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Teaching Kids to Code

Isn’t it amazing to see young kids with tablets and computers? They know how technology works and they absorb information so fast! We are so connected to technology now and kids are just born into it.

Kids like to build and create, and coding uses those same concepts. A great introduction to coding for kids is the LEGO’s WeDo Robotics program we have at Villa.

During the months of April and May, our first and second graders have been learning to code using the LEGO WeDo Robotics program with Mrs. Callan. Mrs. Callan gave the classes a chance to vote on the different types of robots they wanted to build: a monkey, a chicken, or an airplane.

On Wednesday, May 25, Mrs. Callan presented Sister Ruth’s Second Grade class with a LEGO Chicken Challenge. The girls had to figure out how to program their chickens to dance in one direction quickly for 10 seconds, then make a tweet sound, and then dance slowly in the opposite direction for 10 seconds. They then had to program the robot to repeat the series 3 times.

“It was the first time that I gave them a challenge to program,” said Mrs. Callan. “In the beginning the girls were just figuring it all out, but they really embraced the challenge and had fun with it.”

Mrs. Grieves’ class completed their LEGO programming in April and the First Grade classes in May.

Whether or not the girls grow up to love it, programming is a highly useful skill to learn. It teaches creativity, strategy, solving puzzles, and cooperation. Plus, it can be fun! Children learn best through exploration and play and there are great apps available to engage children’s curiosity and teach them the fundamentals through this process.

“Our goal at Villa is to nurture their curiosity and creativity and give them the best tools we can to help foster it. We want them to be encouraged to love science and technology and to not be afraid that it’s ‘for boys.’ Even young girls can be great at it too!” said Mrs. Callan.

If you and your daughter want to practice and explore coding over the summer, Mrs. Callan suggests using a fun and free program called Tynker to help students learn fundamental programming concepts.

Pictured are a few photos of Sister Ruth’s Second Grade class working last week on their LEGO chickens and Mrs. Grieves’ class working with their LEGO monkeys.

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