An Hour of Code

I stumbled on this on accident.  I mean, I have been reading all over Twitter about the Hour of Code.  People were asking if I was ready for it?  I wanted to be ready for it, but I didn’t know where to begin.  This morning, I got up early to print something off my computer.  I saw the Google Doodle about Grace Hopper.  I didn’t read about her until later in the morning, but wht caught my eye was below the doodle.  It said, “Be a maker, a creator, an innovator. Get started now with an Hour of Code.”  I was intrigued, so I clicked on the link.  It took me to this video on YouTube.

After the video, I noticed a link to Code.org.  From there, I was able to find some really cool activities to do with my students.  Our music class was cancelled this morning, so I thought, “Perfect.  I can spend an hour and code.”  The first thing I did was help them learn the basics of code with drag and drop programming.  My students really enjoyed that.  I was also intrigued by another activity kids could do with cup-stacking.  We did not have time to do this one.  At the end of the hour, most of my students wanted more.  So, I promised them I would put all the videos and the websites on my class site for them tonight.

At the end of the day, I sent my co-workers an email explaining what we had done today.  I told them that Computer Science Education Week was this week.  They could still try an hour of code with their students.  I started my email out with Grace Hopper.  I explained she was one of the first female computer programmers.  She was also a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy.  What I thought was fascinating about her is that she had a job that was primarily seen as a man’s job back in the day.  She certainly was a pioneer.

When I got home from work, I checked my emails.  Two people at work said they had the opportunity to hear Grace Hopper speak.  They said she was an amazing woman.  My friend told me how she gave everyone at the conference a nanosecond.  It was a strip of paper that was 11.8 inches long.  My friend said that was the distance light traveled in one nanosecond.  I thought that was really cool.  Here is a video of Grace Hopper talking about the nanosecond.

In any case, I am looking forward to doing more coding with my students.  I felt like one of my students, because I was learning about coding along with them.  The best part of the day was when one of my students asked me if she could make up her own code.  I said, “Of course you can!”  That made me smile.

 

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4 thoughts on “An Hour of Code

    • Hi Kim,
      I used the activity that was on code.org (http://learn.code.org/hoc/1). There were 20 tasks that we had to accomplish. Since I only have one computer in the classroom, I was interested in code activities I could do without a computer or internet. Thinkersmith had some lesson plans at this address: http://code.org/files/CSEDrobotics.pdf. For this students can use paper/plastic cups to stack. If you don’t have cups, they provide a blackline with trapezoids that you need to cut up to resemble cups. Kids can use this to write lines of code. Check it out!

      • That’s cool! We’re coding using Hopscotch on our iPads. We started a month or so ago (before Halloween) and will do our “official” Hour of Code tomorrow!

  1. Yes, I heard about Hopscotch from your blogs. I loaded it onto my personal iPad to try it out. I am going to be getting an iPad for classroom use soon. So, I will definitely load Hopscotch on that one and my students can use it for coding, too. I can’t wait to hear how your hour of code went tomorrow. 🙂

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