As a Kindergarten STEM teacher, mom and grandparent, I am consistently empowering myself to keep up with the newest ways to engage my family and students with 21st Century concepts. Recent research puts coding at the forefront of future careers. So, how do we learn and teach our children how to code, and why is this so important? More importantly, how young do we begin teaching our children?
Here are 5 reasons why coding is important for young minds
1) Coding is another language.
Language teaches children how to communicate and teaches logical thinking. Language also strengthens both verbal and and written skills. Children should be exposed to different languages at an early age. It helps them to understand the world around them better. Coding has a language all its own. Every letter in the Alphabet has a special formula of 0’s and 1’s that represent it. These 0’s and 1’s give the technology around us directions on how to perform. What better way for our children to understand why and how the technology around them operates than by learning to code and speaking to the technology around them.
2) Coding fosters creativity.
By experimenting, children learn and strengthen their brains. Even when they make a mistake they learn. Children can be creative and creativity is encouraged. Creativity is part of the process and not always the product.
3) Coding helps children with Math skills.
Coding helps children to be able to visualize abstract concepts, lets them apply math to real-world situations, and makes math fun and creative. Coding is present in many of today’s STEM programs.
4) Coding improves writing academic performance.
Children who learn to code understand how to plan and organize thoughts. This can lead to better writing skills that can be built upon as coding skills develop over time.
5) Coding helps children become confident problem solvers.
As they learn to code and give direction they learn that there is no one way to do something and that even if their way didn’t work. They can improve upon what they have already done without worrying about failing. Coding is a basic literacy in the digital age, and it is important for kids to understand and be able to work with and understand the technology around them.
Having children learn coding at a young age prepares them for the future. Coding helps children with communication, creativity, math,writing, and confidence.
…This leads me to how I am teaching my Kindergarten STEM Enrichment students how to code with the help of Botley.
When Botley arrived, the group was super excited to see who our new friend was that we would be using in our classroom. They absolutely LOVE Botley!! Everyone took turns putting one code in and then we put all the codes together. Then each student got to put in 5 codes of their own choosing. It was a blast watching these Kindergartners go to work without much direction. Now that we are getting the hang of Botley we will be exploring all the other games and pieces he comes with. I am not sure who is more excited, Me or the children!! All I can say is that this teacher loves Botley and how he is helping my STEM class learn coding.
Does your classroom have a Botley? Find activities and inspiration to engage your 21st Century students here!