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Using coding in Common Core

MONDAY, JULY 06, 2015 16:59 PM

The Common Core State Standards are meant to prepare students for college and future careers. One way of achieving this goal is to keep students updated on new technology skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 68.2 percent of science and engineering related job growth between now and 2022 will be in computer science. Children today already have an affinity for technology from electronic games to frequent computer use. Schools can work to develop these skills by providing coding courses to their students. Learning to code can teach students many beneficial skills for the future.

Valuable knowledge
Understanding how coding works will give students a greater knowledge of their world and surroundings. As frequent users of computer systems, realizing how websites and other programs are built is invaluable information and allows students to look at the world from another perspective.

Critical thinking
When learning to code, students have to engage critical-thinking skills to solve problems they encounter in their tasks. Participating in coding concepts will give students the opportunity to hone these critical-thinking abilities when they face their own issues in the system and when assisting each other.

Communication abilities
If a student has a problem with coding, it can be difficult to explain the issue. Interacting in this environment will allow students to build their communication skills. Discussing their projects with other students is another way kids can build their vocabulary and connect with others. In this environment, students will have to develop the ability to explain what they are working on to others.

Supporting the CCSS
Coding classes may not be seen as essential classes for students to participate in, but they do align with the State Standards in several ways. Edutopia sees coding skills as enhancing the two main Common Core areas, which are math and English/language arts. For instance, math can be integrated into coding by having the students move objects to a specific spot on a coordinate plane. Students can also create a written tutorial on how to use a program they made as a way to integrate English into the project.

Tips for teachers
If you're not technically savvy, the idea of teaching kids to code can be daunting, but don't let that stop you. There are plenty of resources for teachers to use when coding. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started:

  • Join a group/chat conversation: There are plenty of resources online teachers can utilize to get engaged in teaching discussions, so find one that deals specifically with teaching coding. These are excellent places to ask people questions who have dealt with similar situations already.
  • Teach yourself: Choose a curriculum that you can easily learn as well as your students. This way, you can study the concepts a day or two in advance so that you can easily assist your students when you reach the next lesson, Kodable Blog notes.
  • Let the kids do it: When students ask for assistance, it can be tempting to jump right in and take over the mouse and keyboard for them. Resist this urge and simply walk the kids through the problem they are facing. This will help them remember how to fix the issue in the future and allow them to get a better feel for the concept.