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Hour of Code–What is it?

Posted by on November 15, 2016

Coding–that mystical geeky subject that confounds students and teachers alike. Confess, when you think of coding, you see:



…when you should see


December 5-11, Computer Science Education will host the Hour Of Code–a one-hour introduction to coding, programming, and why students should love it. It’s designed to demystify “code” and show that anyone can learn the basics to be a maker, a creator, and an innovator.

They provide a variety of self-guided tutorials that say “anybody can do this on a browser, tablet, or smartphone”. They even have unplugged tutorials for classrooms without computers. No experience needed.

Coding is a great tie-in to Common Core math Standards. Anytime I can show students how to complete math skills without doing math, it’s a plus (because it surprises them. They don’t expect a discussion on problem solving or Minecraft to help them with math).

Over the next few days, I’ll share ideas that will energize your Hour of Code. They include (if the link doesn’t work, it’s because the article hasn’t posted yet):

  1. Hour of Code: Is it the Right Choice?
  2. Hour of Code Suggestions by Grade Level
  3. 10 Projects to Kickstart Hour of Code

More Hour of Code resources

K-8 Programming Websites 

K-8 Programming Apps

K-8 Lesson bundle of coding projects

3D Tin website review

Hour of Code: Primo–Programming

Building a website (from a student)

Scratch Jr: Website Review

Hour of Code: Minecraft

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

6 Responses to Hour of Code–What is it?

  1. markgrabe

    You begin with the claim that coding is one of the best ways to teach problem solving. Can you provide references? I am interested in this topic.

    • Jacqui

      Hi Mark–Coding teaches many higher-order thinking skills authentically and granularly. This includes critical thinking, logic, and symbolism. Not to mention the ability to sequence an activity, debug problems, and deal with if-then propositions. Plus, kids will try-fail-try again with enthusiasm and gusto–they want to code the project and don’t want to give up.

      One more: It aligns nicely with Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice. Pretty much right down the line.

      Hope that helps!

      • markgrabe

        The research on coding is fairly extensive and does not support your position. I would point you to Various reviews of the research attempting to summarize this issue (Pea & Kurland, 1987b; Salomon & Perkins, 1987). The research summarized in these analyses were based on exposure to LOGO.

        Grabe, Mark; Grabe, Cindy. Integrating Technology for Meaningful Learning (Kindle Locations 4065-4066). Kindle Edition.

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