Introduction To Coding: Hour of Code
Using an interactive whiteboard, in this case a SmartBoard, the Lightbot website was opened up and ready as the students enterd the classroom. Lightbot has several iPad Apps, including a free version for the Hour of Code. In this case the website http://light-bot.com/hocflash.html is being used.
To start the class I ask the students who likes to solve puzzles?
As a whole class we try and solve the first few puzzles available on the website.
2 What is Coding?
Using the SmartBoard, the whole class brainstorms around the question, "What is coding?"
After collecting the ideas the conversation will shift to how coding, also know as computer programming, is used with computers, video games, animation and other computer science areas. This is a good opportunity to connect to student interests such as video games, smart phones or cartoons.
Discuss with students how the activity with the Lightbot website may be connected with coding. The goal is to have the students make the connecting to how they were telling the robot what to do.
3 Begin Coding
On the Code.org website, under the Learn section, there is a tutorial for the Hour of Code. The tutorial consists of short video clips, instructional slides (that can be downloaded) and a block programing puzzle.
There are several ways to have the students go through the Hour of Code task. Initially it is good to remain as a whole class and complete the first few puzzles on the SmartBoard. This allows the teacher to gauge understanding and address any questions or misconceptions on teh activity. The teacher can then have the student break up into small groups, pairs or individual activities. This may be dependent on available technology and behavior concerns.
Teachers can also set up a class by creating an account and then having students register. This will show the teacher what puzzles the students have completed.
The teacher can then have the students come back as a whole class acitvity and complete all 20 puzzles to see how students solved the activities.
4 Going Beyond The Hour of Code
Teachers can then continue teaching code through several online resources.
Code.org has an additional 20+ hour curriculum for k-8 as well as beta testing a early reader curriculum for elementary school.
Tynker is great for younger students and has student completing tasks in order to progress.
For older students who are more interested in the nuts and bolts of computer programing Code Academy has a number of self paced activities for learning different programming languages.