The students I spoke with found the program fun and enjoyed applying their math skills to a real-life situation in order to make the video game that they were designing. One thing Sarah really liked about Bootstrap was the fact that it required students to pay careful attention to details. When their program wouldn’t work if they missed a single character, number, or symbol they would have to debug it in order to figure out what went wrong. She wants her math students to use the same skills in algebra, such as paying attention to whether or not a number in an equation is a positive or negative and appreciating the importance of these details, too.
The students completed numerous exercises in a workbook to learn that basics of coding and then used the WeScheme program to write their code. It was a lot of work for the students but they benefited from it. They were able to see and experience the importance and value of math skills and see computer coding as a possible future area of study and career. Math students taught by Rhonda Lundgren at our other middle school will begin their Bootstrap unit later this week. Bootstrap is one of many tools used in Minnetonka Schools to teach computer programming and computer science. More on the Tonka Codes Program: