Coding Club supports critical thinking skills

Coding Club supports critical thinking skills

New club inspires creativity and promotes 21st century skills like teamwork and thinking “outside-the-box.”

Fourth and fifth graders at Hillcrest Elementary School are learning basic computer programming skills thanks to a new Coding Club that allows kids to bring digital characters to life.

San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) students are learning coding skills from Scratch, a free online program developed by MIT students. The online platform challenges users to build digital characters, called sprites, by adding movement commands using pre-coded blocks that interlock on screen. Students can choose backgrounds, make their sprites dance, spin or twirl, and music can be assigned to their projects.

The club founders, 5th-grade bilingual teacher Gisella Calejo and librarian Jennifer Grimes, are thrilled to see the student using their creative skills while developing critical competencies needed in high-demand jobs.

“The students always have a lot of fun because each of their projects is personalized and allows them to express their creativity, all while learning the fundamentals of computer programming,” Grimes said. “It also reinforces critical-thinking and problem-solving skills taught in the classroom.”

Hillcrest Elementary is not the only SAISD school learning code. According to a district spokesperson, Highlands High School freshmen are now required to learn coding from the online CodeHS program.

Read the entire story at SAISD News.
Learn more about CodeHS.