Over the weekend I had the privilege to attend a Code.org training in Morgantown, WV. I was eager to go, as this is the curriculum I want to use with my elementary coding club next year. I’m still undecided as to whether or not I’ll use it as a starter with my middle school students. I still need to think that part through…
Anyway, it was a 9-4 training, and we covered a lot during that time. We went over the courses, and I indeed learned that they are working on some courses for middle school, and they do have some computer science programs for middle schoolers already.
Perhaps one of the best parts of the activity was the section where we did hands on unplugged activities. The unplugged activities require no computer, yet are crucial for understanding the next stages in a course that follow them. They lay the foundation for the skills that will be taught on the computer. One of the games we played had students using paper and movement to program a robot arm to move. I loved this activity because I knew I could reinforce it with my RoboRally and Robot Turtles games that I received.
I also found myself fortunate enough to run into a fellow educator from my county. She had heard about my coding club at the elementary school next year, and was eager to help me out with it if she were available. I welcomed her aboard and will utilize her help next year if she is free.
Overall, I think I’m ready to begin coding courses. The only thing left to do is to work on teaching myself to code. I’m going to start with the same programs that the students are using on Code.org, and then move on to other things. It’s something I can do off and on in my free time, and I’m glad for that!