Junior Unit and Primary Unit students relished the opportunity to participate in the Hour of Code this week during an international celebration of computer programming hosted by Code.org. Although TPS appeared as a singular blip on the official map, our students joined a global movement pushing for increased prevalence of coding in curriculum.
First and second graders learned functions, conditional expressions, and sequencing using the Kodable and Scratch Jr. iPad apps. Our fourth and fifth graders coded the movement and actions of Minecraft miners, Star Wars droids, and a skating Elsa from Frozen on their Chromebooks. Each student strived to understand that coding is more than just letters, symbols, punctuation, and numbers mashed together; it is a complex language, a rigorous science, and a challenging puzzle.
There are a multitude of reasons why coding is worth learning - from diverse social-cognitive benefits, technological fluency, and the fast-growing need for programmers - but it is the empowerment of excited students that makes it invaluable.