Introduce Coding in Kindergarten
Show this video as a way to grab students' attention and introduce some general concepts that you will discuss this year (e.g,. everyone can learn to code - it doesn't matter if you're a girl or a boy, if you're young or old, and if you live in our town or a different one).
2 Direct Instruction
Sit down with students and ask them to suggest ideas for what code is and how it works. Explain that code is the languages that computers speak - you can connect the idea to how people speak many different langauges and how there are many different languages of code (students oftne love to hear some of their names, like Python, Ruby, Scratch, and Kodable).
Ask students to share how computers "talk." Do they speak? Can you use your voice to control most computers? Help students make the connection between typing letters and symbols (or moving blocks around) into a computer and giving it instructions.
Ask students to brainstorm why computers might need instructions and introduce the more complex idea that code languages are a way for people to communicate with computers - machines that only understand binary. You can even go on a scavenger hunt through the classroom or school to try and find computers "hiding" all around (e.g., inside phones and tablets, TVs, etc).
Remind students that all they have to do to learn to code and eventually become computer programmers, is to practice, because anyone can learn!
3 Guided Practice
Introduce the Kodable app. Explain that the fuzzFamily robots all have computers inside them, which means that they need instructions in computer language (code!).
Draw the codes the students will use (up, down, left, right) and discuss the importance of sequence when helping the robots reach the end of a maze.
Complete one or two mazes together as a class, displaying the app for everyone to see. Then break students into teams of 2-4 students per iPad to practice coding.
4 Wrap Up
Have students create a class ebook to share what they have learned about coding. Students can explain what code is and the specific codes they have used in Kodable. They can talk about who can code and what code is used for and how to learn to code. They can also share their reflections about working together to practice their coding.
Key Standards Supported
Speaking & Listening
Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.
Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.
Counting And Cardinality
Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.
Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1–20, count out that many objects.