Program a Preschooler/Kindergartner: Teaching young students to code
I started off my career over 12 years ago teaching preschool children computer technology. I can tell you a lot has changed in terms of computer technology education.
Preschoolers are typing...
Preschoolers are creating.....
Preschoolers are problem solving.....
Preschoolers are troubleshooting....
Preschoolers are coding!
Go beyond the Hour of Code and make code apart of you curriculum.
I love to introduce code to my Preschool and Kindergarten students by teaching them the basic fundamentals of coding: following directions. I begin by explaining to the class that to begin, we are going to pretend that you are robots and I am going to code you! After all, coding is simply giving a set of commands that need to be followed.
I made this very basic "Program a Preschooler/Kindergartner" Google Slide here (and you can grab a copy here) that I used to introduce simple sets of directions (or algorithms). There are several ways in which you can employ this activity; you can either do this as a whole class on a screen, or printed; you can split into small groups and each group is assigned a set of directions to follow either printed or on the screen; or you can program yourself and have the students "write" the lines of code for you to complete an activity (like walk to the door, in which I always walk into the door).
Once they understand the concept, it's time to move on.
Here is a list of my favorite coding sites/apps for little hands:
- Kodable- Play this Fuzz Family Frenzy for free with your students. Great first step to introduce coding.
- Scratch Jr.- G Available on Google Play, Google Chrome Web Store, Amazon or the App Store this fun free app opens a world of possibilities for the younger students.
- Lightbot- The free Hour of Code version is available online. Can't get enough of the little robot? There are paid versions available through the App Store, Kindle, and Google Play.
- Candy Quest by Tynker- Is one of my personal fav's for the younger students. This game is brought to you by Hour of Code.
- Code.org- Code.org is an awesome resource to have in your back pocket. While your there create a teacher and student account and have your Kindergartners enlist in their online course on coding!
There are so many more great apps and sites available for our younger students than my fav's listed above. What is your favorite?