July 12, 2024
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Yavneh Academy Devotes an Hour to Code

As our world becomes more and more dependent on technology, the demand for coders in our society grows. The global initiative, Hour of Code, was instituted in 2013 to expose every child to a coding experience. For the second year in a row, the Educational Technology Department of Yavneh Academy participated in this global initiative. Every student at Yavneh Academy spent time coding. There were numerous options available for the children from which to choose on websites such as Code.org and Tynker.com. For the youngest children, an app called Kodable was used, allowing pre-readers and emergent readers to experience coding. What makes Hour of Code unique at Yavneh Academy, however, is that middle school students teach coding to early childhood students. This creates an incredible experience for all the students involved.

Yavneh sixth grader Julia Fried was so moved by her experience that she wrote about it:

“But I don’t want to do it Morah Judy!” said Eva, a shy little girl in pre-K at Yavneh Academy. “Come on! It will be fun!” her kind pre-K teacher warmly said…. My partner, Meira, and I sat on the floor next to Eva…. “Do you want to try it?” I said. She snuggled up to Morah Judy and shrugged shyly…. We typed Eva’s name into Kodable, an app for little kids that teaches them how to give specific directions by dragging arrows to the correct box. There is a “Fuzz Ball” that needs to get through a maze and the arrows guide it. Eva started to play with her teacher’s encouragement… but eventually Eva started to warm up to us. She would proudly press the play button all by herself at the end of each round! She was getting more and more excited! And she was learning a lot, too! Eventually Morah Judy was able to slowly slip away…. At the end of the class she didn’t want to stop coding! It was so amazing to see how engaged she was when she was so shy forty minutes earlier. It was a great learning experience for Eva because she learned all of the skills that Kodable teaches. But it was also a great learning experience for me, because I learned how being engaged in an activity can change you from a shy little pre-K girl to an interested, warm, and friendly girl. I also learned that sometimes someone else’s accomplishments can affect me more than my own. Thank you Yavneh Academy for this amazing experience!”

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