Day 2 was a whirlwind with back to back class all day from 8AM until 2:30PM. Once again, it was a day filled with perseverance, collaboration, and celebration as students figured out how to create pieces of code in apps and websites and run them.
Kindergarten and 1st grade continued to use the app “The Foos” by CodeSpark. Today, I gave better instruction encouraging them to write the shortest code they could think of in order to get their character to capture the star. We also did a few examples together by displaying the iPad on the screen. This helped us to think about problem solving, trying something different, and visualizing the actions we wanted our character to take before we wrote code.
Our 2nd grade classes tried out block coding by using the Anna and Elsa snowflake game on Code.org as well as the Angry Bird and Flappy Bird game. Once again today, the Code.org site was slow. It didn’t crash, but it was still so slow that students were discouraged. We visited it when we could, but we focused more of our time on Google’s Made with Code site. This site was created to encourage girls to code, but we’ve found that it’s really a site for everyone.
Students chose from 3 block coding activities: making a yeti dance, creating a White House light show, and designing an animated snowflake.
This was such a great tool for 2nd grade because it walked them through each step of adding blocks and then they could make adjustments to create various effects. It was a great stepping stone to move on to something like Scratch or Scratch Jr. In fact, we looked at Scratch at the end of each session and students better understood all of the menus in Scratch because of what they learned on this coding site.
Finally, the entire 5th grade came in for a coding extravaganza. It was loud and productive. They tried the three Scratch tutorials on Code.org
Several students also used Made with Code to create more dancing yetis and lights. I have a feeling that many of these students will be coding on their own tonight, in class, and over the winter break.