Three pictures of students in classrooms and at computers learning codingStudents at Chris Yung Elementary School are excited to earn in a new way.  Nikki Jones, instructional technology coach and Christine Thai-Pappa, STEAM coach, collaborated to develop a six-lesson computer science unit for students. All students in grades K-5 worked their way through the unit, which took place during their regularly scheduled encore time. The unit focused on teaching students grade-level appropriate programming and coding skills starting with unplugged activities, then learning to code robots, and finishing with coding on a web-based curriculum. At the end of the unit, students walked away with a solid foundation and excitement to apply what they learned in other classes and curriculum areas.

One student commented, “Learning to code has also taught me how to be more persistent and keep trying even when something doesn’t work out.”

“It was a fun and engaging unit for all the kids. Since we integrated core content areas into each lesson, it was a great reinforcement of what they were learning in their classroom,” shared Jones. “Now that our learners have this basic foundational knowledge, they are ready to continue applying these skills in new settings.”

Jones and Thai-Pappa have developed many great resources for teachers at the school to help them implement some of these new skills into their lessons including robot mice mats, Ozobot lessons, and coding choice boards. The teachers are also excited about the opportunity to engage the students in a new way. With the help of Jones and Thai-Pappa, teachers are getting very creative with their lessons and how to incorporate computer science into the classroom.

The fourth-grade team at Chris Yung Elementary took these newly acquired skills and ran with it using Ozobots to demonstrate an understanding of the sun, moon, and Earth relationships. They coded the Ozobot to demonstrate rotation, revolution, and seasonal changes. Next, they are looking forward to coding their Ozobots through a severe storm.

Sandi Huey, fourth grade teacher, shared, “I love the level of engagement that the Ozobots bring to the classroom and the excitement students have from learning with the Ozobots. They also remember the content so much better because they have enjoyed learning about it.”

In collaboration with the second-grade team and art teacher, Faith Broome, Thai-Pappa and Jones are planning a Famous Person Sphero Parade in the upcoming week. Kindergarten students are also working on a robot mice parade themed around the book, “Monster’s Love Color.”  Jones and Thai-Pappa are thrilled to see their school moving full STEAM ahead in their efforts to create future-ready learners.