Second grade students in Heather Teasley's class at Southwest Elementary are learning computer coding.
Using terms like pixels, degrees and angles with programs called Ozobots, Everyday Machine and Makey Makey, second grade students in Heather Teasley's SouthWest Elementary class are learning computer coding.
"Coding basically means they are computer programming," Teasley said. "They use a blockley method to modify codes and commands to get through a maze."
Dividing up into groups of four and five students, the 7- and 8-year-olds get excited when it's time for coding. They all have individual iPads or Notebooks to work on in their groups.
"They are little sponges just soaking this all up," Teasley said. "They're so excited to be able to do this."
A $1,000 Meyer memorial grant plus additional money from Pratt Parent Teachers Organization recently financed the purchase of the Ozobot system for the second graders.
"This helps them understand line coding and repeating patterns to get a ball through a maze," Teasley said.
The coding programs give the students clues as they work, allowing them trial and error experience and they figure out how to solve their coding problems.
"I think the most important thing this teaches is perseverance," Teasley said. "I never let them say this is too hard. I encourage them to keep trying, ask a friend, figure it out. Perseverance is so important. For them to be learning coding now, it is something they will be able to build on for the rest of their educational lives."
The Makey Makey program helps students figure out how to make music by discovering electrical currents and open and closed circuits. They also learn how to work together to problem solve and cooperate.
StarWars, Mine Craft and Course 2 are additional programs that each child gets a chance to code.
With computer programming sitting at the top of important jobs of the future, Pratt students are getting a step up into the real world, and having a lot of fun doing it.