Editor’s Note: A key part of Morgan Park Academy’s global curriculum is a week of school-wide global explorations each March, which this year included an Upper School trip to study the ecology and culture of Andros Island in the Bahamas.
When you think of the Bahamas, you usually picture gorgeous beaches, palm trees, tourists, and endless sun. Our Project Week trip to Andros Island was all of that and so much more — except for the tourists!
While the capital of Nassau is known for its populated areas, Andros, the largest of the islands, is acclaimed for its friendly residents and an abundance of nature available for scientific research and exploration.
Morgan Park Academy’s Computer Science curriculum begins in Lower School, with classes that introduce the fundamental concepts of CS to all students, beginning even before children learn to read.
During tech classes, MPA students are introduced to CS principles through algorithmic thinking. A typical lesson for kindergarten would include a brief discussion of the concept, followed by a series of computer activities on pattern recognition in computing.
Students in grades 1-5 streamline their focus on algorithmic thinking through loops and conditionals. Each class has a different goal; thus, student expectations are clearly defined. We accomplish these goals through various teacher-led, independent, and collaborative learning activities.
I try to make these activities fun for young learners; it is vital that students enjoy their newfound experience of programming. I’m also hands-on with the students, which means logging onto my device and working together to problem-solve these activities. It’s important for students to see me participate and to know that we’re a team!