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Grade 1 Mini Coding Unit - Exploring code.org 

By Hyejee Kim

Recently, the Grade 1 teachers and Mrs. Gasparini collaborated together to introduce a mini coding unit to the students as part of our continuous coding curriculum at Branksome Hall Asia. The focus of this mini unit was to connect with the skills and concepts that the students have learned through our last unit “Sharing the Planet.” Students have been learning scientific content through researching life cycles and this unit also relates to directions and maps. 

Before exploring the actual coding through code.org, Grade 1 teachers started this unit by teaching directions and mapping to solidify important vocabulary and concepts. The students were able to follow along and show the directions on the map using ‘west, east, south, and north.’ Subsequently, we introduced fundamentals of coding by using a mini teaching session and let the students inquire through self-managed hands-on experience using code.org. Many students thoroughly enjoyed coding activities and expressed their positive experiences.

There are a number of benefits of coding that enhance the skills in other areas of the curriculum as well. Students are able to apply a sequence of activities and develop problem-solving skills. The coding activities also encourage the students to use and practice ‘Bossy Verbs’ which has been the main content of language for this unit.

It has been a pleasant experience to explore a coding unit and observe student-growth in many areas.