Teaching Kindergarteners Life Lessons through STEM
Jennifer Bariso, Technology Teacher at Robert Erskine Elementary School and Peter Cooper Elementary School, joins Steve Adubato to explain how she teaches kindergarteners about coding and the life lessons they learn from STEM education.
"Welcome to Think Tank. I'm Steve Adubato. We're coming to you from the Agnes Varis NJTV Studio in Newark. It is our honor and pleasure to introduce Jennifer Bariso, who is a technology teacher at Robert Erskine and Peter Cooper elementary schools in Ringwood, New Jersey. Thank you for joining us. Thank you. You were part of a larger discussion we had with four extraordinary educators about New Jersey and national issues around education and teaching, but you were in a Classroom Close-up special, correct? Yes. With our colleagues and friends at the NJEA. This is about coding for kindergarteners? Yeah. It's a... now it's a maker environment. It's a coding environment. It's... and I kind of try to bring it down to my kindergarteners to start young, and to just get them ready for what they're gonna see in the second and third grade. You ready to check this out? Ready. Here's the video from Classroom Close-up. Hopscotch in kindergarten. That seems right. But that's not what's going on here. These kindergarteners are learning the fundamentals of coding. Is that a successful code? Yeah. Yeah. Yes! Way to go! I think it's more like play for them. And I think that's the trick in getting kids to learn. This symbol means to hop in place, because both arrows say move forward with both feet going at the same time. We started with the paper arrows, because they can see it in a line. And then they can have the robot or the student move through that process. And then they see what's wrong. Now this one moves again. This one stays. Now, can he jump with two feet together? No. No, right? No. So there's something wrong with our code. Problem solving is a huge part of coding. Right in here, what would you do different? Hey that's an excellent idea. Can we say the word "debug"? Watching them be able to look at pictures, and maneuver them, and change them, and really using those words like "debug" and "coding" and "programming" is pretty incredible. Say, wiggle your fingers, how many times? They're learning and making the connections that this is all coding. Whether it's on the floor and it's using paper or it's using the blocks, they're solving problems. And they're thinking. We already worked on the floor, doing our unplugged activities. So now we're going to do it on the computer. So a good... It's all a process. They started off with the paper. And then they move to the next step in the blocks. And then they move to the computers. I try to stress to them that it's okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are okay. You're not..."