My fifth grade students were part of that group and here are some reflections from them on what they thought coding meant, what they learned this week, and how it has changed their view of programming.
As mentioned in my previous post, I gave my students the opportunity to try three different online coding activities. They could use Khan Academy to complete a drawing tutorial, they could use Scratch to make a interactive holiday greeting card, or they could complete a coding puzzle and game using Tynker.
First, I think giving the students a choice was one of the best decisions I made. If kids found one platform confusing or they were having technical trouble, the freedom to move on to a different activity was built in. Having choice eliminated the complaining you sometimes hear with projects. Since the process was what I was interested in, not just the product, giving them the freedom to explore programming concepts however they wanted worked really well. Below is a breakdown of what students chose. A few finished with one site and moved on to another or even tried to work a little in all three platforms.
Here are two of my students demonstrating the Scratch projects they completed this week.
I had students write a reflection in Google Docs about what their experience has been during the Hour of Code. The feelings they expressed were overwhelmingly positive and many shared that they thought programming was something hard, but now they feel it is easy and pretty fun to boot.