When I was an eighth-grade English teacher, I often lamented about the limited logic skills of thirteen-year-olds. Here in the library, I’m finding intriguing ways of introducing logical thinking into the activities of my littles. (You are welcome, their-future-middle-school-teachers). My newest venture is Coding Club, using MIT’s Scratch and a Harvard-created Creative Computing Curriculum. Thirty-two 4th and 5th grade students have signed up to explore computer programming with me for an hour each Wednesday after school.
Today we began the journey and I had as much fun as they did. We watched the introductory videos and then we created accounts and design journals. The best part about the curriculum is the comparisons made throughout to the writing process. When you program, you brainstorm, research, experiment, and debug (edit and revise) – sounds just like the writing process! They are so excited, they forgot their passion for being on the chromebooks and began (hand) writing in their newly-decorated design journals. They defined what they think Scratch is and began brainstorming some ideas.