Fostering Digital Creativity in Grades 3-5 Through an Innovative Coding Curriculum
Participate and share : Poster
Wednesday, December 2, 3:00–4:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)
Jessica Krieger Lauren Velegol
|Audience:||Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators|
|Attendee devices:||Devices useful|
|Attendee device specification:||Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
|Topic:||Computer science & computational thinking|
|Subject area:||STEM/STEAM, Computer science|
|ISTE Standards:||For Educators:
The purpose of this session is to discuss with learning professionals about the methods used to reach younger students when it comes to programming. There are many STEM activities to choose from, and we found that students responded best to ones with specific outlets for their creativity. Participants of this session will gain knowledge of useful techniques when teaching elementary students programming. After the session, the participants will: have increased knowledge concerning techniques for constructing and teaching a programming class to elementary students, obtain a wide variety of resources available to convey programming concepts helpful for beginner programmers (elementary students), understand how to utilize creativity and individuality to make programming more approachable to elementary students, know how to adapt a programming lesson plan to better fit the needs of a specific classroom environment, view our results regarding coding perceptions and enjoyment of our curriculum (data from students we taught), gain access to a supplemental portfolio with our teacher videos (for additional review to teach the curriculum), presentations, and handouts.
Day 3: For our third session, we start off with reviewing our concepts learned during the previous lessons. Next, we teach a mini-lesson and provide a demonstration of Stroke, strokeWeight, noFill, noStroke, psuedocode (note-taking and organization for programmers), text, and textSize. The students then use these new skills to improve upon and make their “Build a Snowman” projects more detailed.
Day 4: During the fourth session we introduce the final project and encourage students to collaborate with others to think of ideas for their individual projects. Students spend this day inquiring about various other skills they want to implement into their projects and getting as creative as possible when designing their final piece of code.
Day 6: During the last (optional) session, students perfect their final projects, continue to develop animation skills, complete a survey which tests their perceptions of themselves as programmers before and after our sessions, and share their final projects with the class.
Instructional electronic resources used:
Evidence of success: To test the success of our program, we gave 70 students (grades 3-5) that completed our coding sessions a survey that tested different variables of student gain from our program. We first tested the student’s perceptions in their coding ability before and after we taught our 5 sessions in the Spring of 2019. The average confidence level (on a scale of 1-5) before our sessions was at a 3.41 and the average confidence level (on a scale of 1-5) after our sessions was at a 4.16. This is an increase in confidence level by around 0.75 (on a scale of 1-5) or a little over 22%. The p-Value for this hypothesis test is 1.767*10^-5. From our p-Value we concluded that there is strong evidence against the null hypothesis (that the increase in confidence noted was due to random occurrences) and we can thus reject it. Therefore, there is a significant probability that the increase in STEM confidence we found was a direct result of our coding sessions. We then tested the student’s desire towards going into a STEM career (on a scale of 1-5) with the same 70 student sample size. The average desire to enter into a STEM career (on a scale of 1-5) before our sessions was 2.31 and the average desire to enter into a STEM career (on a scale of 1-5) after our sessions was at a 2.84. This is an increase in desire to enter into a STEM career by around 0.53 (on a scale of 1-5) or a little over 23%. The p-Value for this hypothesis test is 1.42*10^-3. From our p-Value we concluded that we have strong evidence against the null hypothesis (that the increase in desire to enter a STEM career noted was due to random occurrences) and we can thus reject it. Therefore, there is a significant probability that the increase in want to enter a STEM career we found was a direct result of our coding sessions. We can conclude from this data that the results of our program would be comparable for students in other classrooms in similar districts.
Brown, Ryan; Brown, Joshua; Reardon, Kristin; Merrill, Chris. Understanding STEM: Current Perceptions Technology and Engineering Teacher, v70 n6 p5-9 Mar 2011
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Myers, Blanca. “Women and Minorities in Tech, By the Numbers.” Wired, Conde Nast, 28 Mar. 2018, www.wired.com/story/computer-science-graduates-diversity/.
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Lauren Velegol is a high school student at State College Area High School. Lauren co-started a coding program for Elementary School classes in 2016 where she developed a coding curriculum facilitating creativity and inclusion. In 2017 she co-presented at American Society for Engineering Education on their curriculum and work teaching students to code. In the summer of 2019, she co-presented a poster and conducted a workshop here at ISTE. Lauren is a winner of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing award. In her free time, Lauren also enjoys dancing, debating, and has multiple math practice test books published on Amazon.