Penguin (PVL)
Penguin (PVL)
Teachwire Logo
News

5 Reasons to Embrace the Hour of Code

Five compelling reasons to take part in the fifth annual Hour of Code between 3rd-9th December 2018

  • 5 Reasons to Embrace the Hour of Code

1 Coding is the future

With numbers and symbols flying around, it’s easy to forget why coding is so important, so it’s essential to take pupils back to basics. A great way to do this is to brainstorm jobs with your pupils that they think involve code.

First complete a list just as a class, then send your pupils home to ask their parents if they need code in what they do. You’ll be amazed how the initial list grows, and it will become glaringly apparent that we live in an ever-more digital world where computer programs power everything.

2 The skill set is transferable

Another objection to Hour of Code is that not everyone wants to become coders. Not everyone will, but learning to code teaches you to look at problems logically, break them down into their component parts and explore creative solutions, all of which are very transferable skills.

Looking at something as simple as the process of watching your favourite TV programme can help with this. What needs to happen first? How do you change channel?

3 Terminology needn’t be a barrier

The terminology of coding is a definite barrier for many. Just the word ‘algorithm’ can turn off many pupils, so make sure they know that it is just an instruction, defining a sequence of events to reach a particular goal.

An important lesson to take on board is that computers work on logic alone, so may not interpret a command as a living, breathing person would. It’s essential therefore to think ‘out of the box’ to incorporate all possibilities.

A good exercise to do here is to consider all the different routes possible you can take from one location to another. How could you ensure in your code your preferred route was taken?

4 Stretch their capabilities

The feeling of satisfaction pupils get when a program runs is immense, but some children will struggle to get the results they want, while others will have exhausted the most popular Hour of Code resources long ago.

There are many resources available which can help your pupils move their computer code on, and many have tailored schemes of work for different year groups, along with lesson plans and activity sheets to support their learning offline.

The critical thing is to identify resources that meet each individual’s needs to keep them interested and challenged.

Learning to debug programs is as important as being able to write them, so when the blue skittle is knocked over before the red one, when it is supposed to be the other way around, it’s vital pupils revisit and review their code to understand the reasons why that’s happening.

5 It’s fun!

The most important thing is to have fun with the Hour of Code, and celebrate the progress possible by dedicating extra time to hone this skill.

There are many resources you can use which are proven to engage children in learning. All the examples given here are from EducationCity’s Hour of Code Topical Teaching Pack, which is free to download from www.educationcity.com.

Sign up here for your free Brilliant Teacher Box Set

Get 8 KS3/4 maths lessons with expert teaching techniques

Find out more here >