Lesson Plan

Hour of Code Classroom Exchange Project

Intermediate grade students will explore an iPad or online resources as an Hour of Code activity. Collaboration will be stressed on a follow-up day as partners learn from one another the resource they explored.
Lisa S.
Technology Integration Specialist
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts

Students will be able to...explore a beginning level of coding, work collaboratively to support another student's coding efforts, and respond with written and oral reflection about the coding project.

English Language Arts
Grades 3 – 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hour of Code Introduction

Using the Hour of Code website, at https://hourofcode.com/us show one of the short videos about why to participate in Hour of Code:  https://hourofcode.com/us/promote/resources#videos


Student Instructions

Computer programming and computer science is a good job and one you might want to consider as you think about what you'd like to be when you grow up.  There are going to be many jobs available in the field of computer science in the future and computer scientists earn a good living and can live and work in many places in the world.  Computer scientists need to learn to think logically so they can tell computers what they want them to do.  This process is called "coding" and today we are going to learn some basic ways to talk to computers using code.

2 Class-by-class iPad App Introductions

Choose a different iPad app to introduce to each class you will work with.  On this day, the students will explore and become an "expert" on their app.  On a follow-up "Class Coding Exchange Day," each student will help a partner student from another class learn the basics of using the app you introduce today.

In our school, I do this lesson with three 3rd grade classrooms, so I choose three apps to use:  one in each 3rd grade room.  I give the students an encouraging talk about perseverance and deep thinking and then the briefest overview of the app that I can.  I want the majority of their work in the app to be experiential and experimental.  I want them to fail and work through their failures.  The teacher's role during this time is to be an encourager, a question-prober, but not a problem-solver for the students.  Vocabulary to introduce can include:  computer science, code, coding, computer programmer, sequence, loop, condition, conditional, bug, debug.  

As the teacher, try out each of the coding apps you have access to.  Many of them are free or have free versions.  It is important for the teacher to complete a few steps of the app or resource the students will be using so they can pick the one most appropriate for their class's interest and ability level, but it is NOT important for the teacher to have completed the WHOLE set of levels for the resource.  Pic the apps or websites you want the classes to use and assign one to each class in the exchange.  On this first day, everyone in the class will be learning the same one app that they will then teach to a partner in another class on a follow-up day.

If students are approaching frustration level, let them ask for assistance from someone in the class, but don't let students work in partners unless you are limited by the number of available devices available to you.  The focus of today is letting each child explore coding independently.  

I often observe strengths at coding in some of the students who struggle with traditional academic skills.  And students who find traditional school easy sometimes struggle with coding.  Pay attention to this as the classroom facilitator.

Student Instructions

Explore the coding app or website that your teacher has told you about.  See how many levels you can complete during our hour together.  Next week, you'll have time write a story about your program, so  during your work time, be sure to take 2-3 screenshots of your success to use on our Reflection Day.  You will also be sharing your app with a partner in another classroom, so think about what the most important things would be for you to tell someone else as you complete each level.

3 Classroom Exchange Day

Pair two classes up for this step.  Assign partners, one from each classroom.  Students will each have 15 minutes to "teach" their partner the basics of how to use the app that they learned during their Hour of Code experience.  Remind students that is isn't any fun to be shown exactly what to do, but it is nice to have some hints and encouragement from the teacher.  Half way through the class period, switch teachers so that each partner gets to be the teacher.

Remember to have partners take a photograph of one another that shows the student's face and a bit of their ipad screen while working.  Before you go back to your separate classrooms, be sure to AirDrop the photos to your partners so they can use them on our Reflection Day.

As the teachers, be sure to snap lots of photos during the partner work that you can share with one another and enter into your See-Saw journal later, too!

Student Instructions

During this time, you'll get a chance to learn a new  coding app or web tool from a friend in the other class.  After a bit, you'll switch and the partner who is teaching will be the student and learn the other person's coding app or web tool.  

When you're the teacher, remember only to give a few instructions and hints, but don't take over and do everything for the student...that's no fun at all!  The teacher should NOT touch the iPad...only the student!  

When you're the teacher, also remember to use your iPad to take a photo of your partner while he/she works.  Try to get their face and part of their iPad screen to show how they're doing.   At the end of our time together, you may AirDrop your photos to one another so you have your own picture on your own iPad for use in tomorrow's writing project.

4 Hour of Code Reflection Day

Ask students to create 2 journal entries using the See-Saw app.  Their entries should each include a picture:  one of their favorite screen shot taken while working on their coding app and one taken by their partner that shows the student's face and the iPad as they worked.  Direct students to make comments on each journal entry.  One entry should be a recorded audio entry spoken to describe the photo and the other should be a written entry using the text tools to describe the photo.

Student Instructions

Make two journal entries into your See-Saw journal.  Use the photos you have from the day we did coding in the classroom and when you worked with your partner.  

For one picture, please record your voice speaking some sentences about the picture and how you liked learning about coding.

For the second picture, please write some sentences about coding and what you think about doing more coding in the future.