The Hour of Code is coming! Are you ready?

Gearing Up for the Hour of CodeThis post and podcast episode will give you everything you need to get ready to participate in the Hour of Code and Computer Science Education Week in 2019.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, computer science skills are vastly becoming some of the most in-demand skills of the twenty-first century. In fact, some call it a new “superpower.”

But we have a big problem. There more computer science jobs than the U.S. can fill with qualified candidates.

Computer Science has become part of every industry. Technology is everywhere and coding is the backbone of how it all works.

So we can’t sit idly by and hope that some of our students will decide to take an interest in Computer Science, we need to give them exposure to coding and build those foundational skills.

The Hour of Code will not only give our students computer science skills but also help us cultivate creativity and critical thinking skills.

Guess what? You don’t have to be a coding expert to facilitate these experiences with your students.

(See also The Beginner’s Guide to the Hour of Code.)



Thank you to GaETC and all the amazing educators in Georgia!

Do you have a question or idea to share on the podcast? Leave me a message here:

Gearing Up for the Hour of Code

Gearing Up for the Hour of Code

What is Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek) and The Hour of Code?

Computer Science Education Week or CSEdWeek is an annual program designed to inspire K-12 students to take an interest in computer science. The program was originated by the Computing in the Core coalition,, and is supported by partners and educators worldwide. The philosophy is simple but significant: every student deserves the opportunity to learn computer science.

The Hour of Code is a global movement in over 180 countries and is a quick way to introduce coding to students or anyone. Anyone can learn the basics of computer science in a fun and easy way! By spending as little as one hour, you can spark coding interest in your students with one-hour lesson plans, tutorials, interactives, and games.

How to Run an Hour of Code

Ready to get started? Running an Hour of Code doesn’t have to be complicated. The resources are abundant and easy-to-follow. Sign-up here to get FREE resources!

The activities are self-directed. Teachers do not need to stand in front of the class and actually teach code! This is easy, y’all!

No matter what grade level you teach, or what devices you have available, every student can participate in the Hour of Code and learn the basic principles that apply to all programming languages (like sequencing and looping). There are even options to go “unplugged” if you do not have access to devices in your classroom because students can learn computer science principles with something as simple as a deck of cards.

Classroom Tips

When your students come across difficulties it’s okay to respond:

  • “I don’t know. Let’s figure this out together.”
  • “Technology doesn’t always work out the way we want.”
  • “Learning to program is like learning a new language; you won’t be fluent right away.”

What if a student finishes early?

  • Students can see all tutorials and try another Hour of Code activity.
  • Or, ask students who finish early to help classmates who are having trouble with the activity.


Coding Resources & Lessons

There are hundreds of free resources, lesson plans, tutorials and events that bring the power of coding into the K-12 classroom. Below is a short list of some favorites. CLICK HERE: to get all the Hour of Code Activities.






Dance Party 2019 Code a Dance Party to share with your friends. Featuring Katy Perry, Shawn Mendes, Lil Nas X, Panic! At The Disco, Jonas Brothers, and many more! Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Polish, Portuguese, and 10 more! All modern browsers, Android tablet, iPad, Unplugged 6+
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Learn to program drones and a high tech sleigh with coding magic to capture presents and navigate down the mountain to return Christmas to Whoville.
English modern browsers, smartphones & tablets
Write Your First Program                Drag and drop blocks to learn the basics of computer programming with self-directed tutorials and lectures from Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. 37 languages                                                  modern browsers, smartphones & tablets 4 – 104                      
Kodable Students learn the fundamentals of programming through the game. English iPad 5+
Star Wars Drag and drop blocks to create your own Star Wars game! Students work with Rey to program the BB-8 droid to collect scraps. many modern browsers, smartphones & tablets 6 – 10
Minecraft Use blocks of code to take Steve or Alex on an adventure through this Minecraft world. English modern browsers and tablets 6+
Hopscotch Drag and drop editor allows students to create and publish their own games. English iPad 7 – 14
Code with Anna & Elsa Drag and drop blocks to create snowflakes with Anna and Elsa as they ice skate. English modern browsers and tablets 8+
Hack a Game Learn coding skills to hack this game to make it possible to play. English All modern browsers  14+
Animate a Name
Pick a name and bring the letters of the word to life using code. Choose a nickname, a pet’s name, an animal, a sport, a place or a hobby. English, Spanish (Mexico) All modern browsers 6+
NASA Moon 2 Mars Explore NASA’s exciting new efforts to reach the Moon and then Mars. Students can design their own animated mission patch, imagine their life as an Artemis astronaut on the Lunar Gateway, and more. Beginners can try step-by-step tutorials, while experienced programmers can create their own original projects with block or text coding. English All modern browsers, iPad 11+
CS First (Google) Drag and drop editor using the Scratch program language to complete many different projects. English Chromebooks, laptops, desktops 9 – 14
Hour of Drawing with Code      Khan Academy tutorial: Learn how to draw with code (Javascript and ProcessingJS). English modern browsers and iPad 8+
Codecademy      Learn the basics of JavaScript through this interactive guide, includes accompanying quizzes and slides. English modern browsers, iOS and Android 14+
Code Monkey
Online game where students program a monkey to catch bananas as they learn a real programming language.
16 languages modern browsers, iOS and Android

For even more, check out all the lessons and resources from and their partners. I have also curated a YouTube playlist of inspirational videos and tutorials on coding. Still looking for more resources? Check out the Shake Up Learning Coding Pinterest Board.

Computer Science Unplugged

No computer? No problem. As mentioned earlier, you can still teach and learn the basic principles of computer science without any computer or device at all. Try CS Unplugged, which is a collection of learning activities that teach computational thinking concepts without the need of a computer or device.

Podcast Question of the Week

  • What is your plan for the hour of code and CSEdweek?
  • Post your answers in the Shake Up Learning community or on your favorite social platform.

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