Problem-solving and criticaly thinking are essential life skills.
Across the world, literacy competencies are below standard. This is very concerning, so where do we start to address this?
When children start school, they learn how to read. There are 2 steps in doing so.
- Phonemic awareness – understanding that spoken words are made up of individual sounds. This is the foundation for spelling and word recognition.
- Alphabetic principle – linking the sounds and the letters.
To become readers, learners must develop the skills of blending, segmenting, and manipulating sounds at each level: syllable, onset-rime, and phoneme.
Learning to code is the same.
The concept of coding as a ‘literacy’ is based on the fact that computer codes are fundamentally languages. Because literacy is about reading and writing, teaching coding can be viewed as teaching how to read and write in a language for machines.
By that extension, numeracy is also the same. Take Margie Pearse for example, she is a Math Coach at Chester Community Charter School and is as passionate about mathematics as you get.
Margie’s passion is to share a love of math with teachers and students! She aims to empower every student with the tools and strategies needed to be fluent and flexible with numbers. Her educational philosophy can be summed up as
“Why NOT reinvent the wheel! Yesterday’s lessons will not suffice for students to succeed in tomorrow’s world. We need to meet students, not just where they are but where they need to be. There is great potential in every child. Our job is to empower students to discover that potential and possess the tenacity and self-efficacy to reach it.”
We absolutely love this idea and agree with it. That is why Kai’s Education is walking the talk by teaching literacy and maths with their upcoming new KaiBot.
It may be as simple as reading the book, My Very Hungry Caterpillar and asking the students some questions about the story. But why stop there? We have to teach every student from as young as possible how to code. We can begin with something as easy as putting some words on the floor, asking the students some questions relating to the story, and they must walk to the correct answer. From there, they progress and move to the correct answer by coding with their KaiBot instead. The best thing is that this format is also transferable to other young children’s books.
Numeracy is the same; we can code answers to be solvable through simple mathematic formulas and thus teach addition, greater or lesser values. KaiBot in Kainundrum is introducing screen-free coding cards, where students can physically take the cards and move around or put them on to KaiTiles, scan the cards and see the answer being repeated by KaiBot. If they make a mistake, KaiBot will help them debug; before we know it, students can code and debug.
Here are a few lesson plans using these concepts.
With this new literacy and numeracy-based lessons using KaiBot, we want to instill these skills in students, who will come away with fundamental social skills, critical thinking, problem-solving, collaborating with others, and expressing themselves.
Are those fundamental skills not what we all need to master as human beings?