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.”

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Coding is as easy as 1-2-3-click!

 

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As a lifelong learner, my goal is to learn something new every day, and to inspire my students to do the same.

hour of code banner

Celebrating Computer Science Education Week each year is one of the highlights of the school year for my students.  Each December we participate in the Hour of Code and learn beginning computer programming by coding games such as Angry Bird, Frozen, or Flappy Bird.  Hour of Code often uses Blocky which is a visual programming tool where students click blocks together to write code. To my students delight, Hour of Code added a Star Wars programming game and a Minecraft programming game this year.   Hour of Code encourages students to challenge themselves, work collaboratively, and explore computer science in a fun and engaging way.Hour of Code 2015 (6)

We were thrilled this year to be spotlighted in Montgomery County Public Schools’ MCPS Moment – to view the video, click here. My students did an amazing job during the filming!

Hour of Code 2015 (28)

If you are interested in giving your students the opportunity to explore computer programming, consider some of the following sites.

Blockly Games is a series of educational games that teach programming. It is designed for children who have not had prior experience with computer programming.

Other beginning programming educational websites that use Blockly are listed below (Courtesy Google Developers):

 

Blockly Games

Games for tomorrow’s programmers.

App Inventor

IDE for Android apps from MIT.

Code.org

K-12 computer science.

OzoBlockly

Programming line-following robots.

Wonder Workshop

Robots for play and education.

Open Roberta

Programming Lego EV3 robots.

Gamefroot

Make, play and share games.

Gameblox

Introduction to Game Design from MIT.

Made with Code

Encouraging girls to code.

scriptr.io

Powering your Internet of Things.