Why did you want to start a programming class at Silver Oak?
Primary Programming courses were established by parents of Silver Oak Elementary in San Jose, CA in 2013. We believe that computer programming can be as much fun as computer gaming, but a lot more value-oriented learning. We wanted to provide our kids with the opportunity to learn about programming and get them like it. We hope to inspire more Silver Oak parents to join us and help the kids in this journey.
What was your experience with this first class?
It is an amazing experience to see the kids learn this quick. Many would think that it might be too early to teach programming in elementary school, but the first class showed us that it is a good idea. However, programming is the same as any other skills: the more the kids practice the better they will get.
Is there anything anecdotal you can tell me about a program that was written, an ah-ha moment a student had or unique experience that took place during the first session?
When we first got the kids to open the development environment and try to create a programming project, there were clear confusion and fear in their eyes. The very first time we did not succeed within our 45 minutes class. The next time we made a better strategy and actually all students were able to execute a piece of code they wrote. At that moment we asked the kids "isn't it easy to program?" and they all joyfully shouted "Yes, it is easy". It was a really great moment in our class.
What is the time commitment a student or a volunteer might be looking at?
We have three session in a school year: Fall, Winter and Spring. Each session includes 8 lessons per course in 8 weeks. We plan to run two classes per week Essentials course on Tuesday and Advanced course on Thursday. We start preparing the classroom at 7:05 AM. The class starts at 7:15 AM and ends at 8 AM. It is not necessary to have any programming background to volunteer. All materials are provided by us and we need help in making sure kids type in the same code as shown in the material.