|A pupil in Key Stage 1 using logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs|
Learning to program is now an entitlement and a vital skill for children to learn. As technology becomes more and more ingrained into our everyday lives, it is important that our pupils have practical experience of programming and an understanding of technology and how it works as we prepare them with the skills and creativity needed for the future workplace.
Businesses are in need of good programmers. Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group states “whether we’re fighting climate change or going into space everything is powered by computers, and we don’t have enough people who can code.” Not only is programming an employable skill for the 21st Century but a highly useful skill too. Maria Klawe, President, Harvey Mudd College says “Coding is today’s language of creativity. All our children deserve a chance to become creators instead of consumers of computer science.”
Alongside any programming lessons the pupils should begin to develop a sound knowledge of computers and how they work. For example:
- Do they know the components that make up the inside of a computer system?
- What’s the difference between hardware and software?
- What is an operating system?
- What is a network? How does it work?
- What is programming and what are some of the programming languages used to make
- programs work?
Should programming be discrete or embedded? Both. There may be times when a programming skill needs to be taught as a discrete skill but there are so many opportunities to embed programming into other subjects to provide interesting objectives for student’s programming projects.
For example, if the pupils have designed a game using the app Sketch Nation there are opportunities for cross-curricular writing. The project could incorporate digital literacy skills and include designing logos and posters, using garageband to create a radio advert and jingles. They could write a persuasive advert as if their game appeared in the App Store as in the popular blog post 'Game Design as Part of an Integrated Project'. Information Technology skills could be incorporated. The pupils could design a spreadsheet to work out how much money the game will make if it sells at x number at £0.69? What if the price increased? Etc. The project could form part of a business and enterprise project, in which the pupils collect tokens from pupils who wish to play their game.
|Pupils at a Games Fair.|
|Learning Wall - Each Pupils Advertisement for their Game|
|An example of a pupils Advertisement for their game|
A specific number of pertinent apps on iPads have been hand-picked in order to give teachers extra confidence and make the crucial transition to programming fun. In each lesson, pupils will become familiar with key programming concepts, which they will revisit as they progress to more complex lesson plans. The lesson plans focus on getting students to understand the breakdown of programming terminology using clear examples and enjoyable tasks.
- 35 lesson plans for 5 - 11 years old.
- An easy to understand breakdown of key terminology of programming terms with clear
- examples and screenshots from the programming apps.
- Focused objectives for each lesson.
- Fun challenges.
- Questions to ask the pupils, so they remain involved and attentive throughout.
- Extension activities.
- Screenshots with annotations to explain key concepts to make sure understanding is clear for all involved.
- Examples of how the pupils can reflect on their understanding by combining creative apps.
- Ways the pupils can keep digital portfolios to show clear progression of skills.
- Ideas how pupils can incorporate crucial spoken language skills by explaining key
- concepts through the power of the technology.
Free SampleDuring the ‘A.L.E.X’ lesson, pupils will design and create a purposefully challenging level. They will then record the best ways to overcome the level’s demands, capturing screenshots along the way, and ultimately invite other pupils, teachers and parents to play them.
Programming Made Easy is to be released 8th July at £149.99 + VAT. For more information and to pre-order a copy, visit www.mrandrewsonline.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.