Last week, I encouraged you to participate in this year’s Hour of Code. I know that guiding a classroom of students through an hour of programming can sound intimidating, particularly if you aren’t experienced in it yourself. The secret is to do as I have – admit to yourself that you know nothing and your students are smarter than you. Trust me, it makes life easier and a lot more enjoyable 😉
Any grade level can do the Hour of Code. Code.org makes it very easy to moderate lessons for all ages and levels of experience. But there are other resources as well.
Take Sam Patterson (@SamPatue), for example. He teaches coding to elementary students, and decided to try out the new iPad app, Scratch Jr., with them this year. So far, he has provided two video tutorials on his blog, “My Paperless Classroom,” and it’s my hope he will provide some more – mostly because they are exactly on my level! The first one is, “Learning about Loops,” teaches about how to have a character (sprite, as they are called) repeat an action. The second one, “Creating a Dialog in Scratch Jr.,” shows how to have characters interact with speech in a program. Both are good examples of integrating other curriculum with coding, and were used with 1st graders and 2nd graders respectively. Sam’s awesome puppet, Wokka, does the video narration, making it even more appealing for young people.
I haven’t had a chance to jump in to Scratch Jr. yet with my students this year, but watching Sam’s tutorials makes me want to try it tomorrow. It is going to be another creation tool that my classes will be able to use, and I imagine they will think of far better ideas for its use than I ever can!
UPDATE 11/18/14: For even more Scratch Jr. activities and video tutorials, check out the “Teach” section on the Scratch Jr. website.
If you’d like to access some more resource for teaching kids to code, check out my Programming for Kids Pinterest Board!