Hour Of Code: My Robotic Friend

on Friday, December 5, 2014
My Advanced Math Applications class is an elective for seniors who need or want a 4th year math credit, but don't want to take AP Stats or AP Calc. I have never taught an elective before, and it a breath of fresh air! There is so much freedom in what to teach, and it allows me to really listen to my students and work towards things they enjoy.

Something I heard of last year was Hour of Code, and knew that I wanted to do it with my seniors in AMA! I decided to do the 20-hour course (designed for K-8, but I am making necessary changes as we go to make some things more applicable for my students). All of the lessons have been made, and most of the materials are print-and-go. It's completely rocks. Also, not all the lessons are online, so students learn how to code by working with each other and without technology. If you do not have a 1-to-1 program at your school, you can still do all the "unplugged" activities.

The lesson I did today was day 4 of the 20-hour course, tweaked a little bit. Hour of Code has a graphing activity similar to this, but it sounded way more fun to "Program Your Friend" and build a stack of cups!
In a nutshell, students worked in groups of 3. Two students were programmers and one student was the robot. There is a set of cup stack cards that the programmers would choose from and write a program for the robot to follow, and hopefully successfully build the stack! The two programmers had to use the symbol key to write out instructions for the robot to follow. When the programmers were done, they would bring the robot over and make the robot run the program. If something went wrong, the programmers could stop the program, debug their code, and run it again. You can find the entire lesson here.

Every student was engaged for the entire lesson! Students loved working together and trying to come up with their own cup stacks for their friends to build. I hope everyone gets a chance to participate in the Hour of Code.


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