# Computational Thinking Kindergarten

## Computational Thinking for Kindergartners

Is it possible to teach computational thinking to kindergarten and preschool students? Computational thinking refers to the abilities, concepts, and behaviours utilised in computer science to solve issues or finish projects, which may seem out of sync with what we know about developmentally appropriate activities for 4- and 5-year-olds. However, in my state of Virginia and others, computational thinking is now required in schools K through 12.

Why? Schools must always anticipate what talents will be required of their pupils throughout their lives. The ways they work, engage, and communicate will continue to change, and today’s young children will need to be fluent in the types of thinking that will power many of tomorrow’s products and services.

.Much of the curriculum in preschool and kindergarten is taught via hands-on manipulatives, games, and songs, and young children can participate in such activities and develop computational thinking in age-appropriate ways with careful planning. We can begin to construct a grasp of algorithms, sequencing, events, conditionals, and repeat loops at this young age, for example.

### TEACHING COMPUTATIONAL THINKING IN PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN

An algorithm is a set of instructions for completing a task, and the order in which the steps are performed is critical. This notion can be taught by acting out or describing the steps for any common task, such as putting on shoes, brushing teeth, or feeding a pet.

To sequence a “programme” for that activity, have youngsters produce image cards. Demonstrate what occurs if you modify the sequence. Alternatively, read a picture book in which a character visits a series of locales. Create a “programme” for the character’s movement, then execute it with a map and a doll by moving the doll to each spot on the map.

An event is a trigger that causes an algorithm or programme to run, and conditionals are the set of requirements that must be met in order for the programme to run. Teachers employ recognisable occurrences like ringing bells, clapping hands, and turning lights on and off to mark classroom transitions. They can easily be transformed into conditional statements, such as “If it is raining when recess bell rings…” or “If I am standing at the door when I clap my hands…” Red Light, Green Light, and Simon Says are classic games that may be altered to teach the notion of events and conditionals while also including movement and humour.

The number of times a command or series of commands to be repeated is indicated by repeat loops. In students’ lives, each meal involves a repetitive loop of delivering a bite of food to the mouth, chewing, and swallowing. Wake up, dress, eat, go to school, come home, play, eat, undress, and go to bed are all part of our daily routines.

These routines can be transformed into “if, then, else” statements: “Repeat the eat loop if the bowl contains cereal; otherwise, put the spoon down.” “Repeat the school loop if it’s a weekday; otherwise, sleep late and play all day.”

Because many songs and dances feature recurring lyrics and actions, they can be an active and enjoyable way to teach the notion of repeat cycles.

These concepts can be repeated through work and play with age-appropriate programming applications and robots, but do some investigating into the research that went into their creation. Determine whether they encourage passive or active problem solving and innovation. Both the ScratchJr programming app and the Kibo robot were carefully built to meet the abilities, interests, and developmental stages of preschool and primary school children and are backed by extensive research. They allow youngsters to plan, take chances, solve difficulties, iterate, and, maybe most significantly, endure while designing, building, and solving challenges in a fun way.

If you decide to include screen time in the classroom, keep it to a minimum and keep track of how much is being used in other classrooms and at home. Children require a healthy balance of age-appropriate activities and screen time. Screen time standards and recommendations for each age group are provided by the American Association of Pediatrics and Common Sense Media.

While developing computational thinking is crucial, establishing habits for working with others and dealing with frustration may be even more so. We can foster communication, cooperation, and empathy in children by asking them to work with partners or in groups.

If we wait until middle school for kids to start working with coding and robots, we’ll miss out on an opportunity to make it simple and enjoyable. Starting early has the added benefit of allowing you to teach some crucial social and emotional skills along the way. As we get better at designing and programming machines to help us perform our jobs, these abilities become more important in determining what these machines can do, how they will do it, and who will have access to them.