The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in over 180 countries. It is designed to demystify code and show that anyone can learn the basics. Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st century career path.
Our class has been working with the free Kodable app to learn coding. It is a perfect way to offer a kid-friendly introduction to programming concepts and problem solving. With Kodable, kids can learn to code before they even learn to read. In the short time we have been using Kodable, I already see computational and critical thinking, collaboration and perseverance. Some students are working with others, while some want to figure it out on their own. I also love that they won’t ask me to help them. Rather than come to me, they are going to others or sticking with it until they figure it out themselves. This is how problem solving skills are developed and strengthened. It is also interesting to see that some need to run their finger along the maze for each step to know which arrow to choose, while others can do it quickly in their heads.
Here is what one of the Kodable screens looks like:
The goal is to get the fuzzy ball from one side to the other, while obtaining as many coins as possible. The students have to work on left and right, up and down, but they also have to use the color squares in the coding if they want the fuzzy ball to grab those coins in the middle.
The interest and engagement in this app has spilled over into other areas of the classroom. The students are building their own mazes and having their friends figure out the code to move across the maze.
Watching my students analyze and problem-solve, either solo or cooperatively, gives me a good indicator of where they are in the development of these important skills. The kids are completely engaged and their conversations are rich with logic and reason.
If you are thinking about the Hour of Code, give Kodable a try!
Today we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it!