An Hour of Code
After a round of introductions, Chris had us all visit Code.org, a website dedicated to getting all kids into coding at an early age. We had our own pint-sized hackathon going in full force.
Within the worlds of Frozen, Star Wars, and MineCraft, the kids walked through progressively more difficult challenges, assembling "blocks" to help their characters achieve a goal at each stage.
My first-grade daughter was the youngest of the group, and naturally, she played Frozen.
After five or so rounds of helping her think through the logic--which ranges from simple instructions like "walk forward" and "turn right" to loops like "repeat 10 times"--she caught on, began taking her own notes, and experimented with executing her blocks as she went so she could see if it was working correctly (growing the next generation of agile programmers!).
By the end, the kids all got certificates to take home. It took me 28 years to become certified in anything computer-related; she did it a week after losing her first tooth. Her world is not the same as mine.
What I found really enchanting about the site is the "Show my code" feature:
After the kids all got their certificates, we broke for pizza, a movie, and this. Because we do develop software, after all:
Drawing 8-Bit Art
In the afternoon, we moved on to 8-bit drawing at the excellent site https://make8bitart.com/. While Minecraft Madness hasn't struck our house yet, I have a special fondness for 8-bit drawing; my first computer program was creating a picture of a fishbowl on a Commodore 64. (That was in 1988.)
Eliza went with her standby:
I opted for drawing a picture of her:
As I write this back at my desk, she's poring over Elsa's every move on the iPad. I'm thrilled for her to have found a new game, and even more thrilled that it lays the groundwork for the fundamentals of code.
Onward, Genius Generation!