Next week is Computer Science Education Week (December 3-9, 2018) and many schools will be participating in Hour of Code.  Hour of Code is an initiative designed to introduce  coding using 1 hour activities  to show that anybody can learn the basics of coding and broaden participation in the field of computer science.  Having an understanding of coding is  important to provide a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path.

However, beyond that, coding can can teach skills that apply across the curriculum that go beyond computer science.   It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity.  Over the past few years, we have had a variety of classrooms participate in Hour of Code and the hope is that we continue to increase our numbers.   Here are a variety of resources to  assist in getting the ball rolling in your classroom…whether it be before, during or after the week of Hour of Code.  

HOUR OF CODE: ACTIVITIES AND TUTORIALS:  The activities below only require 60 minutes to complete and would be great activities to run at some point next week. 

  • Dance Party – code.org has partnered with musicians (Ed Sheeran, Imagine Dragons, Avicii and Aloe Blacc, Keith Urban and more) for dance party coding activity
  • Minecraft turtorials
  • Lightbot – uses programming logic to solve fun puzzles
  • Intro to App Lab – Students 13+ can create their own app in JavaScript using block-based or text based programming
  • Animate your name in Scratch
  • Coding Mathematics Models – Students grades 6+ can learn to code different mathematical models in the language Python with Tracy the Turtle.  It is recommended students have completed Algebra I or higher. 

For additional activities and information on Hour of Code, visit www.hourofcode.com/us.  

ACTIVITIES THAT DON’T INVOLVE A COMPUTER: Are you interested in teaching an activity without the use of a computer or you teach a level that does not have a computer?  No Problem.  These activities are Unplugged coding ideas:

  • Hello Ruby– This book series is a great way to teach programming to young learners
  • Dance Party Unplugged – same activity as above, but without the use of a computer
  • My Robotic Friends – this is a fun unplugged activity teaches students the basics of coding by having students accomplish specific tasks without discussing them.  
  • Printable coding cards –  Printable coding cards can be used with students for a hands-on, offline coding experience. Coding cards from Tickle AppScratch Jr or Scratch can be used with online coding activities, unplugged lessons or even with robots!

GOING BEYOND AN HOUR OF CODE:  If you are looking to spend more than 60 min of coding next week (or in the future) going beyond the Hour of Code here are some activities to try:

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