2nd grade teacher
Mrs. Binning signed up her entire 2nd grade class for Code.org’s Intro to Computer Science course, designed for kids all the way up through 8th grade.
She has a game plan: extra time in the lab, time with partners on iPads, giving up prep times, and co-teaching to give those students that needed extra support the guidance necessary to be successful. Mrs. Binning took the course herself first to test the waters. Then, asked a group of her most advanced students to try it after school. She started doubting if her class was even ready to code when she herself was up at night, stuck on puzzles at home.
“But we persevered together and we made it!” she said, who lead every student through the course. “As we began our congratulating one student, then four students, and finally 19 students for earning all twenty-seven trophies, it became so much more.”
As another teacher at her school put it, “The excitement she generated, bringing the coding challenge to these students, was over the top!”
Why computer science for elementary school students?
Students play so many computer games, apps, etc. I want students to understand that someone created those programs they love. This combines what students already love and takes it to a new level.
Tell us about a success story.
One day while we were working in the lab, a little guy who’s struggled at many many academic tasks was plugging away at his latest “stage.” When he moved a command over, I went to explain to him “my way” of completing the task, but stopped myself. As he clicked the run button to check his progress, I was sure I was going to need to give him my “expertise” in coding. Low and behold, it WORKED! It was really fascinating to see how my students’ minds worked through the various challenges.
Most importantly, they truly GOT IT when I showed them how to slow the program down so they could see where something “messed up.” They understood you don’t build the codes without checking along the way.
How can a 2nd grade teacher start teaching computer science?
Dive in headfirst. I was stuck on one puzzle and showed it to my second grade student to ask what she would do next. She clicked out a couple of variables, popped in some numbers. She didn’t complete the task for me, but gave me a new way to look at it and I solved it later that evening. You never know what you can accomplish unless you take a risk!
We’re sharing this story as part of our new Teacher of the Month series. There are teachers around the world who are changing the face of computer science. Do you teach with a rockstar teacher? Nominate them to be a Code.org Teacher of the Month.