Today was the second day for Hour of code at Warren Elementary School. I opened the activity to our students yesterday with great success and today even more students joined. Our internet speed is slow as I have said previously but we are able to run the Hour of Code programs as they load locally on your computer so if you are patient it can work.
The session I held today was rather special because many of my students had finished the initial Games and were ready for a new challenge and I had others who were coming for the first time. Knowing this in advance I tested some of the suggested sites for my students next steps and came up with a plan. Students who participated yesterday became my experts and helped students new to the hour of code log on and get started. Then if they ran into a problem which they could not solve they called me in.
For the next step I chose to use “Beyond the hour of Code” for those who had completed the first hour of code.
There were several choices but to avoid the frustration that can build quickly I narrowed their choices to:
Today’s session was also different because I had “experts” who could help and they also were collaborating and problem solving together. It wasn’t rare to hear things like “Cool have you tried the repeat blocks?” or “This puzzle is really challenging I love this!”. Students were beckoning one another across the room to ask each other for help or working together on a problem. I can see how in the future I will extend this opportunity even lower and invite my grade 3/4 students in and my grade 5/6 “experts” can mentor them.
I can see this process growing into something bigger but I am not yet sure what will happen. Our internet is getting a big upgrade in the next few months so we will be able to try Scratch and Tynker which have great reviews.