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Coding in the Classroom: How to Introduce It

February 2, 2017

/ by

Jeff Hersh


It’s becoming more and more clear that learning how to code will be essential for students looking for career success in their futures. The need to be able to code and understand the elements of computer science continues to spread through many different fields and professions.


Parents are eager to see their children learn the basics of coding in school and teachers are ready to introduce it in classrooms at early grade levels.


Whether your school is introducing coding in elementary or middle school, there are ways to break it down to help students begin to understand the foundational ideas that will allow them to grow and build upon in later grades and more advanced computer science courses.


Basic Coding


Teaching coding is a lot like teaching a new math unit, a new grammar unit, or a new language. Choose a popular and highly used programming language like JavaScript or HTML used for building websites and introduce some basic functions. Have students discover how the coding translates to changes and creations to a blank website. Allow students to publish and share what they create.


Build Websites


While it may not be direct coding, having students design and create their own student websites is a way to have them begin understanding the power and importance of coding. As students utilize user friendly sites to create their websites, have them look at the code that is being created as they drag and drop the pieces of the page. They will end up with a functioning website, as well as a way to look behind the curtain and see how coding is essential to creating websites that they use every day.


Computer Science History


Students are very familiar with animation, video games, websites, and apps. Taking the time to introduce them to the engineers and programmers who created these technologies they use every day will help them understand the basic concepts of computer science and coding.


Take the time to explain and show the history of this career field and how the technologies they use today are created and developed. This will engage and spark a genuine interest in students to learn the basics of coding and ready them for future study of computer science and the skills they will need in future careers.


interpreting functions practice assignment



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