L2C4K Winter 2015 Week1 Completed

I'm happy to report that we successfully completed our first class of L2C4K at Saint Kateri School this week.  We were delayed by a week due to technical difficulties in the computer lab.  I doubled up the lesson plan to make up the lost time to ensure we have some time at the end to "explore".  (I've yet to figure the nature and scope of our exploration.  I suppose that depends, in part, on how far along the kids get in the material.)

The first class was lecture heavy and I'm know the kids were struggling to pay attention towards the end.  I've assured them that the next class will be much more like the "hour of code" classes they have already taken.

The first part of the lesson focussed on introductions and establishing some basic terminology and understanding about what a computer is, what code is, etc.

[Slides][Notes] Embedded (Click on slides below to advance):

Perhaps the most exciting part of this lesson was the "Hello World" exercise.  I walked students through opening up their JavaScript console and writing a "Hello World" program - see slide 22.  This was pretty challenging because it required the students to type the exact commands, use precise "punctuation" etc.  

Here's a sample program that they had to type in:

console.log("Hello, World");

The most complex version, asked them to enter their name and then send a message back to them with their name in it:

var name = window.prompt("Hello, what is your name?");
window.alert("Hello, " + name);

Does this code kind of make sense to you?  Have a closer look at this example:

See the Pen Hello, World for L2C4K by John Duprey (@jduprey) on CodePen.

Most of our exercises will use a graphical programming language in code.org (based on Blockly) that will be much more fault tolerant and allow the kids to focus on the concepts.  However, by the end of the class, I hope to at least get them started with typing code.  The written form can be much more expressive.

The second lesson was taken right from code.org's 20 hour level 2 track for elementary school.  It introduced the concept of "algorithms".

[Slides][Notes][Activity Sheet][Example SheetEmbedded (Click on slides below to advance):

There can be many algorithms to accomplish the same task.  There are often many right (and wrong) answers.  The kids participated in a pen and paper activity in which they created an algorithm using special code (symbols) to draw images on graph paper.

In the next lesson, children will learn about "sequences" - orders of instructions for a computer to follow.  You can try out the lesson "Stage 3: Maze Sequence" or watch the video:

Uploaded by Code.org on 2014-08-22.

I'm looking forward to the next class!  I hope the kids are too!