I came across the Hour of Code and Computer Science Education week totally by accident as I was “wandering” through http://elementarytechteachers.ning.com/. Intrigued I decided to check it out. At first I planned on only doing the activities with my 4th and 5th grade students. Then I decided what the heck I’d try it with my K-2 classes as well. WOW! They loved it. I have first graders come in to tell me they got on Code at home last night and they made it to the zombies. Fourth and fifth graders went home and signed back in to continue the Maze and move on to The Artist. My son is in 3rd grade so in our district that means he takes strings not technology. I got him started on a Monday afternoon and every day for a week as soon as his homework is done he’d ask to do Code. I myself couldn’t seem to stay off the site, working my way through the beyond hour of code levels any chance I got, one night I woke up from a dream about doing code and proceeded to try and figure out how to write the code for the next level. I have had parents e-mail to tell me how excited their child is about code and co-workers telling me what a neat idea this is. Classes come in asking if they get to do code. They are excited about computer science and several of them are already showing a real aptitude for it.
One of my students really shut down when we first did code, she was sure she couldn’t do it, it was just too hard for her. When I checked the progress dashboard after break she was the only one of my students who had taken time over winter break and our extra snow days to get on the site and work through more levels. She is now determined to make it through all twenty levels.
Classes can earn a game day and almost every class that does has at least one student ask if they can do code during that half hour. I respond with an enthusiastic yes every time.
I decided to teach the beyond hour of code lessons with my fifth grade, they’re enjoying binary so much we haven’t even moved beyond it. They’re getting ready to write secret messages in binary. I truly think this is something every child should learn and it’s so easy to start with the resources provided at code.org