This week I tried out an hour of code on Code.org – Star Wars themed! It was at the beginner level, specifically recommended for grade two and up. Here’s a glimpse into my experience.
At first I was a little confused as this was my first coding activity. However, the instructions are easy to follow. It started out nice and simple, and got a bit harder as time went on.
Key take-aways from Code.org:
- Many of their activities are available in different languages. This is a good activity for students to do in their mother tongue if they want to.
- The instructions are easy for students to follow.
- You are learning so many skills when coding (more on that below).
- It’s fun! The themes are exciting for students…okay let’s be honest, we love them too!
- They also have helpful resources for educators.
I don’t remember ever doing coding in school and when I asked my brother (who is graduating high school this year) he said he wished we had done it in school.
When we began looking at it in class, I was a little nervous, but quickly realized it’s nothing to be intimidated by. There are many great resources out there as more people are coming to see the benefits of learning to code.
By coding students are learning…
- To be creative
- How to problem solve
- Math skills
- Computer skills
- Skills that equip them for future careers
- Perseverance – they analyze what’s not working and decide how to fix it.
- Logical thinking
- To think outside of the box … and much more!
There are many ways to incorporate coding into different subject areas in the classroom. As I noticed on hour of code, the different activities list topics they include. For example, code with Anna and Elsa incorporates the topics of art, media, music, and math.
Since class on Thursday, I’ve realized the need to familiarize myself more with how to code, and why coding is important. I plan to experiment with Scratch and try more hour of code programs so I’m better equipped to help students one day. The Grinch theme is up next, because who doesn’t love Christmas in June?!