This week is the Hour of Code. Norway 4th, 5th and 6th graders have all been coding this week in Tech (and have done so in previous years). Coding isn't just for big kids; there are online courses that are designed for students just learning to read. Coding is a great way to practice problem solving and critical thinking.
I planned to have first graders try coding using Lightbot. There isn't a lot of reading, making it a great choice for first graders. However, this is very new to many students.
Today, I got to have an awesome conversation with a couple of first grade classes at Keystone. A few students wanted to stop and move on to a different, easier activity. However, a few students were finding success. That led me to ask the question, "How do you feel when you finish something difficult? What happens when you do something you thought was too hard?" A few students shared how happy they felt if they did something that seemed too difficult at the start. I am happy to say within 2-3 minutes, all the students who had previously asked for a different activity were proudly telling me they had "beat the game" or moved on the the next level.
If you are interested in learning more about coding (for your classroom or at home), please ask! Or check out one of the Hour of Code courses here.