This will be my third year having my students participate in the Hour of Code. (year 1, more year 1, year 2) If you haven't heard of this initiative before, basically, it is a week dedicated to getting students at least 1 hour of coding in school. Most schools, including mine, do not teach computer science (CS) or computer programming (coding). In addition, there is a lack of diversity in professions that use CS. Female students and students of color are underrepresented in the field. Hour of Code aims to give students an opportunity to learn about coding and to improve diversity in CS.
One of my goals this year is to get my students to see math as a creative subject. Many people naturally see art, music, or even english-language arts as creative subject, but have a hard time imagining what is so creative about mathematics.
A few ways I'm addressing this goal are getting my students to think creatively using lots of the #MTBoS resources or even just creating products that show their mathematical thinking. Another way I think I can show students that math is a creative subject is by showing them coding.
When I tell other teachers that I'm spending about four school days doing coding next week, I often get questions about time. How do you have time to do this? Are you ahead in the curriculum? Won't you get behind?
The answers are: I'm making time, I'm not ahead, and sure, I guess I could get a bit "behind." But this learning experience is important. It's important mportant for my students to develop their problem solving skills, perseverance, risk taking, and logical thinking. I think it's worth it and important, so I'm making the time.