One of the apps that I recommend frequently is Hopscotch. This free iOS app has been one of my all-time favorite creation tools ever since we tried it a few years ago during Hour of Code. Using block programming that is similar to Scratch, Hopscotch allows users to create works of art, games, and even presentations. (One of my 5th graders chose to use Hopscotch to present his Genius Hour information last year – much more interesting than PowerPoint!)
Hopscotch offers many tutorials, which are a great way to introduce students to the different coding possibilities in the app. Earlier this school year, I mentioned that the company just released lesson plans for educators.
If you want to take your students beyond this year’s Hour of Code, you might want to try a Hopscotch tutorial, and then see how they can “remix” it to make it their own. One that is great for this time of year is the Snowflake Tutorial. Students can learn about symmetry, angles, and many other mathematical skills while they also obtain basic programming skills. To top it all off, they can create digital works of art, and every single one will be different.
Hopscotch is an app that my students often mention they use at home on their own, a great example of using technology to create rather than merely to consume.
I would advise walking through any Hopscotch tutorial you assign so you can familiarize yourself with the tools. Also, beware that earlier tutorials (before 2015) may look a bit different as the app has been updated since then.
For more ideas for using using coding in the classroom, check out my Programming for Kids Pinterest Board here.