So Todd Nesloney of Kids Deserve It fame is doing another summer learning series. If you are interested in trying out cool new things, it's something you should really at least follow on Twitter-#KidsDeserveIt.
The first one asked what was our favorite new activity that we tried last year. I'd have to say my Coding Club! Now, I am not a very tech-savvy person. If you show me how to do it, I can usually do it but I also am the one Googling how to do things all the time. Coding was not something I had very much prior knowledge about. I do remember back in the olden days (as my students would say) when we were trying to program our TRS-80 computer to play hangman. One little dash missed and the program wouldn't work. But I kept hearing about programs at schools that offered coding and I started to look into it.
Last summer I did the Code.org training which gave you not only experience with completing the puzzles but also complete lesson plans with off-line activities you can do to help build up their perseverance. I took the plunge and offered a Coding Club in the mornings two days a week to our Kinder and 1st Grade students. They loved it! I had about 15 students who would show up early every week and several who completed the whole first course.
Next year I plan to expand a little bit, maybe including the older kiddos and using Scratch and other programs to change things up for those who are already now fluent in this new jargon. I can see it helping with their critical thinking skills, their tenacity, their attention to detail. I'm really glad that I was able to do it and I was really happy with the experience the kiddos received.