- Amana Academy in Alpharetta, Ga. is a certified K-8 STEM school that uses project-based learning in lieu of textbooks to teach students by wrapping multiple subjects together in the same lessons.
- Coding is one skill that’s included in the curriculum, teacher Fong Ly writes in eSchoolNews. He draws on three main tools to use in classes including the code.org web site, Codeacademy for online tutorials and Kano computer kits.
- One successful project Ly ran had students build Kano computers and then explore what they’d learned about the Civil War through the online world of Minecraft.
Students need at least a rudimentary comfort level with coding skills or they may be unprepared for what they’ll need to know when they start college or the workforce. Integrating coding into subject areas is one way to ensure pupils leave school with these tools, and can be accomplished in the same way that educators are entwining social-emotional learning into lessons such as literacy.
The key is looking for natural avenues for the two to marry, potentially using project-based learning approaches where students find real-world applications for what they’re studying. Ultimately any subject matter can have coding projects woven into its framework, and sites like ScratchEd has a number of resources that tentacle into lessons from chemistry to women’s history. Finding a way to make coding relevant — instead of rote — is crucial to get students excited and engaged in learn a skill they’ll need in their future.