We live in a world surrounded by technology. And we know that whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly hinge on understanding how technology works. But only a tiny fraction of us are learning computer science, and less students are studying it than a decade ago.
That’s why our entire school is participating, for the third consecutive year, in on the largest education event in history: The Hour of Code. The Hour of Code is a nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming. Our Hour of Code is a statement that Village School is committed to teaching these foundational 21st century skills. During the month of December, every one of our students will be amongst over 100 million students worldwide spending one hour learning the basics of computer science coding. This Hour of Code is in addition to the programming literacy unit we do with all grade levels each year.
Wondering how my students will be spending their Hour?
TK students will be playing Robot Turtles. In this “offline” board game students lay down cards to program their turtle to move forward, backward, left or right. The goal is for them to program their turtle to reach their gem in the center of the board. This game is a great way to introduce programming language and strategies to our youngest students.
K-2nd students will be using Code.org which offers an elementary school curriculum that allows students to explore the limitless world of computing. Each of the 20-lesson courses blend online, self-guided and self-paced tutorials. By the end of each course, students can create interactive games, stories, and art that they can share with anyone.
3rd grade students are currently participating in the Wonder Workshop Robotics Competition. Using the Wonder App, students utilize their sequencing and coding skills to program Dash and Dot to complete a set of missions. The final solutions will be shared with over 1200 participating schools worldwide.
4th grade began the Google CS First coding curriculum and are learning how to design an online game using Scratch– a program designed by MIT used to enhance programming skills through drag and drop commands.
5th grade students are approaching their 10th week of participation in the Lego Robotics Challenge. Students are working in teams of 2-4 and programming their Lego EV3 robots to complete a mission of their choice. Final programs will be shared during our Lego Robotics Showcase in February.
6th grade will be coding with Khan Academy learning about databases and spreadsheets, webpages and HTML or drawing with Code. Another option will be using Google’s Made with Code activities to create everything from LED dress designs to music mixes, to avatars. According to the Made with Code website, “From fashion to film, the things you love are Made with Code.”