GCISD Hour of Code: Reflection from a 3rd Grade

Today's guest post comes from Nancy Hale, 3rd grade teacher at Grapevine Elementary.  Follow her on Twitter @Mrs_Nancy_Hale and her classroom blog: http://www.gcisd-k12.org/Page/29899

When I first read about the Hour of Code on the GCISD Tech Blog, it took me back to my own experiences in elementary school. I vividly remember learning how to do BASIC coding to create pictures on the computer screen from simple pixel commands. Knowing the impression this experience made on me, I knew I definitely wanted to try it with my students. 

I used the district’s list of suggested coding apps and took a poll of my class to see which apps they already had used. As soon as I brought up the idea of coding, they were immediately intrigued. From creating video games to programming their own robot, or even inventing a new type of technology…what kid wouldn’t be interested in learning how to code? The conversation and this short video clip had them all begging to begin. I felt like I was trapped in a car with small children asking, “are we there yet?” because all I heard for two days was “When is the Hour of Code?”

I decided to use the app Hopscotch, because none of my students had tried it before. I simply downloaded the app and they took off running with it. Even though I had posted a tutorial video on our Edmodo page, all of my students decided to figure it out through experimentation and collaboration. They were sharing ideas, showing off their cool creations, and teaching me as we went. Below are a few pictures of our experience. We look forward to spending more time coding in the next few weeks, perhaps with a specific task to create in the next hour.  

Writing code is certainly not easy and can sound like an overwhelming task, but we can plant the seeds student’s need to flourish in the future by allowing them opportunities to experiment now.

For more information about GCISD's Hour of Code, view resources here: