Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Outdoor Coding

It's been so beautiful around here! We have been fortunate to have a warm end of Autumn and this has meant lots of learning potential outdoors. The children's interest in coding continues so we used the opportunity to turn our cement pad into a large grid using tape. Chalk lines would work just as well!

The children love stuffed animals so for this activity we used one that is really popular with them! We agreed on the starting grid...

...and using a dry erase board the children took turns coding one another. One child was the programmer and used the board as well as giving oral directions to help the player move from 'start' to 'finish' along the grid.

Because we had agreed upon the commands and symbols that represented each and were using them consistently in our coding activities, the children were very familiar and comfortable using them in new coding situations (e.g., "go up", "go down", "jump", "go left", "go right").

Many children wanted to experience both roles - that of programmer and player. Because the children were giving each other directions this activity really strengthened their oral language skills. They had to effectively give commands that would lead the player in the desired path and the player needed to carefully listen to the directions in order to be successful. This activity promoted team work and collaboration.

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