Hi all, it’s CS Education Week! Am forming a blog post of the emails I send out to my school to encourage participation in the Hour of Code. Will update this post (or maybe a new one) as I email more.
Thu 11/30 (before CS Ed Week):
Greetings Patterson Family!
Next week is Computer Science Education Week, and we have celebrated this each of the last several years at Patterson by having students do an Hour of Code! Please check out https://hourofcode.com/us and consider picking one day next week to teach coding in each of your classes.
hourofcode.comThe Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event.
There are a variety of activities, including ones that can be done on computer workstations, ones that can be done on students’ call phones / mobile devices, and ones that are “unplugged” using cups or printable manipulatives etc. Depending on your classroom dynamic, you could also work together as a whole class to complete coding exercises on your teacher computer / projector screen. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, you could try to come up with your own lesson that relates coding to your content area, and teaches problem-solving or algorithmic thinking (e.g. peanut butter and jelly making as clear communication, necessary for ELA/writing classes and also for writing computer code that breaks a process down into multiple steps and communicates them clearly to the computer to run).FYI – for our ESOL population, many (though not all) of the computer-based coding activities have instructions in multiple languages that can be adjusted at the bottom of the screen.Please let me know if you plan to do an activity, or if you want to chat about different possibilities. For computer access, I can offer my room for second period (all days next week) or fifth period (except Monday). There may also be laptop carts available on a first-come first-serve basis that you can follow the usual process to reserve. Additionally, I am interested in tracking which activities are used, as well as student names for certificates.Happy coding!Nick Yates
Greetings Patterson Family!
CS Education Week is here, and with it the Hour of Code!
Please consider teaching a coding lesson in one of your classes this week, so that we can help our students become creators of technology rather than merely consumers of technology.
Here are some intro videos to the HoC: https://hourofcode.com/us/promote/resources#videos (YouTube + download link in case YT is blocked)
Among the activities, there seem to be two new ones for this year that I’ve noticed near the top: Minecraft (three versions, one from each of the past two years, plus a new tutorial for this year) and Google Design-Your-Own-Logo-with-Scratch.
You can also sort the activities by the technology you plan to use (computers, student mobile devices, or unplugged – no devices), AND nicely by content area (e.g. if you teach Science and want to teach a cross-curricular science+coding lesson):
Please let me know if I can help in any way, whether by consulting with you on which lesson might best fit your class, or having you bring your class down to my room, etc.
Nick Yates and the Academy of Engineering and Technology Team
Hey Patterson people,
The Logo programming language, designed for kids with a turtle that moved around and could draw pictures, was invented 50 years ago! Today’s Google Doodle celebrated that fact. In case you missed it, and want to try it out, here’s a link that will still work after today is over: https://www.google.com/doodles/celebrating-50-years-of-kids-coding . It is a cool symbol-based (no words, so should work for students of any language!) HoC-style activity within a Google Doodle, with a rabbit trying to eat some carrots. Check it out!
Celebrating 50 years of Kids Coding #GoogleDoodleAlso, if you’re interested, there is an actual Hour of Code activity based on that original turtle (updated to the Python language), which can be found at https://hourofcode.com/codehsturtleHappy CS Education Week!
If you haven’t started the Hour of Code yet because you don’t have access to a classroom set of computers and aren’t sure what coding has to do with your curriculum, here are my recommendations for unplugged subject-specific activities!
- Science – Rock Paper Scissors, with connections to biological population modeling (unplugged activity plus presentation on teacher screen)
- Social Studies – History of Codes and Ciphers (one lesson, plenty more material as well e.g. wikipedia)
- Art – Algorithmic Doodles (fractals & algorithms)
- Math – Hexahexaflexagons (geometry, discrete math w/ directed graphs and finite state machines)
- English / Language Arts – Magical Book Magic (computational thinking and patterns with words)
If any English teachers do have access to a set of computers, the Automatic Homework Excuse Generator looks pretty cool too!
Nick Yates & the AOET Team