Early Childhood


Coding Constructions: Hands-On Computer Science Activities for Bright, Young Learners

Friday, November 10
1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
Location: 202 B

Many young gifted students are ready to learn to code, but what methods and tools are developmentally appropriate for young children, PreK through Grade 3? An optimal learning environment includes a combination of virtual experiences on a screen and tangible hands-on projects. In this session, the presenters draw on their experience developing enrichment courses in computer science for gifted students. We’ll identify the coding and engineering concepts that are appropriate for young academically talented children and explore the tools that build those skills. In particular, we’ll focus on the importance of balancing digital experiences on tech devices with hands-on projects using traditional classroom materials like blocks and LEGOs.

Ann Gadzikowski

Early Childhood Coordinator
Northwestern University

Ann Gadzikowski brings more than twenty-five years of experience as a teacher and administrator to her role as Early Childhood Coordinator at Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development. Ann’s primary responsibility at CTD is coordinating enrichment programs for young children age 3 through grade 4, at multiple locations in the Chicago area. A graduate of the Erikson Institute for Advanced Study in Child Development, Ann is the author of textbooks, leveled readers, and teacher guides. Ann's book, "Challenging Exceptionally Bright Children in Early Childhood Classrooms," provides guidance for preschool, kindergarten and child care teachers to challenge young students to think with greater complexity, depth, and creativity. Ann's next publication is "Robotics for Young Children: STEM Activities and Simple Coding" (Redleaf Press, 2017). For more information, visit www.anngadzikowski.com


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Leslie Morrison

Leapfrog Program Coordinator
Northwestern University

Leslie Morrison is Program Coordinator for Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development Program, serving students age 4 through grade 3. She has a Master's Degree in Education with a focus on Literacy, Language, and Culture. She has taught 5th, 6th, and 7th grade students, and has also served as an instructor in the Leapfrog Program. Leslie has designed and written curriculum for preschool through high school for a wide variety of publishers, including National Geographic School Publishing, McGraw-Hill, and Pearson/Scott Foresman.


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Coding Constructions: Hands-On Computer Science Activities for Bright, Young Learners


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