HIS students learn to code
Published 12:19 pm Monday, December 14, 2015
By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer
HELENA–Third grade students at Helena Intermediate School got some valuable experience relating to coding as the school participated in the “Hour of Code” movement the week of Dec. 7.
Activities both computer and non-computer related were held in classrooms throughout the school and one of the classes participating was Carissa Blackerby’s third grade class.
Blackerby’s class participated in an unplugged activity titled “My Robotic Friends,” and Blackerby described the process and how her students incorporated coding.
“We did the unplugged activity and we were programming a friend as a computer to stack cups in certain arraignments,” said Blackerby. “They could only use six symbols to do that and we wrote one code together where they had to pick up and move the cups and put them down. You can actually see where they did make some mistakes in their programming and they crossed them out and they had to go back and debug their programming.”
Just down the hall, other students in Shelli Abernathy’s class were working on writing a Java script on the computer using a Minecraft activity.
Abernathy explained that the activities are important because the current generation of students are the largest consumers of screen time and it’s important to make students producers.
Thousands of jobs are expected to be available in the future involving computers and coding and the Hour of Code helps introduce students to the basics.
After participating in the coding activities, students received a certificate of completion that they could take home and display.
Blackerby said it was her first time introducing students to coding but she thought in was beneficial and kept students engaged.
“They caught on so quickly and I’ve never seen the students so engaged,” said Blackerby. “I was amazed at how much it brought in our math because we haven’t studied fractions and they were applying that even in the activity.”