Coding and Hanukkah

Because I work at a Judaic Day School, I am always looking for ways to integrate Judaic content into my technology class. This year for hour of code I wanted to integrate Hanukkah. I found some great pre-made Scratch programs that my students could remix. I also created an offline coding with a chanukiah for my younger kids. During our Hanukah Community Event we will have computers set up and the chanukiah and instructions out so kids can show their parents what they have learned! We are in the middle of the lessons now and they are going great! Here is what I am doing.

K-2 Offline Coding

I wanted to do an offline introduction to coding with my K-2 students to introduce the concept of a code as a direction to follow. So I went to my favorite resource (Amazon) and found this cute Hanukkah foam toy.

For the coding, here are the steps.

  1. Review the code explanations sheet
  2. Send one robot (student) outside so they can’t hear
  3. Pick a color and write the color code in the first box with an up arrow
  4. Decide if the robot will begin on left or right side
  5. Roll the dice
  6. Students use the write a code sheet to write a code for a classmate robot
  7. Robot returns to the class and tries to follow the code
  8. Bugs are explained and fixed

I always model it for the students the first round.

Other notes:
In K I am always the writer, in 1&2 they take over at some point.
In K we don’t do a color code or the right or left side, only code the candles on the spot.



3-5 Scratch and Hanukkah

I searched the Scratch program and found different games and activities. I copied the links and had students create accounts. Then they used the links and watched what others made. Then they selected one and remixed it to make it their own. Below are some of the links I found, but don’t worry there are tons more!

Since it was the first Scratch adventure for some of my kids we focused on just 5 block types: Motion, Look, Sound, Control, and Events. I wanted kids to know how to start the action (events), how to make it happen more than once using the loop (control), and some basic blocks for movement, sound, and appearance. For my advanced students, they changed costumes and backgrounds and added more details. It has been amazing to watch kids teach themselves and their peers how to create and adjust.


So what are you doing for Hour of Code? Ours is more like Months of Code now as we have been doing it since November. Share ideas from your Hour of Code and if you use some of these ideas let me know how they worked!
I am also super excited to explore the Foos Hour of Code materials! We will be using their lessons with my 2nd grade classes in January/February!

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