This past weekend I went to a one day code.org professional development at a local elementary school. Code.org provides workshops around the world taught by computer science facilitators free of charge for teachers. This PD provides a great opportunity for technology teachers to learn more about coding with our students.
The facilitator showed us how to create classes through Code Studio and how to add our students to these classes Depending on your students ages, you can choose from 4 different courses based off of their reading level and previous coding ability. Note: My district uses Clever to safely share students information, so you might not even have to register your students — that would be a district help person though!
After adding our students, we got a chance to be students and try to solve the coding puzzles. It was fun to try and get the angry bird to the naughty pig! It made me think how much fun my students were going to have! As a teacher, I will be able to see students progress as they work through the various lessons. What a great way to assess students and have proof of their effort!
One new feature to the program is the pair programming and I am beyond excited about it! Before, students would pair program (or work together on one computer), but only 1 student would get credit through Code Studio. Now, students can add the partner they are working with and both can receive credit! Pair programming is a great real world connection!
A thing that I love about Code.Org is the unplugged lessons that are included for teachers. These are perfect as introductions to the courses or could be saved for those days the internet isn’t working. Each lesson includes the standards, vocabulary, activities, assessment, basically everything to rock an unannounced observation! At the training, we pretended we were the teachers and students and got to practice teaching the unplugged lessons. It was great to talk with other educators to get hear about some extension ideas they thought of for the lessons.
As teachers, we love our free stuff and MAN, does Code.Org hook us up! I walked away with some cool Code.Org swag that included a bag, clipboard, pen, notebook, and water bottle. Even better, in a few short weeks Code.Org will send me the materials needed to do all the unplugged lessons in my classroom.
What’s even better than free stuff is the ideas and lesson I got for my classroom to teach coding. I’m now more prepared with some great resources to help my students learn. I would recommend this training for experienced and inexperienced coders!
Now to share some free stuff with you, I have created a Free Hour of Code Certificate. I love the one that Code.Org provides, but I don’t have that much color ink to print over 800 copies. Here’s one that you can use instead!