Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Coding to get it working the first time...

There are often wonderful coding stories but I never get to writing them on time by which time the details might be a blur. Today's success with a third grade student was really rewarding and I wanted to write about it before it became another blur.

Ever since the second and third grade teachers have started with coding in the classroom, there have been some wonderful interactions between the students, with varied skills coming to light from unexpected quarters. Students who otherwise may not be motivated to do any work or read, asking to do more, asking how they can login from home, etc. 

Today, while in a third grade classroom, I saw one of the shy ones (who also struggles with reading and self confidence) looking up a question on help. That alone was a win, as he figured out what he wanted to do and how to look it up - problem solving. So I did a general checkin on what he was trying to accomplish. Turned out he had a superhero who had to go up or down left or right. While working with him through the problem, he learned positive, negative, the X and Y axis. The first time he inserted the values for his up key and it worked, the smile on his face was so precious, so worth every battle that might have had to be fought to get programming implemented, and then the confidence it gave him to express his other ideas. A big reward in my mind.

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