Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The "Code" Never Bothered Us Anyway

This week our REACH students have participated in the Hour of Code. We started exploring the basics to coding with Angry Birds and characters from Frozen. Although these tutorials may seem like games, they actually involve problem solving and logic. The neat thing about these tutorials is that they progress from simple tasks to more challenging ones that allow the students to apply concepts that they have learned throughout. Also, there are several video tutorials where experts give advice for new skills such as using loops.

Another feature I particularly liked was that the tutorials offered different levels to accommodate a broad range of learners. I used the Angry Birds tutorial as our introduction and for younger learners in 2nd and 3rd grades. I encouraged my 4th-6th grades to start with the Frozen tutorial if they were proficient in games and computers. Finally,  my more advanced learners (aka My Minecraft bunch) moved on to the Flappy Bird and Scratch tutorials featured. To read more about different tutorials to try with your students, click here. 

It is safe to say that we enjoyed exploring the language of coding and computers. We plan to continue coding by trying out the 20 hour course offered through as well as other programs such as Scratch and Tynker. I may also try the Unplugged activities featured on the site to make the concepts of coding more concrete for my younger grades.

I have to admit that coding has been on my mind and "to-try" list since last year. Due to my lack of confidence in an area I was not proficient in, I kept postponing it. Thanks to, I feel like I can explore this new area with my students without pressure.