Above: Ezra gives a thumbs up to learning code!
This week SFC participated in the Hour of Code. The Hour of Code is a program sponsored by Code.org as an effort to get more schoolchildren worldwide learning about computer science. From the Code.org website:
“Kids are constantly using technology today, but how many are learning how to build it? Every 21st- century student should have the opportunity to learn computer science, yet fewer schools teach computer science than 10 years ago. The basics help nurture creativity and problem-solving skills, and prepare students for any future career.”
What this means at SFC is that this week, every student in every class got the opportunity to try writing code for an hour. From kindergarteners to eighth-graders, through the dedicated efforts of teachers and parent volunteers, every student tried it out.
In the K/1 classes, parent Simon did a presentation in each class, talking about what code is and then working through puzzles with the students as a group. In 2/3 and 4/5 classes, librarian Tawnya and parents Chi-An and Dale walked through a couple puzzles with the class, then helped students as they worked through the rest on their own. And in middle school, science teacher Mr. Sanchez just set the students loose, letting them pick their course and giving individual help with parent Keith for backup.
Here are some pictures from 4/5 and 2/3 classes:
Most students were interested, with many of them engaged for the whole hour, protesting when their coding time came to an end. We heard a lot of “This is hard!” but almost all of those turned into “I got it!” We reminded them that this is what a lot of programming, and indeed learning, is about- encountering something hard and trying different things until we figure it out. Some students finished all 20 puzzles of the Hour of Code, learning about procedural programming, repeat blocks, and if/else clauses along the way.
For further coding fun, check out the Code.org website. Stay tuned as we look for more ways of bringing coding and technology into our classrooms!
In the fall, Chi-An taught a coding class using a course from Code.org through the After School Program- we called it Digital Monkeys. Here are some of the students celebrating their accomplishments: