Friday, December 5, 2014

The Hour of Code

Last year was my first year participating in the Hour of Code. I went to my daughter's preschool class and taught the kids basic programming via an iPad game called My Robot Friend. We had a blast freeze dancing and coding!

If your child enjoys this type of game, then check out the coding board game Robot Turtles, which is based on a similar concept.

This year, I wanted to try something different. Then I stumbled upon this USA Today article mentioning a new coding game using the characters from Frozen. The code is an easy, intuitive drag-and-drop user interface called Blockly. It's similar to the MIT-developed Scratch GUI. I figured that my daughter's kindergarten class would love that, so I emailed her science teacher to see if we could give it a try. She was game, and I was excited! The game itself is so fun that I continued playing long after my daughter went to bed.

The kids had so much fun! We began with a quick demo on the SmartBoard.

Then, we let them try it individually on their iPads. They mastered several levels in a matter of minutes, and ended the session with a freeze dance game to Let It Go.

My company, EMC, thought this was so cool that they profiled my volunteer efforts in a video for International Women's Day 2015! More here:

I'm so grateful to my company for giving us 3 volunteer days off so that I can spend time in my community working on fun projects like this.

It's not too late to bring the Hour of Code to your school! Check it out online at Hour of Code.

Here are some additional photos from the Philbrick 3rd grade's hour of code.

Edited to add additional photos from the Philbrick 4th grade's hour of code.

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