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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hour of Code 2015

This week (Dec. 7-11), Shelby County again celebrated the #HourOfCode!  In my entry last year,  I went into detail what the Hour of Code is.   In short, students are encouraged to try programming and coding for at least one hour.

Teachers and librarians across the district have been facilitating student coding all this week.  Here are some highlights!

Beth Jones (LMS at Collins High School) was ready to receive Mrs. Terhune's students:

Vicki Stoltz (LMS at Clear Creek Elementary, who made a Symbaloo last year listing some great coding resources) captured some fifth grade students Minecrafting via the website.  She particularly praised how these students, like many, worked collaboratively side by side to problem solve their way through the modules:

When I emailed out to the district to talk up the Hour of Code, several other teachers replied with their own pledge to give students this learning opportunity: Tina Eden (East Middle), Teresa Walther (Talented and Gifted), Tyler Harris (SCHS), Julie Webb (LMS at SCHS), Sarah Smith and Meredith Morrison (both from Southside Elementary).

One particular partnership, between Wright Elementary's LMS Sarah Price and our Area Technology Center (ATC) teacher Valerie Ricchio, really caught my attention.  Every day this week, Ms. Price took on a huge challenge of making sure that all of Wright's K-5 students got an hour of code -- as far as I know, the first time in Shelby County that one of our schools got 100% student participation in coding.  In addition, Ms. Ricchio arranged for students in her technical computer program (from Collins and Shelby County High School) to come over to Wright as mentor-helpers.  Using iPads, the Wright students interacted with both (besides Minecraft, the Star Wars modules were particularly popular!) and the app Lightbot.

And others in our state noticed!

It was wonderful to see our younger and older students have such meaningful interaction (as well as such valuable teamwork between a librarian and a teacher from two different schools).  But cross-collaboration and compassion are not limited to technical assistance in Shelby County.  It's part of our mission statement to "embrace social responsibility."  It's part of our Strategic Leadership strands: globally effective, healthy and responsible students.   So whether it is intermediate elementary students being readers for primary students....or high school students purchasing holiday gifts for elementary students who are less fortunate, or helping them code....or our plans for student-run help desks as our 1:1 initiative simply becomes another part of our daily learning culture....helping is just another day in the district.

What have you done for Hour of Code this year?  Please tell us in the Comments below.

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