Note: This year I am blogging weekly reflections at my school site (weskids.com) in order to provide more transparency in my teaching for parents, students, and the community (local and global). I will be cross-posting most of the entries here at Bit By Bit as well. You can see the original posts at the “Reflections by Mr. S” blog.
This week, I invite you to look at a site that will be featured for much of the rest of the year in both 3rd and 4th grade classes: code.org.
Some classes have already signed up with me and we are about to start programming. (You might have already had your scholar come home and log into the site to continue to learn how to program).
As you dig deeper into the code.org site (and my lessons), you’ll find that the goal is not to make everyone a programmer, but rather to teach an important “literacy” that is ubiquitous in our lives (i.e., software is all around us). The lessons will help students become critical thinkers, risk takers, problem solvers, and in control of the software that will continue to become more and more abundant in their lives.
Embedded here is the Introductory video that I start the first lesson with, called, “What Most Schools Don’t Teach:”
Things you can do with your scholar at home:
- Start coding with your student! (Look, if I can do it, anyone can!). Start your own account at code.org and learn along with your student.
- Talk about areas of life where “computer science” has/has not influenced, infiltrated, or improved. Alternatively, talk about ways that computer science may not benefit society (i.e., “hacking”).
- You might want to check out an amazing book: The Connected Family: Bridging the Digital Generation Gap by Seymour Papert. Even though it was first published in 1996, it is still, in many ways ahead of its time. In this book, Papert will not only convince you of the importance of learning to code, but also will compel you to start coding with your student!