Coding Adventures: Dive into Hour of Code!

Coding Adventures: Dive into Hour of Code!

What is Coding?

We’re surrounded by computer coding in our everyday activities. Whether we’re scrolling through social media, picking a show to watch on a streaming service, or using smartphone apps, code is what makes it all happen! What is coding? It’s is the process of writing instructions for a computer to follow and accomplish a goal. It’s usually done using programming languages such as HTML, Python, or JavaScript. Coders use these languages to translate their ideas into commands that the computer can understand.

Programming source code abstract background
Photo by Scanrail on Adobe Stock

Coding in the classroom

Teaching code is crucial in today’s digital age. Even though coding languages can seem tough, teaching the basic concepts of coding has various benefits and can be super helpful for students of all grades! Young children can start learning to code with platforms like that offers courses for kindergarten through fifth grade. It’s not only limited to tech enthusiasts or kids interested in computer work. There are so many good reasons for all students to learn how to code. Why Kids Need to Learn How to Code discusses how learning to code offers benefits beyond just using computers. Foe example, through coding, students develop:

  • helps students develop problem-solving skills. Coding teaches kids to think logically and solve big problems by breaking them into smaller ones which is a valuable life skill.
  • boosts creativity. They can design their own apps, games, and come up with their own ideas which is super cool!
  • helps students develop persistence. Instead of giving up when they face a problem, coding teaches them to keep going and try different solutions until they find the right one.
  • opens up diverse career opportunities, preparing students for future career and goals
  • helps students develop deeper understanding of everyday technologies
  • improves communication skills. Learning to code is like learning a new language. It improves communication by simplifying instructions for computers to understand
  • gives students’ satisfaction. When they solve a problem through coding and see the results, it encourages them to tackle more challenges.
retro tin robot toys hold up the word CODING 7
Photo by charles taylor on Adobe Stock

As a teacher, you might be thinking about how to introduce coding concepts in your classroom. Coding in classrooms is about learning. It is not necessarily about becoming a professional computer programmer. There are so many ways for students to start learning coding, and it can be a lot of fun to try out new tools. But it’s important to know that not everyone will love coding right away. Instead of making students do it, it’s better to introduce them to coding and let them decide if they enjoy it. Even if they’re not interested now, they might be later! Five Best Ways to Implement Coding into your Classroom is a helpful guide for bringing coding into the classroom. I plan to use some of these methods in my future classroom:

  • Emphasize creativity – show students that coding is about creating things like games and stories which is so fun and engaging!
  • Try project-based learning – encourage students to use platforms like Scratch to solve problems through hands-on projects.
  • Keep it fun – encourage problem-solving and experimentation activities for students.

Hour of Code

Coding helps us understand and interact with technology more effectively and that’s what Hour of Code is all about. I learned about it in our previous class, and it’s a fantastic tool to use in your classroom planning. The quote from What’s the Impact of the Hour of Code that caught my attention says:

“The Hour of Code is at its core not about learning a brand new skill in just one hour. One hour isn’t enough to learn how to code. It’s about increasing access to computer science by breaking stereotypes and opening doors.”

With that idea in mind, Hour of Code is not just about learning a new skill in a hour, rather about expending and enhancing our learning experiences. If you are new to coding, check out this Hour of Code Participation Guide to get you started!

Since it’s my first time learning to code I decided to start with the basics and check out the “Hello World” lesson offered by the Hour of Code platform. It’s a fun way to start where you can create little characters, make them move around, and even build your own scenes. I went for a space theme because, honestly, who can resist cute space sprites? Following the step-by-step instructions felt really good, and I was surprised at how quickly I picked things up. It’s designed to be easy to understand, which is a great approach to make coding more inviting to kids, rather than making them feel like it’s too hard to understand. Playing around with different features was like exploring a new video game—so fun! I’m pretty sure kids will love it too! Check out this quick video I made of one of the activities—it’s super simple, but it’s a good sneak peek into what you can do:

This lesson not only taught me the basics of coding but also how to solve problems along the way. It’s a fantastic way for kids to get into coding, and they can use what they learn to tackle even tougher challenges later on. Getting a certificate is so rewarding!

The One Hour of Code Certificate

As a future science teacher, I wanted to see how I could incorporate this tool into my teaching career. I discovered a one-hour tutorial called “Vidcode: Climate Science & Code.” The goal of this Hour of Code lesson is for students to research and understand facts about the Earth’s climate and create a video to share one of those facts. It allows students to upload their own video, but for tutorial purposes I used one of the template videos (factory). Here is a summary of my tutorial:

Adding a Code. The platform allows users to incorporate code effortlessly by simply dragging and dropping blocks into the code editor, which then turns them into actual CODE! It translates the blocks into functional code, allowing students to apply various effects to their videos. For instance, they can experiment with effects like blurring, noise, tinting, or flipping horizontally or vertically. In my tutorial, I employed effects such as “vignette(30),” “greyscale,” and “flip-vertical” to enhance the visual impact of the video.

Adding Graphics. Students are provides with a library of graphics under the video to choose from.  They also have option to upload their own graphics. can choose a graphic that enhances your message from the library under the video or upload your own. I selected “factory” and “trees” graphics to augment the narrative of my video, labeling them as “my_graphic1” and “my_graphic2” in the code.

Adjusting Coordinates. The platform offers students the flexibility to manipulate the position of graphics within the video frame. All you need to di is to program it by typing “my_graphic1.x” or “my_graphic2.x”, where “x” represents the x-coordinate. The same concept applies for moving the graphic across the y-coordinate. This function can enhance the visual composition of the videos.

I had so much fun learning to code! The instructions were clear and made me feel like a coding pro, haha! I’m sure students will have a blast too. We’re lucky to have access to loads of resources and tools to help us learn. I’m really loving all the new things I’ve learned in this class, and it just keeps getting more interesting! Hope you enjoyed reading my blog post! Stay tuned to see what’s next! 🙂

Useful Resources

Your guide to Hour of Code

What’s the impact of the Hour of Code?

Why Your Hour of Code Matters!

Hour of Code Participation Guide

20+ ways to celebrate the Hour of Code in ANY class

What is Hour of Code on Khan Academy?


2 thoughts on “Coding Adventures: Dive into Hour of Code!

  1. Hello Mariia!

    I really enjoyed your blog post on coding! It’s so true that coding is everywhere in our daily lives, and I love how you have highlighted its importance in education. Your explanation of coding’s benefits, like creativity, problem-solving, and persistence, is spot on. Your experience with Hour of Code and the “Hello World” lesson sounds like a fantastic intro to coding. The space-themed characters and challenges you described make it sound so fun and engaging! The “Vidcode: Climate Science & Code” tutorial is a great way to combine coding with real-world issues like climate change.

    1. Hi Nikol! Thanks for your comment! I definitely learned a lot about coding and its role in education, while writing this post! I’m glad you enjoyed reading it!!

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