An Hour of Grade 2 Coding

The hour of coding has arrived.  My first thoughts on this project were:  “No way.  My students are seven.  I don’t even understand much about code.”  I’m always up for learning something new though, so I created my own little inquiry using this question:  Can my Grade 2 class and I participate in the “Hour of Code” in a relevant and meaningful way?

It turns out that the answer is yes, and it didn’t take me long to figure out how.

To prepare for the week, I taught my class how to cut and paste pre-formatted code in order to add a pet widget and a  flag counter to their own blog.  This helped them to see that in order to create a more interesting display on the computer, they had to tell the computer what to do in “computer language”.  Today we watched the video that AMDSB sent around that explains the Hour of Code.  With some prompting, my students made the connection between the Hour of Code and their own blogging project.  I challenged them to think about what they could do if they knew how to write code on their own.  They were excited about this (which was my whole plan…), and I used a simple activity based on Elsa from Frozen to write their first code.


Of course, I did the teacher part and I made a connection to the curriculum for them.  The Geometry strand of Grade 2 math has the following specific expectation:   Location and Movement:  By the end of Grade 2, students will – describe the relative locations (e.g., beside, two steps to the right of ) and the movements of objects on a map (e.g.,“The path shows that he walked around the desk, down the aisle, and over to the window.”);  

Now my thoughts are a lot less “No Way” and a lot more “You bet!”

What will the Hour of Code look like in your classes?

Creative Commons Reminder

My first proper image search... Remembrance Day
My first proper image search… Remembrance Day.

I’m guilty. I didn’t realize I was breaking this rule… and letting my kids do it too.  Problem solved:  Search Google for images labeled ‘reuse’.  This blog post has  links to the engine build in – just be sure to choose the option ‘reuse’ or you will end up doing a normal search. Creative Commons Image Search .  The article is about 5 years old, but it seems to work fine for me.  Here’s to blogging legally!

Happy Hallowe’en

I couldn’t  resist.


This morning I asked my class to be the school paparazzi for our Hallowe’en assembly/parade.  They loved it!  They took hundreds of photos (we will have a  ‘How to delete’ lesson is this afternoon).  I got them to make piccollages with their photos, and but they had a snag – My principal reminded me that we can’t put photos of the kids who are not in our class on their blogs.  How have you monitored the photos you allow students to use?

My second question is  a Creative Commons question (I’m doing that lesson next week).  Are the ‘Photos from Web’ that you can add in PicCollage automatically fair game for us to use?