Did you know that there is a computer science education week? Yep, there is! And it is this week...December 9-15! To celebrate this week, you must try out the "Hour of Code" with your students! I highly recommend squeezing it into your plans this week. I heard about the Hour of Code first in an email from the Khan Academy and then from another teacher (thank you Lisa). :) Don't worry, if you never heard of this before. I had never heard of this Hour of Code before this week, but now I am hooked! Here's a little overview video.
Yep, even President Obama is endorsing it :)
I introduced it today and my students were so engaged! They all left with a better appreciation for computer science. All they need to do is go to code.org and click start. That video from above is also on the main page, but it is a YouTube video. So, if your school blocks like mine, you might have to download it and email it yourself from home. I did this and my students were able to watch it fine then. I showed the video to get my students pumped up.
Here is what the main page looks like:
(Note: Their goal is to get 10,000,000 new learners and they are already at 9,290,508! WOW!)
After your students watch the intro video and click start and click go, they can watch a tutorial video. Again, the video didn't work at school, but there is also a notes page tutorial and it worked great!
Here is a snapshot from it:
Then, the students get started. There are 20 puzzles to complete where they must figure out different lines of code.
The first one starts off simple like this:
They get increasingly difficult, but some of my students did not miss a beat! I even had 3 students finish all 20 puzzles. There is a certificate that you can print off at the end to congratulate this accomplishment!
A statistic on the code.org website states that in 2020 there will be 1,000,000 more computer science jobs than students! I think that computer science is a subject that is often forgotten and hardly even mentioned in elementary school. I am glad that I had a little part in changing that today! (Note: We looked at the mathematical practices together as a class after our Hour of Code and we determined that we were practicing almost all the Common Core Mathematical Practices. During our Hour of Code, we practiced great problem solving!)
Now, it is your turn. Log your kids on and help to get to the 10,000,000 by tomorrow!