This year at the annual NCSLMA Conference, I attended an awesome coding session with Sedley Abercrombie. In her session, Sedley discussed how she brings coding into the library, not just during Hour of Code, but all year long.
I was inspired so much by her presentation, that I decided, no matter how busy I was, I would organize an Hour of Code event in the library this year. I have included coding stations and activities in past Maker Space events, but I haven’t had an entire event based on coding and computer science. This is definitely something that I’d like to do make a regular part of the library program at CCHS, so I thought that the Hour of Code week would be the perfect time to build enthusiasm and form a base group of students who are interested in coding and programming.
Next week, I have 25 students who have signed up to spend their entire hour long lunch bell with me in the library to work on coding games, tutorials and Sphero challenges. We will host them in the library, along with the other 100+ students who eat in there each day. I am going to rope off our cafe table/big screen TV area of the library and make that coding central for Hour of Code. Not only does this give the participating students prime seating and space to play, it also ensures that all of the other kids eating in the library will be able to see what’s going on. My hope, is that through next week’s Power Hour events, I will gain more student interest in coding. To keep all of the resources easily accessible, I’m working on a Weebly site for our school’s Hour of Code. This site will also make resources available for teachers who might want to experiment with their own ideas for Hour of Code in their classrooms.
In addition to Hour of Code during Power Hour, I have three classes signed up to participate during the regular school day. Of the three classes, one is advanced level Math and two are advanced level Art classes. In the Art classes, we will do two full class periods of Hour of Code; day one will focus on tutorials, logic and problem solving, while on day two we will practice our new skills by using Tickle (IOS app) to code Spheros to draw.
I’m hoping that the enthusiasm I’m already seeing from the students and teachers will grow and spread throughout the building! In addition to just participating in Hour of Code on their scheduled day next week, I’ve also signed each student up for a special group in Code Academy. They will be given their unique log in and directions on how to navigate the site to complete units. This site is great because I can track their progress as they explore various coding languages and complete complex work. As they complete a unit, they will come see me in the library for a prize.
I’d love to hear more about how others are organizing and rolling out Hour of Code! Please feel free to comment and share!