Jan 09, 2018
Teaching students how to code isn’t just about computer programming. Combining coding with literacy can teach students valuable broader skills and critical thinking, too.
Coding isn’t just a skill unto itself, though. It also presents an opportunity for tutors to blend computer science with lessons in other areas, even literacy.
Reading specialist Peg Grafwallner did just that. She worked closely with one computer science educator to develop a literacy curriculum for his computer programming students. Teaching literacy through literature might suffice for English class, she contends, but “the new literacies” like computer programming requires a new approach.
Grafwallner’s approach was to focus on programming “direction words”—for example, review and create—to reinforce vocabulary skills and identifying stronger action verbs. Students used metacognitive techniques, like mnemonic devices (mental images) and built a list of challenging vocabulary that students would then use to describe their own programming work.
Grafwallner says the approach pays off outside computer programming, too. Students can carry their new critical thinking skills around literacy to other content areas and project work.
banner image from https://www.edutopia.org/article/encoding-literacy-computer-science
Encoding Literacy in Computer Science https://www.edutopia.org/article/encoding-literacy-computer-science