We did it. Students in grades five, six, seven, and eight completed our Hour Of Code. Every student was a winner, a successful coder to make that Angry Bird get that pig. Every student was a reader too — reading the puzzle and debugging directions. Every student was collaborator — offering assistance to each other so we could all succeed.
And every student said, “This is fun,” not “This is hard.” They are ready for more, and many responded with, “I’m doing this at home.”
So think about it. There’s so much noise in the eduverse about transforming education so students are “college and career ready.” The students need to be prepared for their future — and that means an understanding of the workings of the devices and apps they use daily: computer science — code. Just one thing could do it: allow our students to be makers in the world; coders of the future — as part of their literacy class.
Why? I watched today as everyone read. Everyone. On their own. Wanting to read. And afterwards, they wrote about their experience. No complaints. MIT’s Mitchel Resnik says
In the process of learning to code, people learn many other things. They are not just learning to code, they are coding to learn. In addition to learning mathematical and computational ideas (such as variables and conditionals), they are also learning strategies for solving problems, designing projects, and communicating ideas. These skills useful not just for computer scientists but for everyone, regardless of age, background, interests, or occupation.
And that’s what we did. We learned to code, and coded to learn. Here are some reflections [see more here]:
Coding is like solving a puzzle because it always has a new layout and as you advance it becomes more challenging, like if you move from a 500 piece puzzle to a 1000 piece.
Behind every click or swipe or touch on my phone is code.
I learned that code is very easy once you understand it, it exercises parts of your mind in a fun way, it opens up a new and faster way for finding answers.
Vocabulary words to know for coding: Repeat; The computer will repeat the command until you reach your destination.
I liked how it challenged my way of thinking
And students want to learn more, code more, and many plan to code at home. That’s true learning — wanting to learn.
So what are you waiting for? Try it: Hour of Code Part One You’ll be a winner too! And you’ll see how coding is part of our literacy learning.
Geeky Gramma ~~
Retired Middle School Language Arts Teacher ~~
Writer and Thinker