As more young and old people’s lives become integrated with technology, the need for more programmers, and the need for more people to understand programming grows.
Due to the fact that many people do not learn programming until they are old, or are never introduced to it, a stereotype of “nerds, gamers, and geeks”, are associated with programmers.
As a future prospect as a CEL teacher, It is my job to prepare, and help introduce my young elementary students into the world of programming.
One way I can introduce very young elementary age students (K-2), could be simple problem solving activities. While I personally loved our in-class peanut butter and jelly sandwich activity, another lesson that is similar to that would be to have the students created a “code” on how to get ready in the morning. Students could create a simple list on how I should get ready in the morning for work or school. They would have to list in order waking up, getting dressed, brushing my teeth, taking a shower, eating breakfast, etc. This introduces programming on the simplest level of problem solving and specific actions.
Another option for teaching elementary students, mainly the older ages such as grades 4-5 about programming would be using LEGO Education WeDo. This is a program that helps students into simple machines and programming. This technique allows students into a more hands on approach to programming, and allows them to physically create something with their own hands.
My last option for introducing young students into programming would be taking some students on a field trip to either a programming company, or another educational programming company. Students can see real world programmers, and discuss, ask questions, and see how real programmers live their lives. Hopefully this experience can dispel stereotypes of programmers and show a glimpse of what programmers do for their job. In addition, the employees can probably explain programming in a simple term to many of the young students.
While there are many reasons ways to introduce programming to students, it is important that children at a young age are at least taught the problem solving and logistical value of programming. These skills can help improve students in all subject areas and allow them to be more well rounded students.