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Coding in Senior Kindergarten
By: Senior Kindergarten Teachers Kathleen Bauer, Lauren Brody and Anne Marie Christopher
Coding in Kindergarten?!
But wait a minute, what is CODING?
The Senior Kindergarten class last year embarked on a journey offering every student an opportunity to learn and implement computer science. While offering opportunities in critical thinking, logic, persistence and creativity, students are learning to excel in every subject!
When Becky Taylor, Rossman’s technology coordinator, invited us to look into this program, we quickly embraced the values and are taking further steps to implement coding into our process of learning. Oftentimes we refer to “layers of learning” in Senior Kindergarten. Coding is becoming a wonderful contributing piece integrated into our curriculum and layered into our lessons.
Collaborating with one another and instructors, students engage in cooperative learning lessons so that they are problem solving together. Concepts like perseverance and following directions along with reviewing north, south, east, and west are covered. Some of the activities are considered “unplugged” which means no device is used for a lesson, but rather the students participate in specific movement, seed planting and small group discussions to name a few. Yet, all lessons are integrated into our structured and fun-filled times of learning!
Great insights offered by this diverse approach include some key vocabulary words that the students are able to readily make and implement connections to within the lessons.
- Algorithm: a list of commands
- Sequence: putting instruction in the correct order
- Program: following a sequence of instructions telling the device what to do
- Debugging: finding and correcting errors
- Repeat: looping an instruction simplifying the program at hand
- Event: promoting some challenges for many new “coders” as it is an action that causes “something to happen”
What’s ahead for coding? GAMING is slotted to be the final project for this school year. This year both SK and first grade are implementing coding, and teachers are continuing to be trained in order to gain and strengthen their knowledge. The implementation of coding offers opportunities to dedicate to STEAM teaching, raising awareness that the ongoing integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math is meaningful to the process of learning. As time and knowledge evolve, we seek to grow forward as Rossman promotes the preservation of tradition while implementing innovation. Coding is one of the many ways this is happening! We encourage you to gain more information and knowledge at Code.org.
Rossman School, nestled on a 20-acre campus in Creve Coeur, is an independent preparatory school for students in Junior Kindergarten (four years old) through Grade 6. The school’s mission is to provide a strong, well-balanced education in a nurturing school community committed to excellence. Dedicated to developing personal, nurturing relationships with each child, Rossman’s experienced educators provide a solid foundation in academics, athletics and arts while emphasizing strong character development and leadership skills. Request a free Rossman School brochure here.