Easy Way to Integrate Coding into Mathematics

I was doing some reflecting on our journey through coding after reading this article last year from Fractus Learning. As a teacher, diving into something new was a scary idea. Literally, I had no idea what coding was nor did I think I would understand it. But there was a game involved and I LOVE games. I'm sure you do too. So I couldn't resist, I had to at least see what this was all about. I watched the promo videos and it seemed easy. One thing led to another and I realized that this could really be something that my students could get into. So off me and +Trevor Krikst (@trevorkrikst) went!

We started out with gaming from the resources provided by Is was an easy start. The students watched the quick promo video that are still available on the site and had some pretty recognizable people in it. For one, ex-Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh amongst others. This set the tone for some excitement. Strangely enough before the video, just by saying that we will be doing some engineering in class, really sparked some excitement. So off we went. We dove right in, into the unknown world of coding. Students got to pick their own games, Lost in Space and Angry Birds which was too irresistible to pass up on. By partnering up, students had a friend they could discuss with and work through the problems with. It was pivotal having that partner to grow and learn together. The students made mistakes and had to figure out where they were going on. It was a puzzle they nor I had seen before. But that wasn't the best part.

These engineers were also mathematicians! They were doing math all along. The process of coding a characters moves in a game required understand and learning of degrees of motion along with problem solving skills and variables (eg: 90 degrees to the right, 5 jumps, turn 180 degrees). There were constant calculations being made.

Talk about integration! This was beyond that. For the students they were glued/engaged/hooked/wanting more. What started off as an hour of code turned into days of fun and days of continuing to work through problems that were not just meaningful for the students but meant so much to them. Our mathematicians / engineers got the opportunity to experiment with something that many have never or will never get a chance to try in their lives. It was having fun with mathematics through coding. An initiative that as educators we are going to take step back and take even more seriously this year. 

Are you scared of coding? I think there are a lot of us who are. Do us a favor, just try it! Thats all, go to, click on Angry Birds, then let the fun begin! The best part is there are coding games for kids K-8. YES K! If they kindergartens can be have fun while coding, so can we! 

Let your students try it for a day or two, just try, watch their faces and let us know how it goes @inquireinspire. We bet your mathematicians will be working like they have never worked before. 

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