An educational blog for teachers and students.


Hour of code is coming

Posted on December 5, 2014 by Amanda Dykes

computer codeThe week of December 7 - 14, 2014 is Computer Science Education Week. Every year during that week educators all over the world are encouraged to have their students spend an hour coding. So far 47 million students have taken a coding course through the Hour of Code’s website

The website is easy for the students to follow. Last year, my students jumped right in without a lot of instruction from me. This means you do not have to learn a crazy programming language just to get your students involved! The Angry Bird activities were a hit! This year they even have Elsa and Anna starring in activities. Kids are learning and having a blast! They also have guides, email templates, and ideas for getting your school involved. Participating in Hour of Code before our coding project was great because the students also remembered the skills when we started a coding unit using Scratch.

If your students really catch on, and as they code you see the benefit of coding across the curriculum, here are a few other sites for students to go to learn to code:

  • Scratch – Scratch is great for teaching the drag and drop method. To me this is the best site out there. Students can create music, stories, or games.

  • Scratch Jr – is for younger students. It is for iPads only.

  • Tynker – this is very similar to Scratch. It is an app. Teaches great problem-solving techniques.

  • Thinkersmith – has lessons that you can do without technology. So if you want to Hour of Code, but your school does not have the access you need, use these lesssons!

  • LightBot – another app, for iOS, Play, and Amazon, where students program a robot. Teaches basics and conditional skills. I like it because the “code” looks different from the rest. Teaches another way to look at it.

  • Made with Code – This is developed by Google to get girls to code but boys would love this just as much. It uses Google’s Blockly, which is their version of Scratch. Kids can make music, decorate an avatar, etc. Different activities than you will see elsewhere.

  • Code Academy – if you want kids to learn the real programming language, this takes them through tutorials. You don’t have to know it, because the tutorial teaches it.

Amanda Dykes profile

Amanda Dykes is a Science and Tech Ed/STEM teacher in Birmingham, AL.   She has degrees in technology integration and speaks often on being a connected educator was well as using technology and PBL in the classroom.


Photo courtesy of Flickr user Kevin Jarrett


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