This year, International Computer Science Week kicked off on Dec. 3, during which time Code.org’s Hour of Code reached upwards of 714 million students.
Cranston Public School’s elementary students were proud participants, enjoying a myriad of opportunities for computer science activities during the month.
The youngest students learned computational concepts and programmed literary characters (including elusive Ginger Bread Men) through paper mazes. Other students delighted in the newest Code.org tutorials, including a Grinch coding challenge (available at http://www.grinchhourofcode.com/) and the opportunity to program a Dance Party (see https://code.org/dance).
Students engaged with motivating tutorials; connected computer science terminology to other problem solving, including their math curriculum; contributed to computational thinking exercises; and developed a greater insight into the role of computer programming in everyday lives.
School librarians provide their students with a curated archive of games, tutorials and challenges, which the students continue to have access to in and outside of school, like at http://guides.rilinkschools.org/bobcats/HourofCode2018
Hour of Code and Code.org also add games and challenges each year, with perennial favorites Minecraft, Angry Birds, Moana, Frozen, Ice Age, and Star Wars. The youngest preschoolers can learn to code with Kodable. More and more elementary students are learning programming with Scratch.
“Over time, we are seeing that students are more familiar with the concepts of computational thinking. They are naturally open to collaborating and creative problem solving. They are learning from their mistakes, becoming more outside the box thinkers, and are jubilant in their successes,” observed Susan Rose, Library Program Supervisor for Cranston Public Schools. “We are showing them the skills; they are carrying them forward into their futures”.