Teacher Review For Code.org

Hour Of Code? How about HOURS of Code!

Audra B.
Technology coordinator
Wheatley School
Old Westbury, NY
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies
EdTech Mentor
My Rating 5
Learning Scores
Engagement 5
Pedagogy 5
Support 5
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time More than 15 minutes
Great for Creation
Knowledge gain
Student-driven work
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
Our school district participates in the worldwide Hour of Code. This site helps teachers of all levels incorporate coding into their classrooms with ease and with age-appropriate tools that allow for academic growth and fun. For example, there were multiple levels of coding associated with the new Star Wars movie that was coming out in December. The students were so excited to try to build a Star Wars game, they didn't realize how much they were learning. Students from Kindergarten through 6th grade were able to start at a level that was appropriate for their reading and comprehension skills...Code.org has that built into their website! There were also Minecraft-based and Frozen-based games for children who were not interested in Star Wars! The other amazing thing about Code.org is how "ahead of the game" they are in their offerings. Their website is updated constantly and they add current and timely thematic coding opportunities for every student from ages 4 - 104! The directions are video-based and at each successively more difficult level, there is a video that explains what the student will see next. The coding is "block-based" and is easy to understand when a student makes a mistake. The student can retry as many times as necessary to make the code correct (just like a real programmer would) and achieve victory in their coding and their game.
My Take
I think that Code.org offers more tools than any one teacher can use in a regular classroom, however, it is a wonderful way to introduce kids to the art and science of coding as well as logic-based thinking. In a computer lab, a teacher could base a 20-week (or more) curriculum off of the permanent collections housed at Code.org. Students can also take what they've learned at school and work on the skills and build on them at home.