When I first heard that we were learning about coding in EDTC 300 this week, my mind immediately went back to my memories of grade nine robotics class. Although this was a class I would have never chosen to take, I had so much fun in robotics. I will never forget how proud I was when my little robot drove through the obstacle course without running into anything.
Since I did have some experience with coding, I decided to explore Hour of Code for a game that would be fun but also difficult enough to challenge me. After scrolling through lots of Frozen and Minecraft themed games, which by the way do look like tons of fun, I decided on programing with Tracy the Turtle. The game was centered around an x and y coordinate graph, which was great for me since I love math. The purpose of the game was to write instructions for a little turtle named Tracy. If you wrote the instructions in the language Tracy understood, she would follow them. The game provided you with new codes at each level to allow you to complete the next challenge. Basically, Tracy was like a pen that you had to direct around the graph to draw things. Some of the commands I learnt to use included moving forward, turning left or right, starting or stopping the ink, and adding colour.
Although I did not necessarily learn anything new about coding in general from this activity, it did still challenge me. It was difficult trying to make my letter centered and properly proportioned, and as you can see I was not able to get it perfect. However, I really liked that the game provided video explanations and examples every single time you learnt a new set of codes or moved on to a new challenge.
This game directly links to many math curriculums, and it could really help students grasp concepts regarding graphing, linear equations, calculating distance, and angles. In this way, I think coding could be a really important skill for students to learn. I could see myself using this game in my future classroom by creating a worksheet students could complete using the game. For example, afterwards I started playing around with the system and found out how to make a triangle. Students could create different triangles in the game and calculate their side lengths and angles. They could create lines based on linear equations and calculate their slopes. There are unlimited opportunities with this game, as it could be linked to so many different mathematic topics and activities. It would be a great way to engage students in a game that is not only fun, but also directly linked to learning.