Family Fun with Coding in the Beasley Lower School

Beasley Lower School Family Coding Night has become an annual tradition. Students look forward to coding with their family members, and sometimes even teaching a grown-up a thing or two! Families gathered in the Beasley studio for a brief overview from Lower School Coordinator of Instructional Technology Greg Stevens. They then engaged in coding activity stations set up throughout lower Shoenberg. Families practiced their block coding skills with the “Google Hour of Code” activity on laptops in the Science Room. They engaged in puzzles and lessons with the Kodable app on iPads in the Art Room. In the Computer Lab, they worked with the CodeMonkey site and Javascript puzzles on desktop computers. They learned and practiced basic coding concepts such as direction, sequence, conditions (i.e. “if, then” logic), patterns, loops and functions. Of course, everyone also experienced the fun of testing and debugging to make the code work as intended.

Stevens shared, “Coding helps develop a child’s critical thinking and problem-solving skills and encourages creativity, resilience and collaboration. When children encounter frustration, they sometimes become more open to learning and trying new strategies. Stretching learning across different class periods, over weeks and months, helps to build tolerance for frustration and to sustain effort. Patience, determination and eventual success add excitement and a powerful sense of accomplishment to the process of coding. Children show such enthusiasm for coding that collaboration and teamwork also emerge as students become eager for more resources including the assistance of classmates. In addition, learning to code enables the student to be actively in charge of the computer, rather than just consuming content. Thus, the computer becomes an even more versatile tool for learning and beyond.”

For those of you who would like to try coding at home, Stevens shared some helpful coding tips:

  • Take the perspective or point-of-view of the character on screen.
  • Plan ahead; look for a path to a solution.
  • Build and solve one part at a time.
  • Test and add on to the solution.
  • Test and make changes to fix problems.
  • Be persistent; try and try again; don’t give up.
  • Cooperate with others.
  • Ask for a hint (but not the whole answer)!

IF you attended Beasley Lower School Family Coding Night, THEN you likely had a great time! Thank you to all those involved in planning and participating in this year’s Beasley Lower School Family Coding Night.