Yesterday was the beginning of Hour of Code week. Despite the fact that all of my students will be doing an activity with their classroom teachers this week, I wanted to incorporate it into GT as well. Feeling a bit adventurous, I decided to see how my 2nd graders would do on a Hopscotch tutorial that I did with my 5th graders last week.
I wouldn’t recommend jumping into the Food Fight Dodgeball tutorial if you’ve never used Hopscotch before. (The Paddleball tutorial is a good introduction.) However, I knew my 2nd graders would be doing the Paddleball one with their classroom teachers, and I wanted them to get some additional Hopscotch experience so they could help their classmates this week.
As we went through the tutorial, I was so excited by the enthusiasm of my students – most of them. One girl, who was working on her own because we have an odd number of students, was clearly getting frustrated and angry at the difficulties she was having. Even though other students and I helped her, she kept falling more and more behind. I was pretty confident she would be going home and letting her parents know in no uncertain terms that I had helped to foster in her a strong dislike of programming.
To calm her down, I reminded her that it was okay if her program didn’t do everything that was on the tutorial, and that she might want to take a break for a few minutes until I could help her.
We talk a lot about Growth Mindset in my class, and she apparently felt like “take a break” meant “give up.” Instead of heeding my advice, she doggedly worked through the lines of program. When I was about to go help her, she exclaimed, “I figured it out!” Then she excitedly described how she had added her own rules to make something even more fun happen at the end.
On the way back to class, this same girl who made it quite clear for the majority of the class that she would be more than happy to lob a few pizzas and hamburgers at me, declared, “I LOVED Hour of Code!” as she skipped down the hall.
Every day that I teach, I learn way more from my students than they do from me.
One day someone is going to figure this out and ask for a refund of my salary…
In the meantime, check out some video I took of some of the games the students made below. And, if you want more ideas for teaching students how to code, here is a link to my Programming for Kids Pinterest Board.