At first, many students and teachers think of coding as a scary or difficult thing to do or learn. However, in fact it isn’t. As we progress in technology, these will be vital skills for their future.
Coding allows and stimulates students’ critical thinking skills. They use problem solving methods in order to obtain a goal throughout the game. Their thought processes are challenged and pushed to achieve the end result. Code Monkey is a fun game as well but I feel (and some research shows) that students learn better and accomplish more while they are having fun.
With all the skills coding utilizes, it also benefits students learning. Students that use critical thinking, problem solving, reasoning, logic, computational and algorithmic thinking improve in the classroom as well. These skills that they develop integrate with core subjects simply because those abilities carry over into their daily learning.
I used Code Monkey Jr. with 5 of my Pre-K & 5 Kinder coding club students and they initially struggled with what they should be doing. However, once I explained what the objective was and how to move, they took off on their own with some assistance from myself and my 5th grade assistant. Some of the Kinder students started helping the others when they got stuck. Introductions Code Monkey Jr to these 4-5 year olds definitely increased their problem solving and critical thinking skills. Essentially, it helped with social skills as well. The simple collaboration between them was amazing to see!
I also have a regular Code Monkey club that started three years ago. I have about 5 students that started in 3rd grade that have blossomed in 5eir coding skills. They have even passed my level as a teacher. They love coding and their skills as students have benefited.
Coding is a tremendous benefit to students of all ages and for teachers as well. The best part of it is you don’t have to have any experience whatsoever. My students and I started with zero experience. Since starting this coding club, I too have been engulfed in learning coding to enhance my own skills and be of benefit to my students.
I have had several struggling math students come ask for accounts so they can also learn some coding which is a great testament to how students are talking about a Code a Monkey and coding in general. Again, coding is a great way for students to learn, strategize, collaborate, critical think, and build their skills that can help them in all contents. These skills can be used cross-curricular.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ms. Daisy DeLaCruz is a librarian at an elementary campus within Southwest ISD. She has been a librarian for 4 years and taught 1st grade 3 years prior to that. She is always looking for new ways to incorporate technology and inventive ways to engage students. She has had a coding club for 3 years now and even incorporated a Coding Jr. Club for PRe-k and Kinder students to experience the coding life. She is a Code Monkey ambassador, Seesaw Ambassador, Wevideo Ambassador, and Penpal Schools Ambassador.
You can follow her on Twitter: @thedaze99