This week, December 7th – 13th, is the Hour of Code. Over 100 million students have already participated, but new content is made each year! The idea behind Hour of Code is to introduce kids (and adults too) to the challenge and excitement of coding.
If you are introducing students to coding for the first time, I would recommend using the Snap! programming language. I use Snap! in my Introduction to Computer Science course, a course for students with little to no prior programming experience. The Snap! program is a programming language from UC Berkeley, and I use it as part of a curriculum from TEALS (link to TEALS). Snap! is wonderful for Hour of Code because it allows students to do a lot and learn the basics of computing quickly. Here is a sample Hour of Code exercise on Snap! Math teachers, this Hour of Code exercise also gives student practice with cartesian coordinates in an interesting way!
Using Edcite to Assess in Computer Science: If you’re interested in making an assignment to assess what students learned from hour of code, check out some assignments I’ve made for students in my class!
Edcite allows me to create interesting assignments that use screenshots from the Snap! program. I can also share my assignments at the end of the year with other teachers using Edcite’s sharing system.
When making these assignments, I like to use the following item types:
- Multiple choice, multi-select (quick to grade, good to spot misconceptions)
- Free Response (good way to push students to explain their thinking)
- Touch Image (you can use screenshots from the program have students click on the block to test specific understanding)