Hour of Code at Stewart MS

Hour of code at Stewart MS

This past week, we celebrated Hour of Code week at Stewart.  It was pretty low-key overall, but we had some fun activities going on to get our students into coding.  One of the activities we had was inspired by Laura Fleming‘s digital breadcrumbs.  I put up a few different coding sites on our interactive whiteboard so that students could walk up to it and try out some coding.  I quickly found that this worked best with sites that focused on block coding that didn’t require typing.

Our Computer Science Week book display

Our Computer Science Week book display

For the entire month of December, I’ve had a Computer Science week book display up.  It’s included biographies of important figures like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, books on Arduino and Scratch programming, and even a great MakerEd book about projects to make with dead computers.  This has been a great way to spark student interest in computer science.

December also saw the introduction of two Spheros to our Makerspace, thanks to a DonorsChoose project.  Students have been eagerly coming in every to play with the Spheros.  They’ve been loving learning how to use all the different apps to control Sphero.  We haven’t gotten too deep into the coding apps yet, but that’s next on the agenda.

Working through Code.org's resources

Working through Code.org’s resources

While Code.org did have some issues in the earlier part of the week, it was working fine by the time I had classes coming through every period on Thursday.  Quite a few of these students worked through the longer Code.org curriculum with me last year, so they either helped other students or tried other programs.  A lot of kids were already familiar with Scratch and started building some awesome stuff on there.  One students even coded a cool graphic of the media center:

One of our teacher’s daughters is a blogger, and she put together a great write-up on the Hour of Code at our school, complete with student interviews.

Did you participate in the Hour of Code?  What did your school do to celebrate?


Diana Rendina, MLIS, is a middle school media specialist/teacher librarian in Tampa, FL. She is the creator of the blog RenovatedLearning.com & is also a monthly contributor to AASL Knowledge Quest. Diana is the winner of the 2016 ISTE Outstanding Young Educator Award, the 2015 ISTE Librarians Network Secondary Award, the 2015 AASL Frances Henne Award & the 2015 SLJ Build Something Bold Award. She is an international speaker on the Maker Movement and has presented at conferences including AASL, FETC & ISTE. Diana co-authored Challenge-Based Learning in the School Library Makerspace with Colleen and Aaron Graves (to be published August 2017). She is also the author of the forthcoming ISTE book, Reimagining Library Spaces.