Hour of Code
2021 Teacher Guide
WHAT IS THE HOUR OF CODE?
Computers are everywhere, changing every industry on the planet. 90% of parents think it's important that their children study Computer Science, but only 35% of all schools teach Computer Science. The good news is, we’re on our way to change this. If you've heard about the Hour of Code before, you might not know it made history - since 2013, more than 1.3 billion students have tried an Hour of Code.
The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "coding," and show that anyone --at any age (yes, even teachers)-- can learn the basics of coding. It is a global movement reaching nearly one and a half billion students in 180+ countries, with more than 200 tutorials available in over 45 languages (feel free to change the language on each tutorial). No experience is needed... Ages 4 to 104.
Code.org is a non-profit that is dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools. Their goal is for tens of millions of students to try an Hour of Code during December 6-12, 2021, in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. It does not have to be done in one specific hour. You can do the Hour of Code anytime during this week (and if you can't do it during that week, do it the week after... or anytime, really).
Learn about the Hour of Code here, then have your class participate, and/or try the Hour of Code yourself—everyone can benefit from learning the basics!
WHY SHOULD MY CLASS PARTICIPATE?
Computer science develops students’ critical thinking and computational skills, and shows them how to create, and not just use, new technologies. This fundamental knowledge is needed to prepare students for the 21st century, regardless of their ultimate field of study or occupation.
On the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning Blog, the author provides several observations from Mitch Resnick's TED Talk, "Let's Teach Kids to Code":
- Helps kids learn in meaningful context
- Teaches them that learning is a process and not a product
- Teaches them how to take complex ideas and break them down into simpler parts
- Teaches them how to collaborate with others
- Teaches them perseverance in the face of frustration
- Teaches determination
- Helps them become fluent with technologies, enabling creative expression
IS THIS REQUIRED?
While it is not absolutely required that your class participate in the Hour of Code, there are many benefits and great reasons to get involved!
WHO IS THIS FOR?
The Hour of Code is designed with everyone in mind. A coding beginner might be a kindergarten student, a high school student, a grandparent, or even a rock star. Every person approaches a problem from a slightly different perspective; learning to code helps to demonstrate that there are several ways to get the right answer.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
From Code.org, with notes specific to Pearland ISD:
Do students need accounts to do the Hour of Code?
No! (Although follow-up tutorials may require signup to save student progress) For the Hour of Code, just click on the link you're interested in, and start coding! Complete the whole hour on that tutorial, and you can earn a certificate!
Will YouTube videos work in my school?
While not all of the tutorials have videos, on the ones that do, the videos should play on the student/lab logins.
Which computers/devices/hardware do I need?
The ideal setting is in the lab or students using their 1:1 devices, where students work on individual computers (iPads will also work but do not have the capability to access the Elementary intranet), plus headphones for the students to enjoy the sounds. You can show the videos on a projector, while logged into the computer as a teacher. Younger students might benefit from programming in pairs. There are unplugged activities if you have no devices.
Which activity should I start with?
For all ages, we recommend starting with a beginner tutorial (such as the ones with Angry Birds). More advanced students will finish one of these in 30 minutes, and can then try an even more advanced tutorial. There are plenty to choose from!
LET'S GET STARTED!
(1) On the Elementary Intranet page. Go to the Penguin, select the grade level, then the Hour of Code button! Choose an activity and start coding!
(2) On your campus website's main page under the Quick Links section.
Suggested Tutorials (by age range)
Most take between 15 minutes-1 hour to play. This link is sortable by Pre-Readers, Grades 2-5, 6-8, & 9+. Pick something challenging!
Pre-Readers - First Grade
All Elementary Ages
Moana: Wayfinding with Code
Minecraft Aquatic Adventure
Minecraft Hero's Journey
Minecraft Hero's Journey
WANT MORE CODING LESSONS?
Code.org offers a 20 hour course, available to educators, WITH a teacher's guide.
Lego WeDo Robotics
- Basic robotics, and the programming for the robots is done in Blockly (same as the Hour of Code tutorials)
- Sets are available in the Library, and can be reserved via Eduphoria
- Drag-and-drop visual programming tool
- Introduces children as young as 6 to fundamental programming concepts including Sequencing and Loops
- Developed by MIT, and coded in Blockly
- Students can create an infinite variety of projects, and have freedom of design
- Best for upper Elementary and Middle school students
- Contact your ETS for more information
- No computer required!
- Best for 3rd and 4th Grade
- Teaches lessons about how computers work, while addressing critical mathematics and science concepts such as number systems, algorithms, and manipulating variables and logic
You can also code with BrainPOP!