The #HourofCode is a special time that is meant to demystify the skill of coding for all ages of learners. In previous years, my students have created a Caine’s Arcade-style event for the community where the frames of the arcade machines were made out of cardboard and the screens were the students’ iPads. You can read all about this event and how it engaged Sudan’s international school community (for the first time?) with the idea that even 10 year olds can code:
This year, my students have been compiling their games onto a Padlet, and are exploring how social media can spread their coded games into the hands of tinkerers all over the world. By engaging with these games through the embedded padlet below, or by following this link, my students are hoping for some feedback in the form of ❤️ and comments. On behalf of my students, please join in the fun!
Year 5 Coding Arcade
- Click on the game of your choosing
- Play it
- ❤️ your favorites
- Comment with constructive feedback in the comment section below each game
Cool! But how do we see what the coding looks like?
Go ahead and click on any of the games on the Padlet above or by following this link. Once it’s loaded, you’ll see at the bottom of every game a button for “How It Works”, which will take you to the exact code that the students have coded over the past couple of months. One of the Star Wars games, for example, will look like this:
How can I get my students to start coding games like these?
It’s easy. All of the Hour of Code projects that my class used to code their arcade come from Code.org. I put together a nifty webpage with my favorites, which you are free to use with your class:
How did you have enough time for all of this?
You might be wondering if preparing such an arcade took a lot of time out of the schedule. The answer is, not really.
I tried to be very careful with how and when students were coding. Since we are a 1:1 iPad classroom, students did a lot of the coding at home, right before school while waiting for attendance, and as a “fast finishers” activity when they had completed an assignment early. Since each of these games are meant to be completed in an hour, I imagine it would only take 8 or so hours total to code ALL of the games. For my class, we set a minimum goal for ourselves of two per student.
I hope that this post will help you and your class get started with an Hour of Code project. My students also will be grateful of you have your students play some of their games and ❤️ and comment below. All in all, the Hour of Code has really brought a lot of joy to these 4th grade students, and I hope that it brings you and your class joy as well.
– Zach Groshell @MrZachG
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