Code.org Stage 20: W00t! I’m finished!

The 20 Hours is Gamified and here's the proof I've finished.  Where's my million dollar prize, now?!

The 20 Hours is Gamified and here’s the proof I’ve finished. Where’s my million dollar prize, now?!

 

 

I can’t believe it but I’m actually finished the 20 Hour “Hour of Code” by Code.org!  By the end of it, I had written ~1,900 lines of code.

I’ve been dragging my feet about completing the hours since the Christmas holidays ended.  Happily, I’m the stubborn type and when I make a goal for myself, I really make myself finish it.  So, now I’m done and it feels good! 🙂

Blogging each stage was a great exercise.  I struggled in the beginning to articulate things and concepts I wasn’t very sure of.  By the later stages, I was finding it easier to talk about Functions, Parameters, Counters etc. because I actually understood what they were.  It’s interesting because I had to run into these concepts for 3 or more lessons before I started to understand.  I was transported to when I was a child and learning brand new things for the first time.  It reminds me that we can’t expect kids to always understand everything during the first lesson, even if we have been exemplary teachers during the lesson!

Now that I’ve blogged each stage, I can look back on these blogposts as reminders and lesson notes for myself.

After Easter holidays, I will be running an after school coding club.  I’m calling it “Infinite Loop Coding Club” because it’s obvious the teacher is a bit loopy 😉 !

I’m going to offer this 20 Hour Coding Course as my coding club. (It’s going to be a part of my Coetail Course 5 Final Project which happens to be our graduation project.)

If students in my club finish early, they’ll be more than ready to tackle the open-ended projects offered by Scratch by MIT.

For Stage 20 (the last Stage), the lesson plan is that students think back to all the lessons they’ve done in the program and to create an original unplugged (not needing a computer) activity to teach the concept.  Students work in teams like a regular coding team in a software company.

Here is the list of the 20 Stages (from the lesson plan).

1) Intro: What is Computer Science?
2) Maze #1: Sequence, Loops, Conditionals, Nesting
3) Computational Thinking: Decompose, Patterns, Abstraction, Algorithms
4) Graph Paper Programming: Draw what the algorithm tells you
5) Artist #1: Draw Shapes, Loops, Increment
6) Algorithms: Put shapes into pictures, Folding paper
7) Artist #2: Figure out algorithm
8) Functional Activity: Suncatchers – Program, functions, variables
9) Farmer #1: Conditionals, Repetition, Variables
10) Conditionals Exercise: Coding with Cards
11) Artist #3: Calling functions, Repeat with Loops, Variables & Parameters
12) Song Writing: Functions like a chorus, Passing parameters, Parameters as Variables
13) Farmer #2: Functions
14) Abstraction: Madlib style stories
15) Artist #4: Functions and Parameters
16) Coding Under Pressure: Double Checking, Debugging
17) Farmer #3: Importance of Order, Debug pre-made program
18) Internet: What is the Internet? How does it work?
19) Artist #5: Free play
20) CS Wrap-U : What did we learn? What was your favorite part?

Moving beyond the 20 Hour of Code, Code.org suggests CSisfun.com and Go Beyond.  As I mentioned above, I’m going to have the students move into Scratch by MIT.

I feel a huge sense of achievement for having pushed myself to go through this. 🙂  I am not a geeky coder person.  I’m more of a humanities, play instruments & sing, and philosophize type of person 😉 .   If I can do it, ANYONE can do it! I wish to thank my 12 year old son for helping me through some of the advanced puzzles.  He helped me when I was stuck.

I bought a t-shirt from Zazzle.com that says “Code like a Girl!”.  I’m going to wear it when I run my club. hee hee.

In the 21st century, workers will have to do more fulfill job descriptions well. They’ll have to have the ability to innovate and learn on the fly.  This includes teachers as we’ll be called upon to learn software, hardware and innovate lesson plans integrated with authentic Tech on the fly.  (Think about how fast Technology advances and how short the half-life of technology is.  This explains the need to do it all “on the fly”.)

Being able to reinvent yourself as a teacher who is able to handle some Coding will serve you well.

I hope to do some blogging about the Infinite Loop Coding Club.  I definitely have to produce a video about it as part of my Coetail graduation project requirements.  Stay tuned for all that!

~Vivian

Vivian 20 Hour of Code Certificate

 

Yes, learning to code is empowering. See my tweet below 😉

 

About Vivian

Vivian @ChezVivian is a Canadian-born Chinese, currently living in Switzerland. She has also lived in Hong Kong and Indonesia. She holds a M.S. (focus: Educational Technology Integration), B.Ed and a B.A. and graduate studies in Kodály and Orff music pedagogy. She is an elementary school classroom generalist, but has also taught as a music specialist, ESL/EAL and also in Learning Support. Most of her teaching career was in International Schools in Hong Kong. She is excited about the IBPYP and the possibilities of using technology to Inquire. Recently, she has been looking at the opportunities that computer programming gives to put #TECHXture back into the hands of children. In other words, technology need not be just about looking at screens. It can be about building things with our hands; and computer programming levels-up what children can do with the things they build---encouraging higher thinking skills. She is a Coetail Post-graduate Certificate grad ('13-'14), a former Coetail Coach and one of the co-founders of #CoetailChat. Her blog home chezvivian.coetail.com curates her assignments for Coetail and her M.S. graduate studies about Educational Technology integration and anything else educationally-related that she feels inspired to write about. Her twitter tagline sums it up: "Mom to 4, Mentor, Educator, Musician (in that order)".
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2 Responses to Code.org Stage 20: W00t! I’m finished!

  1. O.K. I am intrigued. I am going to ponder doing this course. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. Vivian says:

    Hi Kristi

    The program is scoped and sequenced very nicely. After 20 “hours”, I’m not too sure I feel I’ve gone very deep into coding, but I have a basic understanding of many concepts. It would have been difficult for me to really understand the concept without having a chance to apply it over and over. Like I said, I felt like a little kid again trying to learn something I’ve never encountered before.

    The good thing is that because I’ve blogged all the stages, I’ve actually verbalized and explained in expository fashion what is happening with each stage. Reading my blogposts will make it easier for my readers to go through it, than it was for me.

    After working on the course, I really think teachers need extended time to apply coding concepts and then they’ll be able to integrate it into other subjects and into “real life”.

    The push is that teachers start teaching coding but “surfacey-based” Professional Development won’t be enough to help them see where it might fit. Playing these scoped and sequenced games is extended time applying the concepts and results in deeper understanding and a better start at eventually being able to teach coding, imho. 🙂

    Good luck! Give me a shout if you have any questions.

    ~Vivian