I’m learning yet another way to connect arts integration with my students - the art of computer coding! This is also a way I can encourage persistence with my students who have learning disabilities - especially those who have “learned helplessness” tendencies.
Math is huge focus in our board. Coding will meet all of the math process expectations as well as some of the specific content in some of the strands (numeration, geometry, patterning and algebra). In addition, language arts is easily integrated. Having students write about how they solved the ‘puzzle’, what was success for them, what was challenging, what will they do next time are valuable metacognitive strategies. We will be coding as part of a school library learning commons program so the teacher librarian will be directly impacting student achievement in math matters, which is something that one doesn’t think a library program does.
Code.org are change my approach to coding with students.
Teaching computer science is very similar to teaching math or reading, science or art. Basics must be mastered before you can create amazing things with your subject matter. Because I started with Logo myself, I find it a natural fit to teach 4th grade geometry skills using block programming. I have paired with classroom teachers during geometry units and and had students create the different types of shapes they are learning. It is a great way for students to start to see the relationships of angles!
I teach English so I try to incorporate CS into my lessons as often as possible. For example, we’ve used Hopscotch to tell stories and we have a coding journal where students describe and reflect on their coding experiences.