|Fourth Grade Flipper|
A few weeks ago coding was mentioned at a technology staff development. I wasn't 100% sure what it was, but I was pretty sure it wasn't for my first graders. But it kept popping up on blogs, twitter feeds- everywhere!- so I decided to look a little closer. I discovered that it really is something my first graders can do!
Many of the apps and programs I've explored remind me of Logo. Logo is an educational programming language designed by Seymour Papert and others. It used a small cursor, called a turtle, that was given commands for drawing and movement to create line drawings.
(When I first moved to Texas in the early 80's, I worked part-time for Texas Instruments. They had just released their first home computer. With every purchase, the buyer got 4 free lessons on how to use these crazy new machines. I was hired to teach these lessons. I knew next to nothing about computers, but they hired me anyway! The major objective of the kids' lessons was to teach them Logo.)
OK, leaving the 80's behind and back to today! Once I made the connection with Logo, I knew my firsties could do this. I downloaded a free app onto our class iPad called Kodable. The children help adorable little creatures called Fuzzes explore their new world . While doing this, they are learning to use logic as they give the computer commands.
I first demonstrated the app yesterday using the Smartboard, and then I put it out as a math station today. The 2 girls who were the first to try it independently were absolutely precious! They were giggling and giving each other suggestions the whole time. Even when they didn't get the program right the first time, they kept trying and were still having fun. When our math time ended today, the whole class was buzzing about who would be going to that station tomorrow!
Now if I could just get my hands on more iPads!
Edited to add:
I've also linked up with Technology Tailgate for Techie Tuesday.