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Professional Development for Coding with Preschoolers

  • 1.  Professional Development for Coding with Preschoolers

    Posted 05-15-2018 05:13 PM
    Is there any information for professional development for screen-free coding with preschoolers?  My teachers are asking for a webinar or speaker with this information.

    Anne Schweiss
    Eliot Chapel Nursery School
    Saint Louis MO

  • 2.  RE: Professional Development for Coding with Preschoolers

    Posted 05-16-2018 06:56 AM
    Our kids love this game called Robot Turtles.
    The goal of the game is to get a turtle to a gem while dealing with obstacles. To do this, the kids have direction cards they give to the teacher so she can move the turtle. When they get to an obstacle, they need to figure out the right strategy (go around walls, jump over boxes, melt ice walls). Several of them love melting the ice so much, they'll move away from the goal just to get to it! It teaches them problem solving, directionality, and gives them an introduction to code by letting them input actions and see the commands carried out . We usually play it cooperatively, but you can also give up to four players their own turtle and gem.

    Amy Latta
    Lead NC PreK Teacher
    "All that is gold does not glitter; not all who wander are lost." --J.R.R. Tolkien

  • 3.  RE: Professional Development for Coding with Preschoolers

    Posted 05-16-2018 10:43 AM
    I know there are several options for screen free coding with preschoolers, but most of them don't come with much teacher support. Kibo offers significant professional development for using their product.  I've not used them personally, but have heard good things about their work.

    You may also want to reach out to St. Louis Science Center, many of the science centers and children's museums use coding robots with kids and they may offer teacher professional development on the topic.

    Good luck!

    Miriam Krause
    Maryland Science Center
    Baltimore MD

  • 4.  RE: Professional Development for Coding with Preschoolers

    Posted 05-16-2018 11:17 AM
    I am the associate director of The Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center at Erikson Institute in Chicago and we provide this type of professional development in-person or via webinar. Our director, Chip Donohue, PhD is one of the co-authors of the NAEYC/Fred Rogers Center position statement on technology and interactive media. You can contact me at to set up a call to discuss your needs.
    You can learn more about


    Tamara Kaldor
    Associate Director
    TEC Center at Erikson Institute
    Chicago, IL

  • 5.  RE: Professional Development for Coding with Preschoolers

    Posted 05-17-2018 11:49 AM
    In this article, Teaching Coding Stories and Games  published in Teaching Young Children, a teacher shares learning activities she developed as she thought about preschoolers and coding. "Coding stories and coding games are playful, hands-on ways for children to explore and experiment with early coding. They offer opportunities for interactions and collaborative learning. If coding is new to you, you will find that it builds on many early math and literacy concepts you are familiar with."

    Susan Friedman


  • 6.  RE: Professional Development for Coding with Preschoolers

    Posted 05-24-2018 10:03 AM
    Hello! A great question! We love to explore coding and other activities that promote critical thinking and spatial reasoning. You can see our daily work by connecting with us on twitter as we tweet extensively from the classroom and would love to idea share

    We have also posted many ideas on our blog, including a presentation that we recently gave to the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario Kindergarten conference specifically about the use of unplugged coding. You may find it helpful.​​
    I also published an article in TYC about unplugged coding stories and games that might interest you:

    Looking forward to idea sharing!

    Deanna Pecaski McLennan
    Amherstburg ON