2017-12-14 / Front Page

Learning To Write Code


St. Ignace sixth graders (from left) David Atkinson, Dominic Foster, Colin Kinjorski, and Blaine Terpening participate in the international Hour of Coding program Thursday, December 7. St. Ignace sixth graders (from left) David Atkinson, Dominic Foster, Colin Kinjorski, and Blaine Terpening participate in the international Hour of Coding program Thursday, December 7. Students at St. Ignace Elementary School participated in the Hour of Code, an international computer coding event Thursday, December 7. More than 100 students in second through eighth grade participated in the event that exposes students to the creativity and possibilities of computer technology and coding.

St. Ignace Elementary School technology and reading recovery teacher Laura Janeczek, who teaches students in kindergarten through fourth grade and seventh grade, oversaw the activities. Over the course of the week, nearly all of the students in the elementary and middle school spent an hour coding their own, unique computer game.

They joined the international challenge that was completed by millions of students in 45 languages in 180 countries throughout the world.

With the encouragement of eighth grade mathematics, science, and technology teacher Andrew Long, who regularly teaches coding to his students, Mrs. Janeczek taught computer coding to the students for the first time specifically for the international program. Computer coding is a great skill to have, she told the students, and offers many future career opportunities to the students. Everything from social media sites to phone applications and Web sites are developed using coding.

The Hour of Coding event was well received, she said, and the students want to learn how to do more computer coding in the future.

The goal of the project was for the students to build their own, fun computer game. The games should be fun and entertaining, she instructed, not just simple to finish. Once they built their game, the students switched computers and tried out each other’s creations.

After the week of coding, Mrs. Janeczek reflected that some of the youngest students were able to grasp concepts easily and enjoyed making games complex for their classmates. Making their own computer programs and games allowed students to think deeply and creatively. The project also piqued the interest of different students than she expected, which was a positive outcome, she said, as it could have exposed those students to a new passion and career pathway.

Mrs. Janeczek expects to continue the coding project with St. Ignace first graders after the winter break. Every student who completed the hour of coding added their name to a “Wall of Droids” Mrs. Janeczek created.

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