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How to Code a Sandcastle — 18 Comments

  1. STEM/STEAM—this book will take students (and their parents) through a step by step tutorial on ‘How to Code a Sandcastle.’ The fact that the books talks about technology and steps…worries me—because tech. Becomes outdated so quickly. This book is one that would be PERFECT as a book loaded onto an online library to following along. 4 of 5 stars.

  2. I really enjoyed this book. It is a great introduction to coding vocabulary and concepts. The illustrations added to the explanations to make the concepts more clear. I enjoyed that the author put in why different steps in the coding process are important, and what would happen if they are left out or done wrong. It takes a technological idea and outlines it with a fun summer activity that kids love. I will definitely use this one in STEAM or coding programs.

  3. I just bought this book at the end of the school year because I just started coding with my students. This will be a great introduction book to learn the new coding vocabulary. The story is good enough to keep their interest, yet memorable enough to recognize during our first coding lessons. Good purchase.

  4. I enjoyed this book and its ability to explain to students coding vocabulary. As someone who works at a STEM school, I recommended to our computer teacher that she add this book to her library. I am confident it will be something useful for her and fun for students.

  5. This book had clear interesting pictures that creatively “showed” the technical action of the words. It is a great introduction to coding vocabulary and concepts. The story also has humor and and a story line that holds keeps a reader engaged and interested. 5/5 stars

  6. I thought this book was very clever and interesting. I don’t know a thing about coding, so it was a good, very basic introduction for me. It was a great idea for the author to use something kids really enjoy (building sandcastles) to demonstrate the process of coding. I am starting to become intrigued by the notion of coding and the insistence by many people that everyone needs to learn how to code. Why is that? Is there something that I could do with the skill of coding that would improve my life in some way? This book is also a very good example of sequencing and the importance of being accurate. 4/5

  7. Love this book as an introduction to coding. I will definitely use it this year. The book both tells a story and simply explains coding terminology. I thought the author laid out the process beautifully. Very relatable to most students. I also found the definitions at the end of the book valuable, maybe I would read them first and ask students to be listening for how they are incorporated into the story.
    5/5 stars

  8. I have actually already used this in my library/technology class. We had used the words Sequence and Loop, so the kids really enjoyed seeing those terms in this story format. The addition of the If-Then-Else conditional was a new concept. I also appreciated that the book showed that you can reuse code, and that you can add to it later if you realize it was missing a step. These are important ideas for kids that aren’t necessarily intuitive when you are coding in an app.
    My students enjoyed this book, and I liked that it confirmed vocabulary and concepts that we had already discussed into a format that could be read aloud.

  9. This was a great book and would be so useful in introducing coding. It’s humorous, uses the beach and a sand castle to make it interesting for 2-3 graders and helps them think through many problems until a solution is found. The illustrations are great and learning how to write specific instructions would be a good writing assignment. It is an empowering book for girls and should be available in classrooms and the library. I would use it as a read aloud as well.

  10. I’ll admit I was not particularly excited to read this book; I was expecting it to be dry and dull, and overall just not engaging. I was glad to find that I was wrong. I loved the humor that Pascal introduces; rather than getting frustrated, upset, and disheartened, Pearl uses Pascal’s “incorrect” attempts as opportunities to be more clear and concise. I liked that this book took a problem-solving approach rather than following a script. I also really liked that reusing and revising previous code were emphasized too.

    I think this book would be a valuable addition to STEM curriculum, either for specialists or classroom teachers who incorporate STEM learning into their instruction. The emphasis on problem-solving and revising one’s work not only clearly illustrate the engineering design process, but also help build valuable skills for today’s world.

    Overall rating: 5/5 stars

  11. There was a lot of positives about this book: girl power, multicultural, coding, problem solving, etc. I thought the story itself seemed a bit forced. I didn’t like the dog who kept peeing on the castle. I could see using this book to introduce a lesson/unit on coding.

  12. Yes, I liked this book It is cute and clever and it does a fun job of explaining coding without being so didactic about it.
    This book is too long for storytime but if I ran a coding club, I would use it as an introductory read-aloud.
    This book would make a great book for any elementary classroom with a STEM curriculum or any other coding intro lessons. I also think it would be a good read aloud or recommendation for pleasure reading.
    5/5 stars

  13. I love this book. I have had my kids try coding in the classroom, but they don’t always grasp the concept of loops and if-then-else statements. This book has great examples of both and pictures that drive the understanding home. I would definitely read this book aloud before I introduce the coding lesson. I give this book a 5/5.

  14. What a great book to introduce coding to any age! My 4th grade codes and has a game fair each spring for our entire school! This book would also work well at lower levels too! The robot’s name PASCAL is also a fun connection to coding as well! There is a lot of built in humor in continuous problems always followed by a solution. There is a second book HOW TO CODE A ROLLER COASTER coming out this fall! Josh Funk also has a fun book called Lost in the Library! I would rate this book 5/5 stars!

  15. This book would be a valuable teaching book. The most obvious use is using it to introduce or reinforce a coding lesson. The author and illustrator make STEM interesting and relatable for kids. I appreciate how the definitions for coding vocabulary are part of the story. I can also envision this book being used as part of a conversation about growth mindset, especially in regards to trial and error. The illustrations are engaging and humorous. I rate this book 4/5 stars.

  16. I enjoyed this book. The illustrations were nice and would keep children interested in the book. I would use this book to introduce the steps of coding. I currently use a coding program in my classroom so I will use this book in the future to set base knowledge before with go into the coding program I use. The information at the end of the book was very helpful to understand the vocab used in the book

    Rating 4/5 stars

  17. I liked this book. This would be great for 2-3 graders and even younger. “Coding” is a very important thing to know how to do. This would be a really helpful book to read to help explain how to write stories or writing directions on how to do something.
    Kindergarten-2 usually write their stories with the beginning, middle and an end and sometimes struggle with explaining the order of stories.
    Besides being informative, this book has great illustrations and is funny.
    This book is a good example why it is important to have good instructions.
    I would definitely use this as a read aloud and proceed with writing. I would also leave this out for free reading.
    The rate this book 4/5 stars

    • This was a pretty clever book. I loved how they empower girls to get into the Science and Technology world. I would use this book during MLK week to reinforce that white men don’t rule the world anymore. I would rate it an 8 as I would have liked to get real coding instructions in the back. It would have been a nice touch.