‘Coding’ and ‘Collaborating’ – they’re not two words you naturally think of that go together.
The more our students get involved in coding we’re discovering so many opportunities for children to collaborate and work together.
This term our 3-year-old students in the Early Learning Centre had the opportunity to work in small groups with Year 7 students on a ‘Codeapillar’ – coding without a screen project.
We spoke with Year 7 teacher Fleur Kennedy to find out more about the project and the opportunities for students in both Year 7 and the ELC.
What are you hoping to achieve with the Codeapillar project?
There are three main goals for this project:
- For the Year 7 students to build confidence planning and presenting information. They’re also expected to learn how to think on their feet and adapt their programs where necessary.
- To build connections between the ELC and Year 7 students. This helps create harmony, friendships, care and support across the school environment. The younger children and the Year 7’s love spending time with each other!
- To introduce Coding to the 3-year-old room in an engaging way and without the need for screens. The Codeapillar is an age appropriate coding “toy” that teaches the children how to problem-solve, sequence and navigate situations using the various components of the Codeapillar.
“I liked seeing the kid’s faces and watching them get up and dance,” James, 7FK
Tell us about some of the benefits of the Codeapillar project.
The project benefits the Year 7 children as it encourages them to build their public speaking skills. It encourages them to plan ahead, but also requires them to have a good understanding of coding in order to be able to teach the younger students.
The 3-year-olds benefit from the project as they acquire skills in problem solving, forward-thinking, collaboration and much more!
“By the end of the lessons they knew how to put the Codeapillar together and what each section indicated. If they knew their left and right then it was much easier to teach them!” Emily, 7FK
What opportunities did the children have throughout this project?
The children had opportunities to work with small groups of students, approximately six Year 7 students with about 9 ELC children. This allowed them to form stronger connections with the children, while also building their own confidence in their “teaching” skills.
“It was challenging getting the little kids to listen. We had to slow down what we were saying and use language that they understood,” Tom, 7FK.
The Year 7 students spent time planning, re-planning and practicing their lessons so it gave them an idea about the flexibility of teaching. They learned that it is important to be able to think on your feet, know how to overcome problems and understand your “audience”.
“It was challenging saying no to the kids who wanted to keep going, but we had to go back to class!” James, 7FK
Thanks Fleur Kennedy for sharing this project with us. What a great opportunity to see children develop a broad range of skills in a fun and engaging way.