Tag Archives: coding

Hour of code

Is your class taking part in #Hourofcode this coming week?

The background: Coding is part of computer science which is involved in our digital technology curriculum. But many teachers shy away from this, so a global effort has been made to make it easier to join in coding in the classroom.

Computer science involves problem solving, creativity and logical thinking. So hour of code takes place during Computer Science Education Week (USA) and this year is 4-10 December. Find out more basic information here. This page explains the process and includes a video to watch. You can also print out certificates to give to the students who complete the hour of code activity.

I decided to help a teacher friend run an hour of code in her grade 1/2 classroom but could I find an activity that would be suitable? I checked out the Hour of Code one hour tutorials and found one for grade 2-5 relating to Elsa and Anna from Frozen.

Snowflake n.4 13-Feb-2017

Alexey Kljatov via Compfight

When I was in the classroom, I explained to the children they were going to help teach Elsa and Anna how to skate and make beautiful snowflake patterns. I worked with 4 children for the first hour or so and had them run the tutorial on their own. There were a few questions, some help given by me and some comments were:

This is too hard …… wow I did it!

Can you help me? … to the student sitting next to them

I’m up to puzzle 6 .. wow

How did you do that?

Why is it going over that way? I’ll change that number.

In the session after lunch, these four children became the experts and could wander around the lab if students had questions. When all students were in the computer lab, I worked through the first couple of puzzles to show students:

  • how to click blocks together
  • what happened using start over
  • reading instructions carefully

After seeing most were having a go at the puzzles using Repeat blocks, I gathered them together again to do some more explaining  about using repeat blocks and how to drag lots of connected blocks into a repeat block.

About 20 minutes before school finished, we went back to the classroom. Some students had completed to puzzle 6, others were on 10 and some had got to puzzle 20. Fantastic work for grade 1/2 students who had no idea of coding before that lesson.

Their teacher mentioned she had got to about level 6 and then had troubles working out the next level on her own so was glad someone was there to help her get to the next part of the game.

What had the students learnt from this lesson on coding?

  • how to ask great questions
  • perseverance
  • thinking logically
  • take a guess, test, make changes, test again
  • read instructions
  • working with a partner
  • feeling of accomplishment as they completed each level

Digital technology curriculum

Foundation to year 2: Digital Technologies processes and production skills

Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems

Teachers: Here is a great resource for incorporating digital technologies into your curriculum.

Readers: Have you taken part in #HourofCode with your students? Which activity did they do? What did they learn from it? What did you as their teacher learn from it?

Ideas for coding in classrooms

Coding is one of those areas in which many teachers have very few ideas of using it in the classroom. So while I was at ISTE I tried to go to some sessions or gather notes from coding activities. Here are some of them. I haven’t looked through them yet but you might find some things of interest to you.

Using robots to create empathy in the classroom – a padlet presentation
Coding for educators
Helping kids code from Scratch – a Google slide presentation
Kids can code – links to website with lots of ideas
Tickle me robot – beyond the hour of code program
Even K-2 students can code – lots of ideas on this page

Just received an email from one of the exhibitor booths for a coding program called Bitsbox. This did look interesting when I saw it in use in the expo hall.

I’ll add more as I go through more resources from ISTE2016. But here are a couple of photos of bee bots and blue bots which allows more difficult coding to be used.

20160630-122649.jpg

20160630-122724.jpg

Coding in classrooms

Robot Diplomacy en Liceo Impulso

Embajada de los Estados Unidos en Uruguay via Compfight

Part of the Australian Curriculum next year is computer science which includes coding.

What is this, you ask?

Computer science involves creativity skills, problem solving skills and logic. One way students can do this is by coding. There are literally hundreds of websites on the net about coding but I am going to include a few here.

 December 7-13

Computer Science Education Week

 #Hourofcode

This is a chance for students and teachers to create something using coding. They include tutorials which you can do at any time over that week or any time of year in fact.

Here is the link to the How To Run an Hour of Code at your school.

Here is the 2015 Hour of Code video

 

There are also many other coding organizations your students can use. Tutorials are here on the Computer Science Education Week website, especially if you want to do more than one hour.

One teacher has a lesson plan about coding for young students based on Australian Curriculum and Scratch.

Here is a link to Code The Future which is a group of Aussie teachers and developers working together to help teach kids coding.

One of our young bloggers Denver is very keen on coding. Maybe he could help some very keen students from your class.