CODING FOR ALLThomasson said the grades K-2 students usually use Scratch Jr., while grades 3-5 use Scratch and Code.org. “It’s just for everybody,” Thomasson said, explaining that she initially had concerns about how coding would work for special education and special needs students. “It’s instruction.”
The Park City School District has teamed up with the Park City Education Foundation to prepare their students for a life in a world surrounded by computers by teaching them coding fundamentals from a young age.
The Davis School District has received a $207,255 STEM Action Center grant to teach coding to all elementary school students and increase computer science opportunities for junior high students. Thirty-three elementary schools in the district have volunteered to participate in this initiative.
At Avondale Elementary School District, I designed and facilitated coding classes mandated for all grades K-8. Because the district requires everyone to participate in roughly 48 coding classes each year, I adopted an approach which centered on creating and remixing interest-driven coding projects to create a space for a variety of interests to drive deep learning. Young coders engaged with projects using a variety of programming languages to create music, art, animation, games, stories, or even iPad apps using professional software such as Xcode.
Last school year, the Park City School District began exploring the mostly uncharted waters of teaching coding classes to elementary students. More than a year and a half later, the district is now reaping the rewards of implementing a program almost no other school system in the country offers.