Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hour of Code for Tech Tools Tuesday

The Hour of Code is coming! 

I am proud to be part of this revolution, even though I do not have a complete lab in my library, nor do I have an hour of anything with any one class in the school.  So I do what I can, which is encourage students to participate in Hour of Code and get other teachers on board with keeping students engaged during the actual week for Hour of Code.

This year I will be teaching Unplugged coding lessons to my classes the week before the Hour of Code week.  I found the lessons at the Code.org website, and they are easy to prepare and use with all ages.

The first grade lesson is called Happy Maps, and you can find it here in the Code Studio part of Code.org. Students learn the how to tell a furry little friend how to get to the pot of gold using arrow commands on paper.

For second through fifth grade, I will be teaching a lesson provided by Thinkersmith for computer Science Education Week called My Robotic Friends.  I also found this lesson on Code.org. Students take turns playing the roles of "robot" and "programmer" to get the "robot" to build a tower using Cup Stacking Cups.  The students write the program using a set of predetermined arrow commands.

For my kindergarten classes, I will be reading a book in a series called Savvy Cyber Kids at Home.  This picture book, The Family Gets a Computer, is written by Ben Halpert and illustrated by Taylor Sutherland.  The book is geared towards parents, so I am glad to have it in my library for students to check out.  The kids in the book get a new computer at home, and learn about staying safe online with a Savvy Cyber Kid identity, instead of giving out any personal information.  There are lesson plans to go along with the book included at The Savvy Cyber Kids website.

Ultimately, coding is important to our students' future, so we need to provide a platform to learn about what it is and how it works.  Students learn problem-solving, decoding skills, and program writing during the Hour of Code.  Some may find the confidence to pursue a job in a field that they had never thought about, whether that is coding, graphic design, or another STEM-related field. The revolution is upon us, and I am excited to be a part of it!

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