Coding Can Be a Gift to Struggling Students. Let’s Give It to Them.

I don’t remember the exact date I fell head over heels in love with coding, but I vividly remember the precise moment. I was in a Kindergarten classroom, co-teaching with a very brave and incredibly open-minded teacher, when I looked across the room to see a 5-year-old boy standing, feet spread, arms flung wide as the biggest smile you can imagine graced his face. His eyes simultaneously reflected both surprise and the euphoria of sweet victory. As I wandered over to inquire, his eyes met mine, and he practically shouted, “I did it” while throwing up a fist bump.

He had been stuck on one particular Code.org puzzle (there might have been an angry bird and a pig involved), and after following a logical process of step-by-step analysis, he had found the bug in his code, resolved it and directed that temperamental bird to cross the board and connect with the elusive pig. It was, in one encapsulated moment, a perfect Kindergarten victory.

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