An Entire Hour of Beach Cleanup!

June 14, 2021 2 By Ashley Peterman

Coding. What is it? Isn’t it that high-tech stuff that mainly computer science people do? After the Thursday lecture and practice using Hour of Code, I have discovered that coding is more than what you think it would be. When I think about it, coding is everywhere. If I want to walk a certain way or do a task, my own brain is going through a specific code to tell my body what needs to be done.

This week, I decided to try out Hour of Code. This was so so fun to try out and was a great way to learn all about coding. I decided to try to game, Beach Cleanup, which I feel could relate to several subjects in the curriculum.

Once the game loaded, it gave me the option to choose a game that was based on grade level. Since I plan to teach grade one, I chose the “make mazes” options which are for grades K-2. After clicking this, it gave me the option to choose kindergarten, grade one, or grade two. Of course, I chose grade one.

This coding game was pretty fun. Within each level, there were arrows at the bottom of the screen to indicate the direction that the fur-ball will travel. The objective of the game is to put these arrows in the correct order and get all three stars as the fur-ball goes through the maze.

As the levels progress, the maze directions also get tricky (as you can see in the photo above).

Once all five levels are completed, I am able to do a creative challenge. When I first started playing this game, I didn’t even realize that there was a creative challenge. I thought that the levels were all that I had to do. To say the least, seeing a creative challenge was a great surprise.

The photo attached above is my own maze creation! To do this, I had to create a maze using the blue blocks and then strategically place the stars in certain spots on the maze.

Now that I have finished all levels and created my own maze, I able to receive a certificate for completing all of the tasks. I feel like rewarding the students with a certificate at the end of these tasks is a great incentive to do the work. Really, what student doesn’t love receiving a certificate after working hard on something? I know from experience that receiving a certificate and being recognized truly boosts your self-esteem at a young age.

Honestly, after my experience with coding, I can safely that I love using it. When the topic was first brought up, I was so confused about how coding could be incorporated into a grade one classroom. However, coding can even be playing games. Not only are the students learning something while playing these online games, but they are also having fun and staying interested. I think that the best part about Hour of Code is that there are SO MANY game options. This allows for a wide variety of students to find at least one game that interests them.

I really do find coding important, both for adults and my young students. It can be applied to English Languages Arts, Mathematics, Arts Education, and more. This tool is so cross-curricular, which is an amazing tool to have in the classroom. The students can learn about the basic subjects, but in a fun, new, and intriguing way (which is incredibly crucial with the early years).

I think it is safe to say that I will be using coding in my classroom and might even try playing a few more games on Hour of Code. Thanks for reading this blog post, I look forward to hearing about the games that my fellow readers chose to do this week!