Lakewood students learn to code
Young students at Lakewood Elementary School are up to code – literally.
On Thursday, teacher Joe Archer’s Grade 6 class hosted their primary peers in an event entitled the Hour of Code.
It focused on computer science projects and games like Minecraft to get the group thinking about the new wave of output and information.
Last year, the school held a Girls Can Code event for every female student. Thursday’s gathering welcomed all classes in Grades 2-3.
“I use coding and Computer Science Week as a launching point to start to encourage kids to become a little more resilient in their learning,” Archer said. “As a teacher, the biggest thing I want my kids to do is not just succeed but to succeed when they fail - to look at something and say ‘why did I mess up and how can I fix it?’.”
Students could attend eight stations that focused on different activities. One featured a Makey Makey kit that allows users to connect objects like bananas or apples to computer programs. They could also play Minecraft – a game that lets players build 3D worlds and landscapes using blocks.
“A lot of them are into the gamebased learning, a lot of them love playing on their devices – it’s their world today, it’s what they do,” said Archer. “There’s so many jobs and opportunities in creating maps, creating websites and running a business – marketing and whatnot – and if you’re able to code, design and write your own programs, then you’ve got one up on the next person. It’s the new cursive writing.”
Three of Archer’s students - Emma Fulton, Lucah Legault, and Gabby Moore – organized much of the day. They assigned their fellow classmates with specific stations based on their individual talents.
“It’s really cool,” said Moore. “( This) will help with your future.”
“It’s like writing on paper but you’re creating stuff not just looking at something,” added Fulton.
Learning to code isn’t simply something that students can use in school but long after the bell rings. In fact, Lakewood appears to have some lifers on its roster.
Said Legault, “We want them to know how to code so that they can do it in the future and they’re thinking like a computer.”
Grade 6 student Parker Green (right) uses a 'Makey Makey' kit with fellow Lakewood Elementary student Audrey MiedemaHunt during the school's second annual 'Hour of Code' event on Thursday.