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Coding Demystified for Ages 3-6

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Snapshot

Sunday, June 23, 9:00–10:00 am
Location: 120BC

Presentation 2 of 2
Other presentations:
Let's Play! Computer Science Playground for All

Sarah Allen   Gail Lovely  
Are you curious about introducing coding to students in the early years? Come explore why young students are prime for learning the foundations of coding and coding concepts. Presenters will share ideas, resources and examples of analog (unplugged), screen-free and digital coding experiences for children ages 3-6.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Early childhood/elementary
Grade level: PK-2
Subject area: Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.
For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Support educators in using technology to advance learning that meets the diverse learning, cultural, and social-emotional needs of individual students.
For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Our purpose is to share some of the research on why it is important to introduce coding with our youngest learners and showcase various tools and activities that make is simple and effective.

Participants will be able to define the difference between a playground and a playpen type of learning environment focused on learning technologies.
Participants will be able to share some key examples of tools and/or resources to use when explaining the 7 powerful ideas all young children should learn to build their foundation for computational thinking and coding.


Introduction of presenters and their background - 3-5 minutes
Share backchannel and resource links - 2 minutes
Explanation of developmentally appropriate practice with young children and research shared on how helping them learn Executive Function skills most prepares them for reading and even life. Move on to showing how this can be similarly compared to teaching the 7 Powerful Ideas so children are prepared to code and program once they move onto older grades, as described in detail by Dr. Bers. - 13 minutes.
Share precoding examples - 5 minutes
Review sequencing, patterns, debugging - 5 minutes
Algorithms - 5 minutes
Share analog coding early learning games/tools (screenfree/techfree “unplugged coding”) - 5 minutes
Teaching about Cause and Effect in Reading - 5 minutes
Share examples of coding and robots that are Screen free - 5 minutes
Share out examples of coding through Screens - 5 minutes
Q & A - 5 minutes

Supporting research

No Fear Coding - Heidi Williams
Coding as a Playground - Dr. Marina Umaschi Bers
Mindstorms - Dr. Seymour Papert

More [+]


Sarah Allen, Indian Creek School
Gail Lovely, Suddenly It Clicks!

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