According to the Arkansas Department of Education website, 79% of our youth are from low-income families and 78.7% qualify for free/reduced lunches. The city-data website listed the average adjusted gross income for Pleasant Plains area $28,420 compared to the state average $52,148. As listed in the statistics, this is a very high poverty area. I am the k-6th- grade Library Media Specialist on the elementary campus. I teach two coding classes daily to third and fourth graders in a combined class and fifth and sixth in a combined class as well. My students are always eager to learn and have a love for coding. This is the second year for several of my students to be in my coding class. They have designed several projects using Scratch.
I have learned to code with my students.
We work in groups and use collaborate and create projects. A group of sixth-grade students are now mentoring a first grade STEAM class to teach coding. They are developing many skills such as, critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity. It is amazing at the love my students have for coding.
The Botley Robot will be used to teach basic beginning coding language and skills to all my kindergarten to sixth-grade students. This will also be carried down to our pre-school four year old rooms to teach beginning coding skills.
Coding is important for students to be engaged in at an early age to learn problem-solving skills, critical thinking, collaborating, and hands-on learning.
These skills will help prepare students for their future career in computer science jobs and/or programming, where a shortage exists. The students will create digital media rather than just be consumers of digital media.
The students will learn basic coding language such as sequences, loops and debugging. They will develop programs with sequences and simple loops to express ideas. The Botley can provide students with spelling practice by using an ABC mat. The students will code their spelling words. If Botley is programmed to a wrong letter, the students can debug the code and spell the word correctly. Botley can also be used to teach shapes, addition and subtraction. This robot has endless possibilities.
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