Beyond Hour of Code – Grade 2 & 3

After visiting a few classes this year for the hour of code all of the teachers asked me “what is the next step?”  For each of them I wanted to try to find something that would help them continue with coding in their classes if they chose to do so.

I wanted to find things that were free, tested and well organized.AnimatedGenres

For the grade 2/3 class I went back and delivered a couple of lessons from the Scratch Jr Curriculum “Animated Genres”.  The lessons are are very formally scripted up with teacher instructions and objectives for each of the lessons.  (12 – 1-hour lessons).  I also think it’s very easy to find math and literacy connections with the topics covered in this curriculum.

The one issue I ran into was trying to demo Scratch Jr on a projector with this class.  The students were using Chromebooks (they had to add the Scratch Jr. extension) but it could also be done on iPads.  The teacher machine, however, was a “locked-down” PC and I wasn’t able to install Scratch Jr.  I quickly found a couple of short Scratch Jr. videos on youtube and used those to demonstrate what I needed.  It wasn’t so bad, you can easily stop and re-play video sections and you can turn down the volume and add the “words” that you like.  The teacher will be able to get Scratch Jr. installed eventually but I couldn’t do it quickly.

My second visit went really well – since the kids already had some coding background I covered the first 3 lessons in a little over an hour.  I really like the “unplugged” discussions and the fairly short sessions at the computer for students to test the concepts and still get to play around a bit.

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