An Easy and Creative Way to Teach Coding to Elementary Students
Participate and share : Poster
Sunday, November 29, 11:00 am–12:00 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)
Jessica Krieger Lauren Velegol
Elementary students are creative and imaginative. It’s important to teach them coding in ways to foster these skills. We are high school students who have created an inclusive, collaborative coding curriculum. Learn about coding, resources and how to teach our curriculum in your classrooms.
|Audience:||Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators|
|Attendee devices:||Devices required|
|Attendee device specification:||Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
|Participant accounts, software and other materials:||It will be helpful if attendees have a Khan Academy and a code.org account. It's vital that attendees bring a computer of some kind.|
|Topic:||Computer science & computational thinking|
|Subject area:||STEM/STEAM, Computer science|
|ISTE Standards:||For Educators:
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.
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 statistically significant increase in STEM confidence as 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. Our p-Value suggests 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 statistically significant increase in desire to enter a STEM career as 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
National Research Council. (2011). Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Committee on Highly Successful Science Programs for K-12 Science Education, Board on Science Education and Board on Testing and Assessment, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
Mossing Samantha, (2013), The Importance of Creative Thinking and the Arts in Education,https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1038&context=honorsprojects.
Foutz, Tim. "Teaching Coding to Elementary Students ? the Use of Collective Argumentation," ASEE annual conference & exposition, v.1, 2019. https://www.asee.org/public/conferences/140/papers/24795/view
Tharayil S., Borrego M, Prince M, Nguyen K., Shekhar P., Finelli C., Waters C., “Strategies to mitigate student resistance to active learning”, March 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6310406/
Myers, Blanca. “Women and Minorities in Tech, By the Numbers.” Wired, Conde Nast, 28 Mar. 2018, www.wired.com/story/computer-science-graduates-diversity/.
“Statistics.” Statistics | National Girls Collaborative Project, ngcproject.org/statistics.
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.