December 7th – 13th is Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code! Hour of Code is an introduction to Computer Science (no experience needed), and is a global movement celebrated in over 180 countries.
Why Participate in Hour of Code?
Hour of Code has a mission of broadening the field of computer science to ensure that ALL students (especially girls and students of color) have experience with computer science and see themselves reflected in the field.
This week is also centered on our ISTE Standard for November/December: Computational Thinking. Computational Thinking is not just about coding, however! It is a critical, real-life problem solving skill that asks students to break down complex problems, identify key information, and recognize patterns.
How Do I Participate?
Introduce Hour of Code to your students with an inspirational video to get them excited, like this one!
Through gamified tutorials, students learn concepts like creating algorithms, recognizing patterns, and decomposing complex problems. Code.org, PebbleGO, and BrainPOP (all accessed through Clever) are wonderful ways to introduce computational thinking into your classroom in a low-risk way.
Code.org is also hosting special “CodeBytes” all throughout this week. These are daily, 20-minute interactive live streaming lessons that you could do alongside your students, or invite them to tune in on their own.
Consider working across content by reading stories of characters underrepresented in the computer science field and discussing why everyone should be introduced to coding and computer science. Did you know that students can write to active NASA Astronauts, and request an autographed photo? Several suggestions for elementary picture books are:
- Ada Twist, Scientist (Andrea Beaty)
- Cece Loves Science (Kimberly Derting)
- Grace Hopper, Queen of Computer Code (Laurie Wallmark)
- Hello Ruby (Linda Liukas)
- Hidden Figures (Margot Lee Shetterly)
- How to Code a Sandcastle(Josh Funk)
- Swift Walker: A Space Adventure (Verlyn Tarlton)
Learn more about this movement at https://hourofcode.com/us. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Ed Tech Lead or Ed Tech TOSA for ideas and support!