Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Computational Thinking and Coding!
Hello parents! This week I taught the students about introductory topics in computational thinking and coding. Your fourth and fifth graders have been doing a great job on keeping on top of their coursework so far this week and have been asking many questions! I encourage all of you to ask your child(ren) what they have been learning this week and asking if they can teach you about coding!
1) What are computational thinking and coding?
Computational thinking is a way of taking difficult problems and breaking them into solvable parts. By breaking the problem down you can find patterns or trends within the problem, and then you are able to make step-by-step directions for solving the problem, otherwise known as an algorithm. Coding is directly connected to computational thinking because this allows us to express our ideas to the computer, or other machines. Coders use this same method of thinking to put codes into computers or other machines.
2) Why should my student learn about coding?
In 2021, technology is becoming more and more prevalent in all professions so it is important to educate our children to code at a young age. Learning to code will allow your child to better prepare for their future and they will instill more confidence in themselves. With most kids learning online right now, coding will allow them to be better communicators and will improve their skills in math, writing and creativity. Writing can improve for your child with coding, because both topics must be well-organized and by putting all ideas together, writing and coding, will become more cohesive!
3) Is my student too young to learn how to code?
The short answer is no, your child is not too young to learn how to code. Many schools around the world have decided to begin to teach coding to kindergartners and they have shown promising results. Being able to teach the students at a young age the basics of coding allows them a step up from their non-coding peers. This will allow them a step-up eventually in the workforce when applying for jobs and will allow them to be successful!
4) I don’t know anything about coding, how can I help my child succeed?
I am so glad to see you want to help your child(ren) succeed in class! Below I will attach some links to some activities that you can do with your child(ren) at home! Some teachers will use to get the students to begin coding, and none of these activities involve a computer!
The link above is on how to use a deck of cards to learn different skills required to code! This activity is completely unplugged if you and your child need a break from screens!
The link above is on how to teach coding to a 5-year-old in terms that they can understand. It compares some basic coding concepts to brushing your teeth. This website is very beneficial for parents, especially if you are just beginning to learn code!
5) How do you plan on teaching my 4th or 5th grader to code without it being too complicated for them?
I know coding can seem complicated and too complex for your 4th/5th grader to learn, but in the classroom, we will be doing introductory activities on computers when it comes to coding. Many of my future lesson plans have math problems, where students will need to break the problem down and find a pattern. By doing this, students will be more familiar with finding patterns, which in turn will allow them to code better.
The video above is a 12 year old boy and how he learned to create his own apps. While the video below is an 11 year old boy explaining how important coding is to learn. This shows that no matter your age you are never too young, or too old, to learn how to code.