If you missed Pelle's live demonstration on how social distancing can help flatten the curve of COVID-19 using simulations built in WoofJS, check out the below video.
Looking for a way to continue your child’s coding education even outside of class? Check out The Coding Space on Twitch, the world’s leading livestream platform. Starting this week, our talented teachers will be showcasing their programming skills with interactive demonstrations, code-alongs, and more. We encourage parents to create an account so kids can chat with the presenters, but no account is necessary to simply watch. Sign up for free by hitting the button in the top right of the homepage. Miss the live feed? No problem - videos are free to access. Catch you on Twitch!
Creating Simulations Using WoofJS with Pelle
April 1 | 7 PM EST
We’ll be using simulations to show how social distancing can “flatten the curve” of COVID-19, using kid-friendly terminology and showing how technology can help us understand and approach a global problem. Recommended for ages 8 and up.
Making Music in Scratch with Pelle
April 3 | 1 PM EST
We’ll be merging programming with music theory to create interesting tones and sounds. Recommended for all ages.
Providing education from home can be a less-than-ideal situation. As many students are transitioning to an online learning environment, we’re here to help with some sound advice for how to set your child up for success. (Many thanks to Seesaw for the base of this information.)
Maintain a schedule
In the midst of this transition, students need consistency and routine.
Create a designated learning space
Getting started with Zoom
Connect with their instructors
We no longer have the pleasure of crossing paths during drop off and pick up, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to hear from you! If you have questions or concerns about your student’s progress, please send an email or schedule a video call to discuss with their teacher. And don’t hesitate to call the instructor if there’s a technical issue you can’t solve during class! We are here to help.
Pay attention to their experience
For your student, remote learning is likely a new experience and may feel isolating or disconnected. Let them know that technical issues are inevitable, and keep tabs on what your student needs. If they are enjoying the independence of learning remotely, encourage them. If they seem hesitant or unsure, they may need someone there to share the experience with them. You can help support their transition by sitting in for parts of their classes to keep them company. When they seem more settled, let them know you need to go get your own work done and you’ll be back to check in later on.
Begin and end each day with a check-in
Spending time checking in helps your child feel more secure and supports them as they process the change in their learning environment. Remember to give your student some space after a lesson ends before checking in, they likely need time to process before they’re able to share. Try asking:
Schedule physical activity and social interaction
Physical and social activity are essential to your child’s wellbeing, and they need to be prioritized even more now that we are moving to remote learning. Scheduling time for movement, social interaction, and play helps your child have a positive experience at home and helps them focus when it’s time to sit down in front of the computer.
Support your child’s emotional needs
In stressful times, children need supportive and stable relationships with trusted adults. Stay close with your child and provide age-appropriate information. For instance, here’s a kid-friendly comic about COVID-19.
As always, we’re here to help. For more resources, contact us.
We know the Coronavirus epidemic has brought a lot of unforeseen changes to the daily lives of families all over the world. While we are staying safe and learning to adjust to the new “normal,” change can be difficult and having your entire family at home can be taxing. But time together at home doesn’t have to be stressful. If you find tensions rising or family time growing stale, try shaking it up a little with some new approaches to togetherness.
Have a Chat: Saying the right thing about the ongoing epidemic can be difficult in a situation where no one really has all of the answers right now. Need help starting or continuing the conversation? Learn more with advice from the experts at the Child Mind Institute on approaching the sensitive topic to ensure you are framing the discussion in a way that will be thoughtful, informative, but still reassuring.
Make Something: Fun DIY projects—like making soap or building a wooden clock—can be entertaining and stimulating. There are a lot of great (free) activities available online at Michaels and Uncommon Goods. (And don’t forget that time-tested favorite: making fake snot!)
Think Outside the Box: Get creative with common household items by using what you already have on hand in fun new ways. Skittles in the pantry can become paint! Empty toilet paper rolls never looked so good! What other fun items can you repurpose? (Hint: raiding the recycling bin is a good place to start.)
Go Virtual: Since you can’t physically visit places, why not explore virtual environments? You can now explore places like National Parks and international museums, such as the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul from the comfort of your home. Exploration is just a click away!
Get Creative: Bust out the art supplies and let the creativity flow. While at home, try different media and tools that you might not have thought to use before. Did you know that bubble wrap can make for an excellent paintbrush? Or that you can incorporate science in art by “painting” in milk? Get inspired by other messy ideas here.
Game On: Why not make the most of having everyone home? Games that use different parts of your brain are educational and build family memories at the same time. We recommend the Melissa & Doug Suspend Family Game, which makes you think about weight and balance, and never fails to bring on the giggles.
Get Outside: Now is a great time to walk the dog or take a family stroll—making sure to stay a healthy distance away from other people, of course. Make walks fun for younger kids by counting houses, spelling street names, or playing I Spy.
Be Mindful: The constant change and unknown can be really stressful for everyone in the family right now, which makes it especially important to take a few mindful minutes every day to reset. Work meditation into your schedule with apps like Headspace.
Create an Attitude of Gratitude: Research shows that gratitude is a strong counter to stress. In the spirit of being grateful for your family’s relative comfort and safety, add a new tradition to your routine: In the morning, have everyone list something they are thankful for or share something you'll each do to make it a great day. And, if you have the ability, consider donating your time or money to a charitable organization like UNICEF or Feeding America.
Break a Sweat: Many of your favorite fitness studios and instructors are producing “home workout” content or offering free trial subscriptions. Extra time at home can provide an opportunity to try yoga or that fitness program you’ve been wanting to check out, either on your own or with the family. There are also a wide variety of Youtube workout videos that are fun for the entire family!
We know change is hard, but we’re in this together and are here to help. If you have any questions or need more fun, educational ideas, don't hesitate to contact us.
With schools closed and students at home, we know you and your child have academic questions. We’re here to help with upcoming webinars covering a range of topics and have plans to roll out more in the near future. Join us for 30 minutes while we answer your questions in real-time.
Join Private Prep's Director of Executive Functioning Services for a live session with tips and tricks for setting a home school schedule so you can be as productive and engaging as possible while everyone is home.
March 24 | 8 PM EST
Please RSVP here so we can better answer your questions.
We know that there’s a great deal of uncertainty in many parts of your lives right now, but we want to make sure that coding class is not one of them. To that end, we’ve put together this brief guide to make sure that things go smoothly as you shift to online lessons.
We’re fully ready to support you!
We have developed and are continuing to fine-tune our remote learning environment and have compiled a suite of best practices that all of our teachers are aware of. We host live workshops and share recorded trainings so that all of our teachers can bring the best possible experience to our kids.
In order for your child to participate in an online lesson, they’ll need to download Zoom. This is the platform we use for online work because it uses lower bandwidth which allows for smoother audio and video than other platforms. It also provides multi-screen sharing, ability to break out into smaller groups, and an interactive whiteboard which makes for a highly engaging learning experience.
When you click on the small up arrow next to the microphone, you’ll be given the option to test your microphone and speakers. For a more detailed walk through of getting started you can read this article from Zoom.
Troubleshooting and Your First Remote Lesson
When you attempt to join the Zoom session, it’s possible that you will receive one of a handful of messages indicating that the Zoom session is not ready to begin. Some of these are shown below:
These messages are not indicative of a problem, but rather the result of your teacher not having started your meeting yet. Simply text the teacher that you are ready and they will let you know when to reconnect.
If you run into any other problems when you look to start your session, text your teacher then as well; they are prepared to offer basic troubleshooting.
Please keep in mind that many teachers will have multiple lessons in a row, so they may not respond immediately. Still, the text will alert them to the fact that you are trying to connect, and they can call you at the lesson’s start time to offer support. Teachers know to allow additional time for each student’s first remote session so that they can troubleshoot without needing to sacrifice instruction time.
The first thing to know is that your teacher is here to help make sure things go well. Have your child store the teacher’s phone number so they can reach out with any troubleshooting questions.
Other best practices to put into place include the following:
Have an Open Mind
Our teachers have identified a number of pedagogical approaches that enhance the online teaching experience. If students have an open mind, they might just find they prefer online work to in-person work. Here are some activities that they might engage in:
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions at email@example.com or 929-352-1272. We also continue to update our blog with helpful information.
There’s no question that the time kids spend at school is important to their development: not just the essential knowledge and skills they learn, but also the social experiences they gain from working alongside their peers. Social skills, teamwork, and education are linked, which is part of the reason why school closures and academic schedule disruptions are such an issue for a developing brain.
As kids are kept home from school due to the current crisis, their opportunities for social learning will no doubt be greatly reduced—and for good reason. But staying safe and healthy doesn’t have to mean social interactions are cut off entirely. Kids can and should continue their education and their coding journey anywhere they have access to a computer and the internet.
That’s why we love online coding lessons. The Coding Space specializes in teaching kids to tackle challenges through learning to code by employing a growth mindset, computational thinking practices, and intellectual confidence—skills that will help them wherever their academic goals take them. Our virtual coding lessons combine personalized, one-on-one sessions with a Coding Space teacher with opportunities for kids to code collaboratively with others—a great way for students to get some much needed social learning while stuck inside. Our curriculum is built to engage minds and encourage partnership. Here’s how:
To learn more about our deeply discounted virtual coding lessons and group classes as well as how we work to encourage collaboration between coders, reach out. After all, kids who code together, grow together.
Dear Coding Space parents,
We know that this is a difficult time for everyone as we navigate the uncharted territory presented to us by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a company, we have been monitoring the situation very closely, wanting to ensure that we are doing right by our families, students, and teachers, which is why we quickly made the decision to temporarily suspend in-person classes. In addition to offering make-up classes later this year, we are currently working on plans to shift our in-person classes to a remote environment should we not be able to resume after our spring break on March 30th. We will update you as decisions are made surrounding this, but in the meantime, we’re working to continue your child’s education now, from the comfort of your home.
We also know that with some schools closed and others providing online classes and homework, parents are looking for additional academic support for their children. Our parent company, Private Prep, is a leading provider of K-12 tutoring and test prep services, both in-person and online. Our personalized curriculum uses the latest in education research to meet each student’s learning style and individual academic needs, plus our custom online portal makes frequent and consistent communication easy. Starting Thursday, March 19, we’re offering a 15 percent discount for all online tutoring sessions. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If there is anything further you would like for us to consider during this period, please don’t hesitate to reach out so that we can partner together during this challenging time. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
The Coding Space team
Though women make up nearly half the world’s workforce, according to Adeva IT, as of 2018, women held only 25 percent of all the jobs in the tech industry. The Coding Space is committed to changing this statistic by empowering young women through our camps, community, and classes like GirlCode. We asked some of our students why there aren’t more women in technology and why should girls learn to code. Here is what these future leaders of innovation thought.
“The reason that girls aren’t into coding is because they think it’s for boys. They need to be given the opportunity to be proven wrong. It’s a stereotype that coding is for boys.” —Isabella, age 11
“Girls should learn how to code, because it will be really fun for them. And also to show that women can do the same things as men.” —Sofia, age 10
“People think that men are better, and men can do the harder jobs. But coding is not just for men, it’s for everybody.” —Joy, age 10
“When you code, it’s usually really challenging but really fun. I’ve grown a lot since the first time I coded.” —Natalie, age 9
“Coding is really creative because you can type in whatever you want and all of a sudden the color changes or you create new character. You can just do whatever your mind wants you to do. I think it’s the most creative thing I’ve ever done.” —Alycia, age 12
We believe coding can change the world for the better and our GirlCoders are on the front lines of innovation through their creativity, ingenuity, and determination. Learn more about our GirlCode classes and get involved here.
Recent research suggests that nearly 65 percent of today’s kindergartners will land in jobs that don’t yet exist, likely in the technology, science, and math industries. Thus, helping kids--and girls especially--to utilize critical thinking and a growth mindset to discover the joys of math and science is essential. The Coding Space is proud to be part of the solution, arming young women with the skills they'll need to compete, through coding classes for all skill levels and fun opportunities like GirlCode. We had the opportunity to speak with one of our incredible GirlCode teachers, Arnolyn Beach, about her experiences with the program.
Welcome, Arnolyn! Tell us: how old were you when you first got started with programming and what inspired you to teach with The Coding Space?
Hi! I moved from Arizona to New York a little over two years ago and I have never been more excited for a new journey. I learned to code my freshman year in college and at first I was a bit on the edge because the idea of being able to code and talk to my computer seemed too good to be true. I was inspired to teach with The Coding Space because I wanted to give children the chance to express themselves creatively and harness their individual talents through a unique outlet.
Why do you think learning programming skills is important for girls especially?
I believe that learning how to program as a young woman is not only important but also liberating. We are allowing young women the chance to step into a field that has mostly been dominated by men and we are giving them tools and resources to harness their own creativity and individuality. Together, we can build one another up and truly make a change in our current gender norms for future generations and show that they can be anything they truly want to be.
Tell us more about GirlCode. How do you see it benefiting girls interested in programming?
GirlCode is a program offered by The Coding Space that allows young women the chance to learn with other GirlCoders in a unique setting. GirlCode benefits girls by giving them an opportunity to learn without the male-dominated coding classes that could intimidate them, fostering creativity, self-expression, and confidence. GirlCode truly makes a difference for our young women by giving them the space that they need to develop their own individuality without feeling like they are less deserving and shows them that there are other girls out there who have similar interests.
How can parents spark a child's interest in science, math, and technology?
Encourage kids to think critically about the world around them. Ask your child questions that they haven’t really had the chance to think more about. For example, “How do you think a computer works?” This question will definitely get your kid thinking. As a family, this approach will help foster critical thinking skills and applying an integrated form of learning.
What’s one thing you wish parents knew about getting girls into coding?
Coding isn’t just for boys! Girls are capable of so much more and by giving your daughters an outlet to harness their journey of coding, you are uplifting them and showing them that girls can be anything boys can be. There is no limit to what a girl can do because of her gender and it is important that we give our future engineers the chance to dream big. And, to the future girls who take this journey: make it count and be ready to change the world.
Thank you for chatting with us, Arnolyn, and for helping our GirlCoders dream big! To learn more about GirlCode, click here.