More accurately, the title should read: HOW THE NEW STAR WARS MOVIE STARTED A CHAIN OF EVENTS LEADING TO A CHANGE IN OUR CURRICULUM.
It all started when I [Carol] saw the latest Star Wars movie over Christmas break 2015. In addition to the famous C3PO & R2D2, there was a new robot companion, Bb-8. Of course, it was an endearing droid, and a new “toy” for Christmas.
When I logged onto the Barnes and Noble website to order some books for our library. I saw this Ozobot, tagged as “one of the world’s smallest programmable robots, measuring just over 1 inch in height & diameter.” The description claimed it was a learning tool to teach children the basics of coding and programming.
That got me to thinking . . . what if we went beyond the Hour of Code?
During the 2014-2015 school year, our technology teacher introduced Hour of Code to our 3rd-5th graders. We repeated it for our 3rd-6th graders during the 2015-2016 school year, adding an unpluggable lesson to the Hour of Code lesson, during the 4th quarter. During the current school year, we plan to observe National Computer Science Week/Hour of Code in December.
Those events led me to a discussion with our principals, our technology teacher, and our 6th-grade team. Where previously we offered only a multimedia elective in 6th grade, now we are planning an introduction to computer science (focusing on coding) as the new elective — in addition to our multimedia curriculum.