I love the times when an idea for a lesson comes together like what happened in my Geek Squad today! As we were walking back to the lab one of the Geeks started stating everything we were doing, that turned into my “coding” while we walked. I was calling out what I was doing as if it were code.
When we got back to the lab I decided to have the Geeks code the school. I gave them each a clipboard, paper and a pencil. Then I gave them a start point and a destination.
They then set off to code their way to their destination. They worked in partners to write their code.
When they came back confident that they had finished their code, I tested it for them! And we found a few mistakes!
Some of them tested their code themselves before they asked me to test it.
While I was testing I spotted one of our grade five students waiting for a music lesson and roped her into helping with the testing process!
When they thought they had their code correctly written I asked them to type them up in a Google Doc. Each group approached the writing of the code differently. As you can see they each approached the “walk” command with a different technique and varing degrees of success!
Then the parents arrived to pick them up. By then I had printed copies of their code. They showed their parents their starting location and off they went!
I have to say this lesson has been one that I will remember. It was fun, engaging and challenging for the Geeks. I even had one throw in an “if this, then that” statement into their code!
If I get the chance to introduce coding as a replacement for instructional writing this would be one of my lessons. I also think it would be a great first week activity. You could match the new to the school students up with the ones who knew where things were and send them out to code. Then they could follow each other’s codes.