To fit in with our Inquiry-Based approach, I had planted a seed a month earlier when students were deciding what they would like to learn about. One of the ideas on our "Awesome Ideas" board was learning to code a video game.
In the computer lab we watched the introduction video together, and then we began. At first some students needed a little help, until they understood how to work the controls. Once everyone was started, I stepped back and let them help each other. As students began to finish, they helped other students who were stuck. The whole group working away to help everyone to succeed in the challenge. It took us longer than an hour. The lunch bell rang, no one wanted to stop or leave. Everyone finished their hour of code, and they took home their certificates to prove it!
What's next? For those students interested, we have Daisy the Dino ready on the iPads. When they are comfortable with that app and its challenges, we have Hopscotch for the iPad. Once they have been successful with those two, they will be able to move on to Scratch, an online Coding application developed by MIT. Scratch requires a computer, or a Chromebook, as it is not HTML5 yet, and doesn't work on the iPad. With Scratch they will be able to reach their goal, and create their very own video game!
A big thank you to Hadi Partovi, founder of Code.org. You can follow Code.org here on Twitter.