The Hour of Code Returns

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If you haven’t yet figured out how to incorporate Computer Science (CS) into your classroom, than the Hour of Code is perfect for you! And if you already are incorporating CS into your classroom, than the Hour of Code is a fun way to introduce students to different Computer Science programs that they may want to explore on their own.

This year I was lucky enough to be selected to be on the Hour of Code and CS Ed Week Review Committee, so I can tell you firsthand there are many exciting projects to choose from – and more coming soon! Check out the committee here (Shameless Plug)!

What is the Hour of Code?

The Hour of Code is a global Computer science movement that reaches tens of millions of students in countries all over the world. The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. The 2016 Computer Science Education Week will be held December 5-11. Hour of Code activities are easy to implement and give students exposure to CS concepts. It includes both online and offline (unplugged) activities aimed at making students excited about learning more about Computer Science.

Why Should I Participate?

Computer science is said to open more doors for students than any other discipline in today’s digital world.  It is important that digital natives learn not only how to be consumers of technology, but also producers of technology. As educators, we should equip our students with the skills they need to succeed in the career’s of the future, and computer science does exactly this.

In addition, what I love about computer science is how it teaches a kid to persevere and practice a growth mindset. Things will get tough, they will struggle, and they will learn this is the path to success.

How Do I Get Started?

Check out Code.org’s site to get started! Do not be scared, the highlighted activities were all selected for teachers with NO EXPERIENCE. So pick one and happy coding! Stay tuned for some exciting new updates to be released soon too! Need help getting started. Feel free to reach out to me so I can help.

 

SEP Jr. – CSforAll

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In the teacher world, there is not greater joy than sharing your passions with your students. This year my students and I have learned and grown so much together. I am so grateful to them for always being so enthusiastic about trying out new things with me. This journey started earlier this year with Genius Hour and passion projects, then we incorporated STEM activities with MakeyMakey kits, and last we ended the year learning to code with Code.org. Along the way things were messy, we failed at various things, and ultimately we learned so many valuable lessons about what true learning looks like. In fact our new favorite motto is: F.A.I.L = First Attempt In Learning.

We had so many successes this year it is hard to pinpoint our greatest. However I can say my proudest moment occurred just this week when my students showcased their learning for Chancellor Fariña and members of the press. The Chancellor visited our class to issue a press release and watch my students during a coding lesson. During her visit the students shared with the Chancellor their knowledge of computer science and taught her some of the basics of coding. They exuded confidence and excitement, despite the many visitors and cameras present in the room.

The Chancellor was at our school to announce the start of a new NYC elementary school pilot, SEP Jr., set to start next year. The goals of SEP Jr. is to increase the number of elementary school students, particularly from traditionally underrepresented groups, who learn computer science, and to develop students’ computational thinking and problem solving skills in real-world contexts. (for more information click here). I applied for this pilot program on behalf of my school team and was thrilled to learn we were chosen of 110 applicants to be one of 11 selected elementary schools! What a great way to end a wonderful school year.

To read more about this and our visit, please take a look at the following articles:

NY Daily News             Chalkbeat NY                 NYC DOE Press Release