It’s November, so it’s the perfect time to get ready for the Hour of Code, coming up December 3-9. This year’s theme from Code.org is the ever-appealing notion of CREATIVITY. Thus far, the Hour of Code has reached over 600,000,000 participants, but let’s help reach over 1 BILLION this year!
We have several ways to help you get prepared for this year’s event:
Take an online Teach Wonder course
First, you may have missed it — but at the beginning of this school year, we released our second online professional learning Teach Wonder course, Introduction to Coding & Robotics with Cue, designed for middle school teachers. Both of our Teach Wonder online 12-hour courses have been designed for the classroom teacher who is new to the idea of teaching coding and robotics. We tried to illustrate why computer science skills are crucial for the future of work and how many of the instructional strategies align to what you already are doing in the classroom.
From learning theory to classroom setup, from project-based learning to formative assessment, we have curated some robust articles and engaging videos to help you establish a solid foundation of understanding to bring coding and robotics into your classroom successfully. We provide many opportunities for application and reflection via FlipGrid videos and an online Teach Wonder community.
We have talked with educators near and far who say that they are either working through the course on their own — you have 6 months to complete it — or that they have formed a cohort in their school and are taking time to host a group discussion after each of the six modules.
Check out each course’s syllabus at www.teachwonder.com. You can purchase the course alone or bundle it with a robot for special savings. And check to see if we’re working with a partner in your state for extra special savings.
Then, participate in one of five ways
Whether you are new to coding and robotics or a fearless veteran at this point, the Hour of Code week is a great time to introduce it to your whole school community and challenge everyone to get more involved in computer science. We like to say that Dash, Dot, and Cue provide opportunities for “parallel learning.” Kids and adults alike can learn side by side.
Last year, we posted activities for grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8 on our site’s Hour of Code pages. This year, we have added brand new activity packets for Dash and Cue. Go ahead and review them before the Hour of Code. Consider downloading and using our free printable resources in one of the five following ways:
- Host a coding or robotics themed lunch or after-school workshop for your teachers. Serve some delicious “bytes” while they try their hands at some of our activities to get themselves more comfortable and familiar before they introduce the ideas in their classes.
- Then, designate an official hour of code at your school, where all classes across all grades and subjects are focused on coding and robotics for 60 solid minutes. Better yet, carve out an hour a day in all classrooms during the week of December 3rd. Start Monday morning with an unplugged activity and then move to more hands-on, creative problem-solving challenges over the following four days.
- Create a buddy event between an older grade and a younger grade one day. Have pairs of kids buddy up to learn from one another. Peer-to-peer learning can be so powerful and rewarding!
- Encourage families to get involved! Send some of the activity packets home for family members to tackle together. Have students share out the next morning about what their families did.
- Organize a culminating family-friend event and invite your whole school community — teachers, students, siblings, and parents — to participate in some STEM-rich fun. Set up stations and empower students to be the leaders to demonstrate all they’ve learned while helping others to learn something new.
Win a Dash Mirrorball Trophy (what!?!)
It’s true! In celebration of Hour of Code, we are hosting a Dancing with the Robots video contest. Simply post a video of your robot dancing (or you all dancing with the robots) on Twitter @WonderWorkshop with the hashtags #FunWithWonder and #HourOfCode now through December 31. We will choose a winner to receive a one-of-a-kind Dash mirrorball trophy.
Finally, level up with our Cue robot
Each year, we offer special promotions in honor of the Hour of Code. And this year is no exception. From November 5 to December 14, you will receive one or more free Cue robots when you purchase one of the following school packs. While designed with middle schoolers in mind, Cue is the next robot for kids familiar with Dash and looking for even more of a coding and robotics challenge.
Middle school packs:
Let us know how your Hour of Code activities go! Share your successes @WonderWorkshop with the hashtags #HourOfCode and #FunWithWonder.