Several campuses across Frisco ISD engaged in Hour of Code earlier this month to ensure that students, especially younger ones, were introduced to computer science concepts.
Hour of Code is a worldwide learning event organized by Code.org during Computer Science Education Week to teach students the basic principles of coding.
“Introducing computer science isn’t just about sitting students in front of technology and teaching them the basics, it’s also about teaching them a mindset,” said Ashley Elementary school digital learning coach Mary Cardell. “Students engage in activities based on their age and skill level.”
As a digital learning coach, Cardell works with campus staff to enrich their lessons to help students explore concepts in new ways, often with technology. Each campus in Frisco ISD has one digital learning coach to support staff. During Hour of Code, she introduced kindergartners to coding by nurturing their problem-solving skills, logic and creativity.
Brittany Frazier’s kindergarten class quietly entered the library where Cardell and librarian Kristen Whittaker had set up stations for students to engage in the Hour of Code.
“Today, we’re learning what sequencing is, how important steps are and how they can help us complete a task,” Cardell said. “We are going to try new things and sometimes we will not be successful the first time but we are going to use our grit and growth mindset to keep working even if it’s hard.”
What started as a quiet library quickly became a room buzzing with commotion and learning as students rotated between practicing sequencing on iPads, creating with Legos, and commanding with Bee-Bots. Bee-Bots are small, colorful tools that respond to student input commands and travel across a table.
“I don’t have Legos at my house but I love building with them!” said Lily Molloy, as she assembled a sleigh. “I love Ms. Frazier. She’s the best teacher ever!
While playing with Legos and iPads might sound like individual activities, the kindergartners quickly proved that they can be collaborative as they helped each other create and problem-solve in the activities.
Around the room, students talked to themselves and each other about how much fun they were having. It was obvious students loved every minute of the Hour of Code.
“Sometimes I messed up with the Bee-Bots but I tried again,” Lily said.
Hour of Code across Frisco ISD was a clear success based on the #HourofCode and #OurFISDStory hashtags that flooded Twitter earlier this month. The collaboration between digital learning coaches and educators was unparalleled in their commitment to teaching problem-solving, perseverance, creativity and logic to students across the District.
“Coding skills are more than just computer-based activities,” Whittaker said. “The skills they learned today apply to several aspects in their future, no matter what they do when they grow up!”
Secondary Computer Science Classes
Based on student interest, Frisco ISD began offering computer science classes for middle school students this school year. Learn about all of the technology classes, including computer science, offered on FISD middle and high school campuses.