January 1, 2017 by wendy
Hello Ruby is a colourful and playful children’s book that illustrates fundamental concepts behind computers, coding, and computational thinking. It centres on a young girl named Ruby, who loves asking questions and has a lively imagination. One day, Ruby’s father leaves her five gems for her to find. She sets off on an adventure to find these gems, deciphering clues, drawing maps, and making new friends. As children and parents follow along on Ruby’s adventure, they learn helpful strategies for problem solving that apply not only to coding but also to every day situations.
Through Ruby’s adventure, children and parents are gradually introduced to computational thinking concepts. The book doesn’t cover any specific programming languages. It isn’t intended to teach children how to code. More importantly, it teaches children strategies that will help them solve problems. These strategies are not only useful for computer programmers but for everyone.
The big ideas and key concepts include understanding that big problems can be broken down into smaller ones, making plans and working with others can be helpful, and it’s important for instructions to be clear so that the end result is what everyone expects.
The best feature of this book is that each chapter comes with unplugged activities to give readers a chance to apply the concepts introduced in the chapter. The activities encourage children to use their imagination, and children and parents can experience the activities together. For example, after Chapter 2, children can design their own keyboards to learn how computers store information. After Chapter 5, children can further explore the concept of algorithms and loops by creating their own dance routines. And at the very end of the book, children can put it all together by making their own board games.
Each chapter in the book includes a Toolbox section that gives additional information for parents about the key concepts in the chapter. Parents can also find more activities on the website at helloruby.com. Overall, Hello Ruby is a fantastic resource for children and grown-ups to explore and learn about computational thinking and coding together.