This paper describes a pedagogical approach, Coding as Another language (CAL) to teach programming and computational thinking in early childhood. The CAL curriculum connects powerful ideas from the discipline of computer science with ideas from literacy in a way that is developmentally appropriate for children 4-8 years of age. CAL is free and can be used with two widely available programming environments for young children: the free on-screen ScratchJr app and the KIBO robotics kit that doesnt require keyboards or screens. Through 24 lessons centered on books, CAL emphasizes creative play and self-expression by positioning the learning of programming as the mastering of a new symbolic language. In addition, CAL provides opportunities for socio-emotional development in the context of a collaborative play-based learning environment, a coding playground, in which there is purposeful exploration of ethical and moral values and intentional promotion of positive behaviors and chrachter strenghs.
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