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Today I Didn’t Teach: Thoughts on Independence

Today, I didn’t teach anything. I let my students teach themselves, and it was wonderful.

Although the Hour of Code was in December, we didn’t work on it then, because there were many other projects that had to get done. Now that the school year is winding to a close, I thought it would be a nice way for the kids to spend their last visit to the computer lab.

One of the classes that came in was a class of third graders. I played them the 60 second teaser video for the Hour of Code, explained a bit about what coding was, and then introduced the importance of going patiently step by step and iterating your code by showing part of a BrainPop movie, Computer Programming: One Step at a Time. (We had a limited amount of time, so I only showed them the part that covered the basic concepts.) I demonstrated the site we would be using, Tynker.com, and told them that I would not answer questions once they started working. If they ran into trouble, they had to figure it out on their own or ask another student. (more…)