We didn’t spent an hour with coding this week, but I did introduce my sixth graders to the Hour of Code site yesterday, and gave them time to dig into some of the activities. As in other years, I explained why we talk about programming and code in an ELA class this way:
- Not all of us will be computer programmers but nearly all of us will use technology. It’s good to have a basic understanding of what goes on “behind the screen” and to understand that people program the software that runs our games, apps and more
- Programming is a logic puzzle, requiring patience and sequential thinking. The Hour of Code activities are engaging and move from easy to challenging in a solid way
- We’re into our Video Game Design unit, and I have been sharing information and video about paths towards game design opportunities down the road, and computer programming, obviously, is a huge and growing field
- You can read what I wrote for Middleweb two years ago about Why We’re Learning About Coding in Writing Class. I think my argument remains valid.
Some of my students were completely hooked by the Hour of Code, and I will be using the site as an “extension learning” opportunity as some finish other projects. Along with a new activity connected to Moana, the activities with Minecraft, Angry Birds and Flappy Bird are all favorites.
In one of my classes, I had a student how already used Scratch, and a small group gathered around him as he taught others how to build an animation in Scratch, all on his own. I thought that moment was pretty cool and just let it unfold without my interference.
Peace (coded to run in all of us),