How We Got Here – Part 3

Last year was the first year our school participated in the Hour of Code.  All 1st-5th grade students learned simple basics of coding using the online program Blockly. Learning to code builds confidence and logical thinking skills in math, science, and technology. 

We started the lesson by watching a video that introduced the students to coding.  I am one who sometimes skips introductions and gets right into the meat of the lesson.  This video was well worth the time we spent watching it.  I loved how it exposed students to a wide variety of people who code. #global 🙂 It also explained how students would work with Blockly.
Most of the classes were given choices of which program to use.  The two most popular beginning units were Angry Birds and Frozen.  Some students advanced to other activities.  Several students went home and used the coding website and others asked to use it again during subsequent visits to the media center. 
We will definitely participate in the Hour of Code again in December! Hopefully by then we will have somlittleBits and Makey Makey in our makerspace.
More from our Wish List
Bee-Bot Robot Duo   (programmable robots for children ages 5 and up) $200
LEGO WeDO Robotics Kits   (build a LEGO robot and code it to move) $140
Sphero 2.0   (app-enabled robot ball) $100
Ozobot   (one of the world’s smallest programmable robots) $50
More SnapCircuit Sets
iPad Minis for coding and operating some of these sets

Our awesome assistant principal took some of us to a LEGO Symposium in May. That is where I first learned about the LEGO WeDo Robotics kits. It is so simple a first grader could build and program a robot.

One of our fantastic teachers won a grant from our district’s Educational Foundation and was able to purchase four kits and the software that goes along with it. (The software is a necessary component and she ordered a site license for $279.)
Learning to code and program will help students with the skills and concepts they’ll need as the scientists, engineers, and innovators of the future.
Coding Websites

Hour of Code
Tynker Hour of Code