It's Hour of Code Week!

This week is Computer Science Education Week! And, to go along with that, is the Hour of Code, which is designed to expose everyone to computer science regardless of their existing skill set (or that of their teacher).

I think the timing for the Hour of Code could not be any better in every way. Every day we hear reports of needing more coders in the country to fill tons of vacancies for jobs. And this time of year we struggle to keep our students' and, lets face it, our heads in the game. The day before Thanksgiving break, I had classrooms at the middle school having their kids do an Hour of Code knowing that the propensity was to check out otherwise.

If you are interested in doing it in your classroom, the resources available are pretty limitless! But here are some to get you going:

  • Hour of Code from Code.org: They make it as easy as you can get and teachers don't need to have any coding experience at all. Most of the tutorials are based with blockly code that you drag and drop into the coding field. And the tutorials are meant to be fun and engaging for our students with characters like Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Minecraft, Flappy Bird, Angry Birds, and more. I've gone through them all and they are really doable and fun!
    • If you are a teacher at Bonny Eagle, I've gone ahead and set up an app smash taking the tutorials and putting them into Google Classroom. Then our students have a community built for them and are free to explore all of the tutorials. All you need for you or your student to join is the class code, which is imywnb4. Once they have that, they can go to it! We have almost 200 students enrolled already and several middle school students have completed all five tutorials and are now working more in depth with their coding skills in the advanced group.
  • Made with Code from Google: They released an Inside Out HQ hour of code tutorial that is similar, in some ways, to the tutorials from Hour of Code. But it is based on the Inside Out film, which may prove to be more engaging for some students. There are only three levels to the tutorial, so it really is designed to be completed in an hour of less.
  • Hour of drawing with code (2015) from Khan Academy: Many of you already know Khan Academy and they are bringing their skill set to Hour of Code. "Learn how to program drawings using JavaScript by designing your very own snowman. Try it on your own or with your class!"
  • Hour of Code from Tynker: If you are at the middle school (or lower) then you may want to check out the tutorials from Tynker, which include tutorials with Monster High, Matchbox, Code Monsters and more. I have yet to play any of them, but they look like a great draw for the right age set.
They certainly make it easy to do an Hour of Code! And, if you want to get going with it, I am more than happy to help in any way I can! I'll be working with a clan at this middle school this week as they dedicate an afternoon to it, which I am very excited about. All you need to do is make an appointment with me and I'll be there. I'll even lead it if that would make it more comfortable for you.

Happy coding!

Never stop learning. Susie from SimmonsClassroom.com

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