An Hour of Code in 2014 – Ideas for your classroom


Want to join in on all the Hour of Code fun? Simply follow the Hour of Code guide, and pick an activity from some of the ideas below. Enjoy!

Hour of Code is taking place right across the globe this year from 8-14 December. This global movement introduces programming and coding to students and is growing from strength to strength with over 15 million students joining in an Hour of code from schools worldwide last year.

 

Option 1 – Game on!

 

 

 

Why not tinker with some of Microsoft’s great games creation platforms. With Project Spark and Kodu, students can move from consuming games to creating them. In doing so they can consider games creation aspects such as narrative, actions and effects and visual literacies.

Project Spark

Project Spark is a "game maker" video game for Microsoft Windows 8.1 and Xbox One. Through Project Spark, students can create amazing gaming experiences similar to those on their Xbox. There’s also an awesome tutorial system embedded within the program that you can install today and get started!

Kodu

Kodu is a new visual programming language to create games that’s designed for children and enjoyable for everyone!

You can also try out our new Hour of Code tutorial. Brodu is lost, hungry, and surrounded by enemies but you can make changes to the code to help him escape and get home! Download the desktop version here or look for it in the Windows 8 Store.

 

Option 2 – Make them ‘Appy

 

 

Students are avid consumers of apps, but why not step them away from consumption into app creation with these three simple Microsoft tools.  

Touch App Developer

Using Touch App Developer you can use your touch screen to explore the land of app and game creation. You can also find everything you need to use to create an app for An Hour of Code on the Touch Develop Homepage.   

Project Sienna

This beta app creation platform from Microsoft supports the creation of apps with limited knowledge of coding and app creation. Check out some of the example apps created with Project Siena to inspire and motivate your students into action.  

Windows App Studio

Got an idea? Why not turn it into a functioning app! Windows App studio makes this possible without the need to know code or programming languages. Check out the examples made with this platform and follow the tutorials to get started with your class.

 

Option 3 – No Computers, No Problems

 

Not every teacher or student has access to a computer, so why not use either of these activities to begin your student’s understanding of coding language and patterns. Access both of the activities below via the ‘No device or internet? Try 'unplugged' computer science’ section on Code.Org.

My Robotic Friend -

Using a pre-defined "Robot Vocabulary" students can figure out how to guide each other to accomplish specific tasks without discussing them first. This lesson teaches children the connection between symbols and actions, as well as the invaluable skill of debugging. "My Robotic Friends" works best as a group activity and includes a teacher workbook for classroom use.

Fuzz Family Frenzy -

Designed for use with plain paper, the fuzzFamily Frenzy is an introduction to programming logic for kids 5 and up. A teacher should explain the game, then students program a partner to complete a simple obstacle course.

 

Option 4 – Options Galore

 

The Hour of Code website from code.org provides many, many more options to suit your classroom. The main thing is to jump in, learn with the students and have a little fun! Follow this planning page for a step by step success guide.

You might also like to check out the Microsoft YouthSpark Hour of Code site for more ideas on how you can get involved in Hour of Code.

 

What are you going to do to celebrate An Hour of Code? Why not share your activities in our comments below.

 

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Comments (1)

  1. Michelle Pudney says:

    Thanks Pip this has been taken on by so many of my colleagues and from all reports their students are super excited and want to learn more!

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