In the fall of 2016 staff in K-9 schools started on a path to coding district wide. Principals and Teacher leads from schools completed Hour of Code activities and planned together how to bring the experience to all students in K-9. Between December and February approximately 85% of students have completed an hour of code with more planning to complete before the end of the school year. Further to Hour of Code there are clubs starting as well as a SETBC supported coding project at Upper Pine and Duncan Cran Schools.
When asked about the coding experience at Ecole Central Elementary, Principal Broyden Bennett said the following,
At Central it started with one teacher, Elaine McEachern, who enjoyed the experience of coding so much, she taught her class to code for an hour. This led to a few other teachers asking her to share with their classes. As Elaine continued on she repeated “Anyone can code,” to all teachers and students while she taught them. Bit by bit, news of coding fun spread from child to child. Fast forward to 2016. when the Elaine asked who wanted to code, and every single class in the school wanted in on the action. 100% of the students, teachers and educational assistants at Ecole Central Elementary participated in “hour of code”. The best part is “they don’t even know they’re learning math, reading and writing!”
Rural Teacher-Librarian and Technology Mentor Teacher, Laurie Petrucci shared her experience from coding at Wonowon and Upper Halfway as well as supporting many district classrooms through an hour of code.
Learning how to code fosters skill development in computational thinking and problem solving. In addition, all students can code if there is sufficient scaffolding of learning. For example, students can practice giving and following instructions right in their classroom. Students can also build mazes using Lego or building blocks and figure out the code required for guiding a “robot” through the maze. Students could then access coding apps such as Lightbot and Scratch Junior on an iPad or log into “Hour of Code” activities to further their coding abilities.
Further to that Mrs. Petrucci expands on the curricular links that coding makes on our DIGMORE site at http://www.prn.bc.ca/digmore/2016/12/14/computational-thinking-and-the-new-curriculum/