Hour of Code December 7-13, 2015

Teacher Introduction

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What is the Hour of Code?

The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "coding," and show that anybody can learn the basics. It is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries, with one-hour tutorials available in over 30 languages. 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 7-13, 2015, in celebration of Computer Science Education Week. Is 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 before or after).

What Most Schools Don't Teach

Why should my class participate?

Computer science develops students’ critical thinking and computational skills, and shows them how to create, not simply 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 Resnic'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
  • It helps them be creative
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What's in it for ME?

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!

To start, Teachers who organize their own class' participation in the Hour of Code (Sign up on Code.org), will receive a $10 gift card to Amazon.com, iTunes or Windows Store as a thank-you gift (from Code.org) if you sign up before December 7-13!

Teachers and students will also benefit from increased classroom engagement, Systems Thinking, and collaboration skills. The more time you spend coding, the more pronounced these benefits will be.

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Who is this for?

The Hour of Code is designed with everyone in mind. A beginner could 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.

There are MANY different activities available on the Hour of Code website. Choose the activities that best fit the age/grade level you teach.

The Hour of Code is here

Let's Get Started!

Step 1:

Sign up as the organizer of your class' participation. You must sign up before December 7 to receive the gift from Code.org.

When you are ready to guide your class through the Hour of Code, click below:

Open the class coding lesson

Please show the student videos before coming to the lab. Available for students to open in the Current Lessons link on the Elementary Intranet

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Class Certificates

If you would like, when your class has completed the Hour of Code, you may download and print certificates of completion for each of your students HERE.

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


  • 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

Computer Science Unplugged

  • 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

Free iPad Apps

Frequently Asked Questions

From Code.org, with notes specific to Pearland ISD:

Do students need accounts to do the Hour of Code?
No (follow-on tutorials may require signup to save student progress)!

Will YouTube videos work in my school?
While not all of the tutorials have videos, on the ones that do, the videos will not play on the student/lab logins (though they will work on your teacher login).

What computers/devices/hardware do I need?
The ideal setting is in the lab, where students work on individual computers (iPads will also work, but the students are not able to access the Elementary Intranet), plus headphones for the kids to enjoy the sounds. You should 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 or the more-advanced Anna & Elsa one). If you choose the Star Wars tutorial, be sure to choose the block-based code for younger students, and the Javascript code for older students. More advanced students will finish one of these in 30 minutes, and can then try a more advanced tutorial.