I just attended a Personal Development session which addressed the importance of students acquiring computational thinking and coding skills. We discussed how 40% of the current jobs will become automated within the next 10 – 20 years. Fortunately, the role of a teacher is at a low risk of being replaced by robots. You can breath a sigh of relief in that regard. However, we do need to become accountable in preparing our students for the future.
How Can We Help Pre-Kindergarten Students Acquire Computational Thinking?
I have outlined activities I plan to implement within the next few weeks. These activities do not require your students to be readers.
Kodable can be downloaded as an App placed on your iPads. My school doesn’t have iPads but instead we have netbooks. The video below is the best I have found in explaining how to use Kodable.
Where to Begin?
Day 1 – Physical Movements
Prior to moving to the computer, I intend to have the students practice following commands using the terms “right and left”. I will give the following commands and the students are to follow these. This would be great to do during Physical Education:
Command One: Give students practice using their right and left hands and feet.
Command Two: Give oral directions such as outlined below:
Explain that later on they will be using a computer and they will have to make similar commands, which is called coding.
Transferring Commands to Paper
I am going to display the different paths in the links below on my Smart Board. We will discuss verbally how we are going to form commands to direct the girl to her house. After we will use visual arrows to show her the way. These activities and paths are similar to ones they will find in “kodable”.
Transferring Commands to iPad or Computer
The link directly takes you the beginners game which begins with Smeeborg. I placed this link on my Google classroom set on each student’s netbook. This allows them quick access.