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5th graders from Ms. Gerver’s class at West Side love doing computer coding challenges! Media Specialist, Ms. Fraiberg, teaches 4th-6th graders twice a week at West Side, along with Ms. Diehl who teaches KidOYO at Lloyd Harbor. Third graders are excited to begin in January; Ms. Fraiberg shared, “The kids love it! Sometimes the focus is so intense that it is completely silent; other times kids will help others nearby, even while social distancing.” KidOYO was initiated last school year, with great success in 4th-6th and 8th grade. This year it is expanding from 3rd - 9th. Students have been successfully learning coding basics since Kindergarten, where students begin by learning a Scratch language derivative using block coding. They use complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity to complete challenges and earn badges with KidOYO mentor support through Stony Brook University graduate students (who review, give feedback and badges for successful submissions). Teachers can also incorporate coding challenges across domains of study. Students progress through block coding, sprite editors, maze code, and into python, html, java and beyond. In basic terms, coding is problem-solving. In order to understand it, students must notate all their work and overcome roadblocks and challenges. The beauty is that they can all work at their own pace, to deepen their learning of computer programming. Amazing work!