Getting Loopy during Computer Science Education Week

Future Ready Librarians are brave before perfect, and I bravely lead my students into a variety of learning experiences, hoping to find the perfect way to engage them.

We celebrated Computer Science Education Week (12/3-12/7/18) again this year by participating in the Hour of Code.   My primary grade students were introduced to the world of computer coding through various online and “unplugged” games that take them step-by-step through the process.

My kindergarten students and I got a little “loopy” by first reading Sing and Dance in My Polka Dot Pants by Erik Litwin, danced to the accompanying video, and then students took turns leading their classmates using the Code Your Own Dance Party lesson plan resources that I modified on Code.org.  If you would like to see my lesson, please click here (feel free to make a copy of it for your own use).

Persistence is the name of the game when it comes to building a strong foundation. After watching the Code.org video that compared building a foundation to building a sandcastle (link here), we moved to the tables for hands-on learning.  My 4th grade library helpers were so supportive of the 1st graders as they explored the concept of foundations by attempting to build a tower with toothpicks and gumdrops that would support a picture book. If you would like to see my lesson, please click here (feel free to make a copy of it for your own use). A book that works alongside this lesson is How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk.

Students in grades 2 to grade 5 classes brought their Chromebooks to media class so I linked the code.org/learn website in their Google Classrooms and allowed them to self-select a game or games for their grade levels.  I encourage my students to read and try (and fail) and try again – and to ask their table mates to help them.  Students helping students is a great way for them to learn and grow.

With each class that participated in Hour of Code, I sent home information about Hour of Code and why computer science is so important to the success of our students, and our global society. I included the Hour of Code website is https://code.org/learn and I encouraged all to continue with their learning with Beyond Hour of Code herehttps://hourofcode.com/us/beyond.

I have an active makerspace in my library, and created a Coding Club using Google Classroom.  In it, I share resources provided by Code.Org (and a few other organizations, too).

I have been involved with Code.org since I discovered the organization several years back, and have benefitted from two full-day workshops.  You will not only have the opportunity to network with some amazing teachers, you will go home with a wonderful book and lots of hands-on resources to use in your lessons.  I highly recommend their workshops – take a look at their professional learning opportunities here … ”Anybody can learn.  Start today.”

The Creative Librarian: Adventures in School Librarianship contains affiliate links – please click here for information.

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