The project is a subject of great interest
Tatiana Kutseban, Preschool Teacher of the Nursery School-Kindergarten №46 of Orsha (Belarus)
Social life begins with kindergarten. Child’s future depends on the conditions in which a child is developing. A preschool teacher is a person who is responsible for our children and their future. As a teacher, I’m concerned with the choice of my students’ future profession.
Nowadays, children are more unique and developed. When five years ago I asked my students what job they want, their answers were a doctor, a firefighter, a hairdresser, a teacher. What job are children dreaming of today? According to the survey, 50% of my current preschoolers answered that they wanted to be a blogger, an animator, an IT specialist, a programmer. This is a natural change, because the age of information technology has come. My students are the children of new generation. In today’s world, a child practically from the very beginning sees various technical devices, which attract him. A computer helps a person to solve practical tasks. An information society is the future of our children. And children must be ready for living in it. Computer literacy is now becoming a must-have for every person
Today a two-year-old who has mastered a tablet won’t surprise anyone. But many parents have doubts about using a computer in kindergarten. They believe that the later a computer appears in a child’s life, the better. I also used to think so. However, a more in-depth study of the topic and, above all, practical experience have shown quite the opposite.
Preschoolers can easily absorb basic concepts of computer science and programming, and it’s not necessary to use computers to develop logical thinking.
Teaching children the elements of computer literacy can begin at preschool age. The computer is a new powerful tool for the development of children, but the wrong usage of computer in child’s life can lead to serious problems, first of all, it harms child’s health. However, preschoolers can easily absorb basic concepts of computer science and programming, and it’s not necessary to use computers to develop logical thinking.
A pilot educational project “Computer science unplugged”, which is a part of the republican project “Programming is the second literacy”, was launched in September 2019. This project couldn’t help but fascinate! It turned out to be the basis for the study of computer science and an excellent tool for the development of algorithmic thinking and logic in older preschool children. 5-6 years old preschoolers were not chosen by chance. This is the age when children become aware of what they are learning.
It is clear that before starting to practice, you need to study the theory at first. In August 2019 the Hi-Tech Park held a two-day seminar, where basic computer science courses for “Computer science unplugged” participants were organized. The event was interesting and useful. It lasted only two days, but I got so much energy that I wanted to recapture it to my students.
We work as one team in the “Computer science unplugged” project: the HTP managers, coordinators (heads of educational institutions) and tutors (preschool teachers). Now I am mastering a new role for myself - the position of a tutor.
A tutor is a specialist in the field of education who accompanies a child on the path of individual development, who creates conditions for the most comfortable and high-quality mastering of the material. In other words, an accompanying preschool teacher. My main task as a tutor is to introduce children to the digital world and prepare them intellectually for the study of computer science. Will I be able to live up to this title? One thing I know for sure - I like it, and I really hope that I can help many children.
Tutoring in education is called the profession of the future. To be a good tutor, you need to study hard, work on yourself and be able to change. In my opinion, the strength and the desire never to stop but to move forward will be found anyway.
I participate in the project in my free time, which I don’t have enough. Yes, my work takes a lot of time, but I learned to allocate my time and opportunities, so that my work doesn’t bring any harm to my family and children. And I’m willing to grow and improve to become a real professional.
Today I’m a member of “Computer Science Unplugged” community, where I can chat with those people who are engaged in this project. Participation in the project allows me to keep in touch with fellow tutors from other cities, share experiences, solve joint problems, and get answers to questions. Success is facilitated by the ability to work together. They are like-minded people, partners, friends. You can discuss class notes with them, consult during the work on the project. After all knowingly say: "Two heads are better than one."
Upon the request of parents, a study group was organized within the project. Groups of children are recruited. My fellow tutor and I got down to work. Students just begin studying computer science, so it is very important that each of them understands everything and does not get bored.
The diagnostics of children's knowledge, carried out at the initial stage, showed not very high results. Students didn’t get all information from the first lessons. The children had questions, doubts, uncertainty.
For example, while studying the topic “Preparing for acquaintance with denial”, the students performed well when selecting the opposite signs of objects, but they did not immediately begin to make statements with the particle “not”. The next day, in free activity, the children role-played a game "Shop". Noticing their interest, I decided to help them internalize the denial by joining in their game: "Can I buy a vegetable that is not red, not green, not yellow?" I asked. The "seller" immediately served me an eggplant. This is how the game "Shopping" appeared. At the end of this topic, the children easily coped with the tasks and the logical denial was as easy for them as shelling peas. So that we have already mastered two topics.
I noticed that the children have become more sociable, think outside the box. Besides, they are not afraid to speak out, love to play games with true and false statements and make up stories. Classes are interesting, entertaining and contribute to the development of intelligence. Children also like that at each study group meeting they wear T-shirts with “Computer science unplugged” logo and take backpacks.
You should praise children to get them to work. The children from study groups were interested in the assessment form proposed by the HTP. As a reward, different emoticons are used (with the image of a smiling, sad or pensive cat - a symbol of programming). These stickers help to reflect your mood in diaries.
Today this project is very popular among both children and parents.
Realizing that the family is the basis for the upbringing and development of the child, his success in education, I began to organize my work in close connection with the parents. Priority is given to interactive forms of engagement, which are characterized by involvement in proactivity and dialogue, free exchange of information. Such way of communication makes it possible to express your assumptions, wishes, disagreements on certain issues, to resolve organizational issues, and improves feedback.
At one of parents' meetings, I organized an open lesson where dads and moms could participate in the experts’ tournament. Not all parents were able to continue the pattern in the game "Entertaining Logic", and only a few of them managed to find the right path in the maze. At the same time, their children coped with similar tasks with a bang.
After my students demonstrated their success at the parents’ meeting, many like-minded people and "fans" appeared among dads and moms. They realized the importance and necessity of this project and became active participants. Now they show initiative in the implementation of ideas aimed at high-quality problem solving.
What about my achievements and results? For right now the main achievement of my work I consider the glinting eyes of my students, their enthusiasm, readiness to accept new, unusual knowledge, the desire to get results. Another sign of performance is my attitude towards classes. It is a constant creative process, which is challenging, exciting and productive.