No, not Christmas, it’s time for the Hour of Code! Every year I look forward to this event and sharing it with my students. The official Hour of Code is next week, and we’ve been gearing up for it over the past few weeks in grades K-6. Yes, you heard me: even in Kindergarten! There’s no age limit (up OR down!) to learning to code, and all of my grade levels have been enjoying it.
Kindergarten has started off simple with some unplugged coding activities. We talked about the vocabulary terms algorithm, bug, and debug, and they practiced ‘writing’ code by directing a partner to various points in the room. It was hilariously fun, and they are itching for the next activity. This week, I think I’ll introduce the Ozobots and their color code. I’ll never forget last year listening to a five year old explain to the principal what an optical sensor was and how it worked!
First grade has been using one of my favorite intro to coding sites, Lightbot. They love trying to figure out the correct steps to light up all the blue blocks. I have had quite a few come in and tell me they are either playing Lightbot on their computers at home, or they have found the iPad app and are playing on their tablets. Next week we’ll probably play Robot Turtles – always a big hit with the little guys!
Second through sixth grades have been loving Code.org’s Hour of Code activities. They love the programming games based around familiar topics. The Minecraft activity has been the crowd favorite by far, closely followed by Star Wars and Flappy Bird. I practically have to force the kids out of the lab at the end of the lesson! Even the teachers are getting into it. I always enjoy spreading the love of coding! In the next few weeks, we’ll be experimenting in another favorite site of mine, Scratch. I can’t wait to see what my kids create!
There are hundreds of amazing, FREE resources for learning how to program on the web. If you are looking for some resources, here are some of my favorites: