We are now on week 4 of our digital technologies module and today we were beginning to develop and understand the benefits of Coding for younger pupils and how this will enhance their academic learning within the class.
Coding can bring many benefits for pupils in a classroom and these benefits are things such as gaining new important strategies such as problem solving when creating codes and making sure that they work together and also communicating their ideas to one another when creating their stories or the programming for the characters.
Coding also allows teachers to combine subjects such as math and literacy together into one lesson. This is beneficial as students who might not particularly enjoy maths for example could be doing maths by using coding apps but actually enjoying it and being fully engaged in it as the coding activity is more engaging and enjoyable than a normal maths lesson (Williams,2017). This is a positive aspect of coding as it allows teachers to continue to enhance children’s learning through a variety of different resources and the pupils are also benefiting for this as well as they are being introduced to new skills which could be of use in the future world of work.
In this weeks session, we had a key focus on operating Scratch Jr. Scratch Jr allows pupils aged 5 and up to create their own coding stories and games. The programme allows children to do thing such as:
- Select a background
- Add a character
- Change the colour of the character
- Move the character
- Add audio
- Add new slides
Scratch alongside coding is very beneficial for pupils as it allows their academic learning to expand.It gives them the opportunity to engage with new forms of technology and be involved in a new experience of learning as it is not just written text that pupils are involved with now. Scratch allows pupils to be very hands on as creating new codes and activities allows them to think outside the box, develop their creativity and take part in an activity they have not particularly been introduced to (Lucas,2017). This app is also beneficial for teachers to introduce to their classes as it encourages teamwork and communication skills as pupils are able to work with other people within the class.
From my own personal experience , I have only came across scratch within high school ICT lessons. At the time I wasn’t a big fan of scratch as it was quite technological and required a lot of patience in order to make your programme work properly. After this weeks session my opinion of scratch has changed dramatically as I was able to identify and analyse how scratch is very beneficial for pupils to encounter a new form of learning.
Working with scratch Jnr I was able to test my own creativity skills and develop my very own scratch story based on a classroom adventure. I started with 4 basic backgrounds such as a classroom, a city, a farm and a beach. This gave me an opportunity to take the children through different recognisable areas of town.
The whole aim of the scratch project was for pupils to go through all four areas and identify familiar sounds that they could see within the area they were in. For example, within the city background I had added a car for the pupils to identify the sound of C-A-R. I had researched some Experiences and Outcomes from the Curriculum for Excellence which I though tied in quite nicely with my project.
I paid close attention to two literacy ones for early level of learning. These were :
LIT 0-11B ~ I enjoy exploring and choosing stories and other texts to watch, read or listen to, and can share my likes and dislikes
LIT 0-21A~ I explore sounds, letters and words,discovering how they work together and I can use what I learn to help me as I read or write
However, one weakness I had been struggling with in regards to scratch was that it was quite fidgety and was hard to work around with. I especially found this when using the classroom background as it was hard to get all the characters to move at the same time as each other and was becoming quite frustrating.
If I am going to continue to use scratch within the classroom, this would definitely be area I would need to continue to develop as I found it difficult to make it all go in time.
Lucas, J. (2017) Coding in the primary classroom.[Online] Available: https://www.educationalappstore.com/blog/coding-primary-classroom-scratch/ [Accessed: 29 January 2019]
Williams, J. (2017) 10 Surprising skills kids learn in the classroom.[Online]Available: https://www.weareteachers.com/skills-learn-coding/ [Accessed: 5 February 2019]