Tiny Tots Learn to Code in Special Workshop by UTA, Fort Worth Museum

Tiny Tots Learn to Code in Special Workshop by UTA, Fort Worth Museum

Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021 • Written by Monique Bird :

Pre-school age children are learning the basics of coding — while also improving their literacy skills — thanks to a unique collaboration between the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and the University of Texas at Arlington College of Education.  

In a special, six-week workshop on story coding, pre-schoolers gain valuable tech skills through books such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin. In the lessons, the children read that day’s book and then practice coding that story’s sequence of important events.  

Organizers said that playtime is a great way to expose children to early coding concepts.  

“Coding is the most efficient method to promote children’s computational thinking,” said Lee, one of the workshop leaders and a professor of early childhood and elementary mathematics education. “The research team has integrated coding concepts with children’s books to provide children contextualized learning experience in a developmentally and culturally appropriate manner as they practice computational thinking skills.”  

Lee is joined by three UTA faculty members in the College of Education — Candace Joswick, a mathematics educator, and Robin Jocius and Kathryn Pole, who both teach literacy studies courses. They are aided by graduate research assistant Gaby Darmadi. 

She noted that the children learn more than how to code.  

“They also practice literacy, such as reading and story re-telling; and math skills, such as rational counting, sequencing, and one-to-one correspondence,” she said. “In addition, we also integrate songs, arts and crafts into the workshop.” 

Sessions take place from 1-2 p.m. Tuesdays now through Nov. 9 at the Fort Worth Museum, located at 1600 Gendry Street.  

For information, visit https://www.fwmuseum.org/family-programs/ or https://robinjocius.wixsite.com/website

Resource for educators:  

Algorithm Design for Young Children: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/14639491211033663