Somerset Times

Junior Coders Learning JavaScript

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 3, Term Three, 2018

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If you are interested in learning to create apps, then JavaScript is a great programming language to learn. If you’re a child, creating apps that you can then play has certainly proved to be popular with our Year 3 and 4 Coding Club.

Starting earlier this year, our Junior School Coding Club was initially set to run on one morning a week. Overwhelming interest from Year 3 and 4 students saw the Club extend to running on a Monday and Friday morning at 7.30am for two separate groups, comprising of more than 50 students.

Each week, a group of enthusiastic Year 3 and 4 coders turn up to create their next apps in JavaScript. The Coding Club uses Bitsbox, an online website and series of resources that has been designed to teach text-based coding to young students in a very fun and accessible way. With Bitsbox, you type in your code on one side of the screen. On the other you can see the app (program) that you are creating on a virtual tablet. To run, you press play. Many of the students in the Coding Club have already created more than 30 apps, using functions and a range of different programming commands, stamps, fills, sounds and animations.

If there is an error in the code, students need to debug and find and fix their error and try again. Sometimes the error is a syntax error or our young coder has misspelled a key word. Even at this young age, many of our students are now able to find their own errors and correct them, or assist their buddy to debug their program.

Some of our students are now starting to take what they are learning each week, to create their own apps as well, which they can then load and play on a tablet. One such example is shown with a soccer app created by Kenshin Tateno in Year 4. This is just one example of an app created independently in response to one of our weekly Club challenges.

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