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Our #HourOfCreativity

December 12, 2015

This week was the the worldwide Hour of Code. My Grade 3 were pretty stoked (with a few primers to get them excited) and the great support from our tech team as well. We have been playing with Lightbot, ScratchJr and Hopscotch as well as a few others over the past month.

Big thanks also to @heza for her tweet on #HourofCode resources

Screenshot 2015-12-12 15.43.19

Another big shout out to my friend @chezvivian who has lots of great resources on code/maker stuff.

So..we worked our way through coding but also took time to reflect on:

  • what is code?
  • why is it important?
  • where can we find code?
  • how will code help me in life?

And most importantly ‘what skills do I develop writing code’?

This is our starting point for an inquiry. Once we had a handle on what code is, we were able to come up with some wonderings about it.

We are still developing the list but some skills we came up with in group discussions included ‘thinking in a straight way’ (linear thinking), following directions and memorization. The learners admitted they got faster as they got better at the code. They also got better at things like Loops and being efficient in their coding skills. Their thinking skills. One skill that I noticed over the last few weeks we’ve been coding is the camaraderie in helping each other other. Someone would quip ‘Ah.. this is so hard I cant figure it out’ only to have another learner come over and help them out and see the ‘aha’ moments. Screenshot 2015-12-12 15.38.34

I am no expert in coding, played around with it a bit. The way its set up now is much simpler than what I remember in Grade 8 and 9 Computer Science classes back in high school back in the mid 90’s.. (ok mid 80’s). Its more learner friendly now. I decided Im going to try this Teacher Computer Science Fundamentals course by Learn a bit more myself over the break.

My plan is to continue the inquiry and give time – an hour a week- to write code/create so I’ve set up small inquiry/feedback circles where learners give feedback (we have been working on this in Readers/Writers workshops so definitely transdisciplinary). My thinking is code IS literacy so many of the skills that go along with learning any language apply here.

Im not going to tel the kids that (yet). They can figure that one out by themselves for now anyways.

Big takeaway for me is that its pretty fun learning with the kids.

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