Elementary school buddies partner to learn coding
Western Salisbury Elementary School students in the Lehigh Valley are learning all about coding – not the dots and dashes of Morse code, but the basics involved in the science of computer programming. Recently, Western’s fourth-graders learned basic coding and taught that skill to their first-grade buddies. What is coding? DK.com editors helped us explain it to our first-graders, “It is how we tell computers to do all the helpful things they do for us.” Or, as our fourth-graders now understand, “It is telling a computer what you want it to do by typing in step by step commands.” Why bring coding into the classroom? Anthony Cuthbertson writing in the International Business Times, explains, “Coding is the language of the digital world in which we now live…this makes coders the architects and builders of the next age.” Western’s first- and fourth-graders used a program called Kodable on both the laptop and iPads to write commands to solve problems using algorithms. Along with using logical “if, then” statements and “loops and pattern,” these students were developing creativity, focus, perseverance, problem solving abilities and logical thinking skills. Because they were learning with their buddies, our students also developed communication, turn taking, and coaching skills.