‘Tis the Season for Coding
Type of technology: Ipads or Computers
SAMR Model Rating: Redefinition
Grade level: Elementary 2-6
Subject area: Computer Science
It’s that time of year again! Frosty the Snowman is traveling back to his Winter Wonderland. Santa Claus is polishing his boots and the elves are hard at work making Kate Spade purses and Jimmy Choo Shoes! It is also the time, when children young and old, gather around their tech devices and learn how to code.
That’s right! ‘Tis the season for Coding!
To find out more information watch the video below:
The enthusiasm you see in this video is 100% authentic! I participated in an Hour of Code last year and my students had a blast! To check out how to sign up and get involved read my Teach Kids to Code post. Not only will you learn how to join the movement but you will also find out how my third graders fared using a Minecraft Coding program.
Programs to get you started
This year the Hour of Code will take place during the week of December 5th. In order to make participation in this event a breeze, I have reviewed a few coding programs that you can easily use in your classroom.
EASY PROGRAMS TO USE
You will find the above programs on the code.org website. I have tried each one of these programs, and they are very user friendly. I also love the fact that they are translated into several other languages; so everyone can participate!
On the day you decide to participate in an Hour of Code, show your students the associated introductory video, then let them try to complete the coding puzzles. The coding puzzles encourage students to “write” code using blocks.
Each application begins with an easy coding task and then becomes more complex as higher levels are reached.
TIP: Let your students work with a partner or confer with another person to complete the puzzles. Trust me, this will prevent you from spending your hard earned cash on Excedrin. Also, it doesn’t hurt to try a few puzzles on your own so that you can easily answer any questions that arise.
A Medium Challenge Program
6th grade and Up
Best if kids have a little bit of coding experience with blocks
Use a chromebook/laptop
If you want to expose your students to a slightly more challenging coding experience, you should definitely use Vidcode. This program, also on the code.org website, combines the usage of blocks with freedom of choice.
As students are prompted to create a video greeting card, they are allowed to choose what effects they want to include in the final project. WARNING! There is a lot of reading involved in this program so prepare to modify your instruction to meet the needs of struggling readers.
Tip: Have your students make a video before your Hour of Code day. That way they won’t spend their Hour of Code trying to figure out what message they want to send to their bestie!
The REAL Deal
Some Coding Experience Recommended
When you go to the teacher page, you will be able to download lesson plans that will help you to guide your students through the coding process. This program also requires kids to read and toggle between screens, so they should have some familiarity with using a laptop computer.
Hopefully these programs will inspire you to take the leap and schedule an hour of code in your classroom this December! Happy Coding!