Our school is a K-5 school in California's central San Joaquin Valley. Many of our students have ties to the agricultural industry that is so important to our area. About 78% of our students are minority students (the largest percentage being Hispanic). 41% of our students are English language learners, and we are a Title I school (63% of our students are socioeconomically disadvantaged, receiving free or reduced lunch). Students have an opportunity to be involved in the Boys and Girls Club that is housed on our campus. We encourage academic excellence, good attendance, and citizenship with our Honor Roll, Student of the Trimester, and perfect attendance assemblies.
Our teachers and students use technology to make every part of the school day more interesting, exciting, and engaging.
On a regular basis in our classrooms you will see students researching reports on the computer, recording audio and video on the iPod touch or iPad, and working on the interactive whiteboard.
The days of coding skills only being taught to computer science students in college classes are long gone. Coding is rapidly becoming an important part of the elementary school curriculum. Many of the jobs in which our current elementary school students will be employed as adults do not even exist yet, and the skills that coding teaches will be vital in these jobs.
Coding lets students apply math, writing, and their own creativity to real-world problems.
Our class wants to use Sphero Bolt coding robots to learn computer coding in a fun and exciting way. The hard camera case we asked for has foam inside that can be custom cut to store the Sphero coding robots and keep them safe while we are not using them.
While working on the STEAM projects supplied on the Sphero website, students will learn to problem-solve and work cooperatively. Computer programs are rarely perfect on the first try, so students learn resilience and perseverance by working to improve the programs they have written. While working with others to complete STEAM projects, students will have an opportunity to see many possible solutions to the same problem. There is never only one way to write code.
Elementary school is a perfect time to introduce coding. Students are eager to learn new things and not afraid to try. Coding helps build confidence as students work together and independently. There still remains a gender gap with far fewer girls taking high school and college computer science classes. Elementary schools are in the unique position of ensuring that all students in our classes receive coding instruction. Whether our students continue to study computer science or not, the skills they will learn with our Sphero Bolt coding robots will be an asset to them in the future.
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