If you are a parent now and ever took computer programming as a student you probably coded in a bit of BASIC and made a "Turtle" draw lines on the screen with commands of forward, left, right and backward. If you never took a computer language class, the concept is to just write a bunch of instructions in sequences to draw shapes on a screen. Building from this you can start to use tools in programming like loops and conditionals. Today the 4th grade class got a dose of the "Turtle". They were the first classroom in the country to test out a learning tool for Java script called PlaySpaceCode.com
For those adults who might be thinking "this is exactly the same as the "turtle" game we learned to code in" - yes, absolutely, it is. There are tons of free tools out there like this. The unique feature here is the brilliant progression of coding exercises. The creator of the game, Keshav Saharia, visited our school today and previewed the game with us. Initially this tool was aimed at students in jr. high, but St. Raymond 4th graders crushed it!