Six Questions Second Grade Students asked me about Coding

As part of the Hour of Code, our whole team has been visiting and Skyping with students to help them get hands-on with code and answer questions about how we use it at Trinket.  These questions were sent to me by Ms. Gerdes’ second grade class in Grapevine, Texas.
Ms. Gerdes and her class!
Ms. Gerdes and her class!

When do you begin coding?

Elliott: You can start any time!  I started when I was 27 or 28, several years after college.  I’m 31 now so I’ve been coding for 3 or 4 years.  But I know people who started when they were 5 or 6 years old, and they are often the best

What subjects should we focus on to be better at coding?

Elliott: Great question.  i think coding is like a language.  Take English- it’s important to learn English but once we do we use writing in all sorts of subjects, even Science and Math.  For young students like you, just find something you’re interested in and learn that, just like you do with reading books.  Later on you can focus on specific subjects.
Here’s a game that may be fun to play, and you can see the code behind it:

What subjects can we use coding in?
Elliott: In science coding is great for making charts.  In math it’s like a more powerful calculator.  You can even use it in art.  Check out these artful snowflakes:

Can you reuse a code or do you have to start all over again?

Elliott: Great question!  *Most* of the code we use was written by someone else already.  In coding we share code all the time, which is called Open Source.  It’s like as is we were all writing books together and reusing each others chapters, then adding new chapters, or changing the drawings.

Why do you feel coding is important?

Elliott: Computers are all around us, and they’ll do whatever we tell them to!  We just need to learn to code and then the computers are ready to do cool things for us.

What do you suggest for us to get started coding?

Elliott: For 2nd graders, drag-and-drop coding is best.  Typing skills can make text code slower for you.  So start with blocks but never be afraid of text- it’s the same thing!
  • is wonderful!
  • Scratch is a little more advanced, but very fun.  You can find games and see how they work at
  • And when you’re ready to see what text code is like, try our Hour of Python challenges, and you can see what the Trinket team has built with code!
It was tons of fun chatting with these students.  Want to learn more about Ms. Gerdes?  Visit her DonorsChoose profile!  Want someone from Trinket to Skype with your students?  Get in touch!