesson will continue next week as the students are introduced to Dash, a real robot who responds to voice commands, dancing, singing and computer code. Dash will help our PreK 4 friends on their gem-finding adventure, as they figure out how to program him by giving him clear directions.  

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