Saturday, December 12, 2015

Hour of Code Achieved!

The JCHS #HourOfCode Marathon was an incredible success this week thanks to the over 800 students and their teachers who participated in this global event.

I had prepared several backup plans in anticipation of the Hour of Code site being overloaded as experienced last year but was pleasantly surprised that there was only one day that required the use of a backup plan.

Once students had been introduced to what Hour of Code was and had begun working toward their certificate, Pandora Top Hits station was turned on. Ms. Gilliam’s 3rd Block class was delightfully entertaining to watch as the class would unanimously belt out popular song lyrics as they coded.

As students completed the Hour of Code and earned their certification they were encouraged to challenge themselves with other coding activities found on the JCHS #HourOfCode Symbaloo.  The most popular of these alternate activities was Code Combat, Flappy Bird, Made with Code and Scratch.

Highlights from the week included teachers getting into the excitement and earning their Hour of Code certificate and their students telling them, “Yay! Great job!”  Ms. Patricia Williams telling me how “mad” she was that I was doing this activity the week before final exams. She then told me she was wrong to be mad as Hour of Code strengthens all the skills students need every day and especially test taking skills: critical thinking, self evaluation Arion and revision, use of prior knowledge, attention to detail and so much more.

Several students earned their Hour of Code certificates in multiple scenarios, including Baylee who earned FIVE Hour of Code certifications. My favorite highlight however was when a student asked, “Can we do Hour of Code at home?”

It's not too late to try Hour of Code at your school or at home! Coding is now considered to be a basic literacy just like reading, writing and basic mathematics. Going through life in the near future without a basic understanding of coding will feel similar to going through life not knowing how to read.

Get your code on!

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