During the week of December 8, ASIJ’s elementary students participated in Hour of Code, a global movement to introduce students to programming languages. During Computer Science Education Week 2014 and the first anniversary of the Hour of Code millions of people learnt new skills across 180 countries.
Kindergarteners explored code basics with BeeBots, programming them to move from one location to another. Once Kindergarteners had the gist of programming the BeeBot they embraced an abstract challenge to code on the BeeBot iPad app.
First and second graders wrote code for their classmates who then dutifully, physically followed the code written for them. Once students mastered the reading and writing of basic code directions they began programming an animated figure using the LightBot 2014 app on their iPads. Using simple directions, they wrote codes of increasing complexity to guide the LightBot figure around different shaped courses. As the challenges increased in difficulty, students rallied together to pitch ideas and test theories, and ultimately helped each other learn the code to program their bots.
Third and fourth graders explored code by programming games in Hopscotch or programming Elsa from this year’s much-watched animated film, Frozen. Again, as students encountered the increasing levels of difficulty they banded together to troubleshoot and test ideas. Watching students problem solve and collaborate was an unexpected, yet notable, outcome of their participation in Hour of Code.
Fifth graders investigated code through MIT’s Scratch and Code Studio’s Make a Flappy Game. The fifth graders demonstrated an intensity of focus, curiosity, enjoyment and teamwork as they developed their coding projects.
The Hour of Code was a big hit with students and it introduced them to code while providing opportunities for collaboration, authentic problem solving, finding patterns, applying logic, generating and testing theories, and exploring the joys of creating games that others can play.
A special thanks to Vera Adams and Judy Astridge who pioneered Hour of Code last year and provided both the inspiration and training that launched these activities in the elementary school. Tracey Reed (ES Information Technology Coach)