What do students think about coding?

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One of my favorite times of year is December because it is time for the Hour of Code! Although it is the topic I teach that I know least about, or I should say have the most to learn about, I still love the thrill of introducing students to coding.

The Hour of Code (www.code.org) is designed to get students and teachers involved in coding. The site offers different levels, games design options, activities that involve student's favorite characters, and other aspects to add interest for the students. If you view the site you will see that the activities scaffold the students to progress towards writing lines of code on their own.

This year I had a set plan of what activities we would do and rubrics to grade the student work. Within five minutes the plan was scrapped. The students zipped through the first part of my plan and then some wanted to jump to much high level activities, some wanted to learn java while others wanted to go to activities that included movie characters they were interested in.

My classroom climate sets the tone fro students to make suggestions, have a voice, in what we do. This climate made students feel comfortable enough to ask to deviate from the plan and go to what appealed to them most. I am so glad we scrapped my plan, the students did much more higher level programing activities than I had planned. I am already planning to include many more coding activities throughout the year, thanks to the voice of my students letting me know what they want to learn.

How have you included coding in your class curriculum? Do you think programming should be required in all schools? What are successes you have had in teaching coding in the classroom?

Happy New Year!

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