Hour of Code December 7-13, 2015

Teacher Resource

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This is the first time Whitford MIddle School is participating as a school in 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...

The goal is for every student at Whitford to experience one hour of coding during this event. The plan is to have either Math or Science teachers at each grade level take one instructional day to participate in our schoolwide Hour of Code effort.

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


Computer science develops students’ critical thinking and computational skills. They are not just using technology but creating content. These skills 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 is in it for you? How about a prize?

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 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!

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The Hour of Code is designed for every possible learner. A beginner could be a middle school student, a grandparent, a first grader or even a Whitford teacher.

There are MANY different activities available on the Hour of Code website. Choose the activity that best fits your class.

Let's Get Started

STEP 1- Sign up for Hour of Code

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

How to Run an Hour of Code

STEP 3 - Choose your Tutorial

Code.or hosts a variety of fun, hour-long tutorials for students of all ages, created by a variety of partners. New tutorials are coming to kick off the Hour of Code before December 7-13. Try current tutorials.

All Hour of Code tutorials:

  • Require minimal prep-time for teachers
  • Are self-guided - allowing students to work at their own pace and skill-level

Step 4 - Plan, Reserve, and Sign up for your Computers !

The best Hour of Code experience will be with Internet-connected computers. You don’t need a computer for every child, and can even do the Hour of Code without a computer at all. Devices have been reserved for Hour of Code. Be sure to sign up quickly so we can release all devices to other teachers.

  • Test tutorials on student computers or devices. Make sure they work properly on browsers with sound and video.
  • Ask students to bring headphones, if the tutorial you choose works best with sound.
  • Don't have enough devices? Use pair programming. When students partner up, they help each other and rely less on the teacher. They’ll also see that computer science is social and collaborative.
  • Have low bandwidth? Plan to show videos at the front of the class, so each student isn't downloading their own videos. Or try the unplugged / offline tutorials.

Invite a local volunteer to inspire your students by talking about the breadth of possibilities with computer science.

Show an inspirational video:

It’s okay if both you and your students are brand new to computer science. Here are some ideas to introduce your Hour of Code activity:

  • Explain ways technology impacts our lives, with examples both boys and girls will care about (Talk about saving lives, helping people, connecting people, etc.).
  • As a class, list things that use code in everyday life.
  • See tips for getting girls interested in computer science here.

Teaching Resources

Need more guidance? Download this template lesson plan.

Want more teaching ideas? Check out best practices from experienced educators.


Direct students to the activity

When your students come across difficulties it's okay to respond:

  • “I don’t know. Let’s figure this out together.”
  • “Technology doesn’t always work out the way we want.”
  • “Learning to program is like learning a new language; you won’t be fluent right away.”

What to do if a student finishes early?

  • Students can see all tutorials and try another Hour of Code activity at code.org/learn
  • Or, ask students who finish early to help classmates who are having trouble with the activity.

Step 7 -Celebrate!

  • Print certificates for your students.
  • Print "I did an Hour of Code!" stickers will be available for your students.
  • Share photos and videos of your Hour of Code event on social media. Use #HourOfCode and @codeorg so we can highlight your success, too!


Code.org. 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2015. <https://code.org/ >.