Category: Hour of Code

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

One more day.  What do you have planned?  I know that the official word is that it’s just another school day with classes that are just as important as any other day.  It’s difficult to keep focused on that mindset with the half-class that does show up focusing on the clock.  And, any time you try to encourage a focus on work, you get compare to the Grinch.

It will end and then it’s time to recharge.

How about recharging professionally with a look at some blog posts from Ontario Educators?

The Power of Words

Like Lisa Cranston, I thought that there was some sort of joke happening when this news came out

As I was scrolling through Twitter this morning, I read the news that Trump has banned the CDC from using seven words in any upcoming briefs for the budget.

The seven words are now available anywhere, including in Lisa’s post, if you are interested in knowing what they are.

Lisa wears her heart on her sleeve in this post and also makes very interesting connections to a novel that we all read in school – 1984.

If you’re old enough, there was another seven words list – this time George Carlin and his list of seven words that you can’t say on television.  It’s a far less serious list.

So Many Silver Linings

If you ever want to read a post that will confirm that you’re doing the right things with social media and all the things that that entails, this one from Lynn Thomas is perfect for you.

She describes a trip into social media – as a late comer to the party – and now she’s throwing parties.  Well, at least a TeachMeet.

It’s great to hear of the connections that she’s made and she takes the time to show how sharing happens in her world.  What’s interesting to me is that, while there are so many posts about how to do these things in the Google world, it’s more difficult to find quality posts in the Microsoft world that don’t come directly from a Microsoft site.

If you’re an Office 365 user, there just might be a tip or two in her post for you.

Thoughts on the Future of Education

Joel McLean offers a lengthy post about his thoughts about where education is headed.  The post is actually broken down by four concepts.

  • Competency-Based Learning, Not Content-Based Learning
  • Developing Transferable Skills
  • Globalization, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Critical Thinking
  • Deep Learning

There’s lots to think about here.  For example, years ago, I used to teach swimming lessons.  There’s an incredible amount of content that goes into making those skills happen.  But, that wasn’t tested until later.  In the first years, it was important to demonstrate that you could swim.  I’m sure that you can think of your own examples.  Why don’t they translate into the classroom?

Joel has written a lengthy post but concludes nicely …

So what will the future of education look like? I’m not entirely sure, but I do hope it will look like real life.

1 + 1 = 3

Sometimes, I’m just drawn in by a good title and that was the case with this post from Sylvain Lacasse.

A probing question or two – why?  And who told you?

The post builds on the notion of mindset and just accepting facts as facts without questioning or probing further.  Then, he takes us to 1 + 1 = 4 and a solution that explains why it is.

Comme leaders en éducation, nous devons réfléchir à nos erreurs et transformer l’expérience d’apprentissage pour nous et pour nos élèves. C’est notre responsabilité, notre “shared leadership”. Nous devons ajuster quotidiennement nos stratégies et prendre le temps d’écouter les conseils des autres.

There is a good message here for leadership.  You may find yourself asking some interesting new questions.

Dot Paper Generator


See those dots above?  If you teach mathematics, science, or anything that requires dot paper, where do you get your originals?

Brandon Grasley is giving away for the simple task of a download of a Java program in this blog post.  Imagine having a perfect copy that could be duplicated rather than some black line master that’s been duplicated a million times.  Or, since the resulting image is a PNG file, you could doctor it up to your own taste.  Or, even better, could you remix his program?

What would happen if more people shared and gave away their intellectual property like this?

#HourOfCode and Coding Buddies

Posted to the ECOO blog and cross-posted to her own Makerspace Blog, Adele Stanfield shares a wonderful story that all schools need to hear.

Despite all the hubbub about coding, there are so many classrooms that don’t get a chance to participate for a variety of reasons.  If one of those reasons is the lack of experts in your school, then Adele has you covered.

Grow your own.

Her class had already teamed up with another for Reading Buddies so Coding Buddies was a natural for them.

In the post, she describes how everyone, including her students, learned from the experience.  And, it sounds like there is now increased buy-in from other teachers in the school.

It took the stress off the teachers. Because I promised the teachers they did not need to know how to use the app, the intimidation aspect diminished. And once they saw how engaged their students were, they started asking questions. “How can I use this regularly in my classroom?” “Can I assess this?” “Will they be able to use it independently?” It opened the door in an informal, low-anxiety way.

The post is rich with suggestions and observations.  Check it out.

How Much Can You Care?

This is a blog post that every educator should sit down and write.  Sue Dunlop did it first though and really opens up about her thoughts of education and teachers and I think she could extend her list well into all those in the profession.  How much can you care?

I’ve seen educators go above and beyond hundreds of times. I know educators who cry for their students after the day is over and who wonder what else they can do to reach that child whose life is difficult and whose behaviour is so challenging. I’ve had conversations where educators fight against their own biases to understand the perspectives of students who may not be like them. I truly believe that this is the work of education. We have to care or our jobs become meaningless.

Everyone has their limits.  How do you know when you’re approaching or are at it.  How do we handle it?

More than any profession, teachers are exposed to so many different challenges constantly.  That’s just during the working hours; what about the personal that happens once you get home?

There isn’t anyone in the profession that shouldn’t sit down, ask the question, and write that post.  Sue did and modelled it nicely.

How’s that for an inspirational collection of thinking from Ontario Edubloggers?  Please check them all out and read the complete original posts.  There’s a lot of great thinking happening.

Don’t forget to also check out the complete list of Ontario Edubloggers here.  And speaking of complete lists, did you know that you can access all of the Friday “This Week in Ontario Edublogs” posts here?

Expand your PLN!  Follow these folks on Twitter.

You’ll be glad you did!


This Week in Ontario Edublogs

I hope that everyone is comfortably shoveled out on this Friday.  It was quite a bit of snow pushing around here but I did get out to get things done.

But a little snow isn’t going to stop me from getting out my Friday post, featuring some of the best Ontario Edubloggers.  As always, there’s been some great thoughts shared this week.

Breakout Games

There’s been a great deal about digital breakout games in the classroom lately.  I’ve featured posts from Larissa Aradj and Cal Armstrong here.  So, we’ve had a look at a Google solution and a Microsoft OneNote solution.  Both are great and have a purpose but Eva Thompson had a different take.

She wanted to take her students back to the original or, as she calls it, Classic Breakout activity with her students.  Click through and see if you don’t agree that sometimes the newest and technology-ist isn’t necessarily the best.  Getting up, collaborating, problem solving, …, she had it all.

Stephen Hurley shared with me this research article The Rise of Educational Escape Rooms.  It’s a definite good read if you want more information.

Four Ways To Transform EQAO

If Andrew Campbell was King of the World, he’d change a few things.  This time, he takes a look at what he’d do with EQAO – in four easy, ok not-so-easy, steps.

All four take on a modern approach to a testing situation that doesn’t seem to want to go away.  All four are indeed worth a read and consideration but there were two that really struck me:

  • Respecting professional judgement
  • Respecting Students

He describes the day-to-day reality that both teachers and students deal with and yet is thrown out the window on EQAO testing day.

Makes you think.

What If We Focused On Thinking And Problem Solving Instead Of Coding?

It isn’t often that I disagree with Aviva Dunsiger but I sure had the hair standing up on the back of my neck when I read her title.  But the world would be boring if we all agree on everything.  Her topic was influenced by another post that she had read that I found completely misunderstands what the Hour of Code is all about.

There would be huge backlash if her title had been

  • What If We Focused On Thinking And Problem Solving Instead Of Mathematics?
  • What If We Focused On Thinking And Problem Solving Instead Of Play Based Kindergarten?
  • What If We Focused On Thinking And Problem Solving Instead Of Language?

You get the point.  If you look at the activities that people focused on with the Hour of Code, the “code” part was definitely there because of the branding but the activities are anything but passive and are all about Thinking and Problem Solving.  That’s what coding/problem solving is all about.  If you can’t see that in your activities, then you’re doing it all wrong.

Superior-Greenstone District School Board Beyond the Hour of CODE Challenge

I have to give a big unrelated shout-out to Stacey Wallwin.  She introduced me to the concept of “Freighter Friday”.  Believe me, it’s a thing…

This tags on so nicely on my thoughts about Thinking and Problem Solving.  Stacey shares with a challenge from Superior-Greenstone that takes them beyond the Hour of Code and invites you and your students to join them.


Embedded in the post is a Slides presentation with more details and links to deal with all of these topics.

Well done, Stacey.  It shows that people are ready to move beyond that one Hour and really make a difference.

Teamwork and Problem Solving

On the ECOO blog, Peter McAsh shares with us an activity that he’s been involved with the past few years.

During Computer Science Education Week, the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC) at the University of Waterloo acts as a local host for the Programming Challenge for Grade 10 Girls.  PC4G

The girls get a chance to be guests at the university which is always a treat but then Prof. McAsh leads them on a learning journey involving the Alice programming language.  (slide deck attached to his post)

To “make things count”,

A group of University of Waterloo math professors met in a conference room to “judge” the submissions from the girls. The primary tool for assessment is to view the animated movies created by the girls’ code. Lots of smiles and laughter from the professors. Somehow I think this is not the atmosphere in the room when they are marking Euclid Math Contests!

It sounds like a wonderful opportunity.  If you’re in Southwestern Ontario, it’s an annual thing!  Details here.  How about next year?

Let Me Teach Like The First Snow Falling

Lisa Cranston is learning that it’s sometimes nice to recycle blog posts.  Many tag them “Posts from the Past”.

In this revisit, she talks about the changing role of centrally assigned teachers.  I still remember her first day on the job and my chance to meet her and Brent.  They were going to change the world in teaching mathematics.

Things have changed since there.

Since that time there has been a dramatic shift in how we support educators in their professional learning and much of our work is done at the school using a model of collaborative inquiry where the teachers and consultants engage as co-learners in action research based student learning.

Ironically, I was thinking about this the other day when I was explaining to my wife that, in the beginning, principals didn’t like that approach since we didn’t check in with them and make presentations at staff meetings…

Too Much

It hurt to read this post from dear friend Colleen Rose.

This year has been tough. I discovered that I have limits because I pushed myself past them; my commitments, projects and goals became too much as I began to cope with a variety of health concerns in my family, including my own.

She’s experiencing a lesson that all teachers need to learn.  So many learn later rather than sooner.

There’s only so much that you can commit to before the important things in life start to suffer.  Paying attention to those that give you advice about “balance” is so important.

It’s wonderful to read the support that she’s getting from friends in the comments.  It’s always nice to know that you’re not alone.

La mémoire corporative

This post, from Joel McLean was so timely for me.

I’ve always had Microsoft and Google accounts and the online storage that goes with them.  I do have an organization scheme that works for me although I recall being laughed at during an OTF seminar for the way I do things …

Now, I have access to a Team Drive.  When I first started to use it, I didn’t think of it differently from any other organization that I’ve used in the past.  I was completely wrong.  (Yes, I gave in and read the documentation)


This blog post should be compulsory reading and understanding by principals or anyone in charge of organizational groups.  Life was different when a teacher left resources for someone else and they happened to be in a file cabinet.  What if that file cabinet is now in the cloud?

An Interview with Jim Cash

From this blog earlier this week, in case you missed it.

How’s that for your professional reading for a Friday.  Click through and read each of these wonderful posts.  The authors will appreciate it.

If you like this post, please share it with your network and let’s give these blog posts some extra digital love.

While at it, make sure you’re following:

Don’t forget to check out all the great blogs from Ontario Edubloggers here.  There’s always some good reading.  And, if you’re blogging and not in there, please add yourself with the form.

Now what?

I hope that you had the opportunity to participate in the Hour of Code as part of the Computer Science Education Week.  If you didn’t, it wouldn’t be for lack of resources!  There were better resources, offering more engaging experiences this year than ever.

I truly hope that it doesn’t stop there for you and your students.  I hope that you experienced the learning alongside your students and didn’t ship the class off to some one else who did the hour for you.  If that was the case, you missed the point.

The one hour activities are nice and they’re there designed for a purpose – to start people on the journey.  I hope that the journey continues and that the experience wasn’t just a “one of” thing.

When I look back at my educational experience, I took courses in English, Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Physical Education, Music, Art, History, Geography, and French.

As it turns out, I didn’t become an author, mathematician, scientist, professional athlete, musician, artist, historian, cartographer, or translator.  But I can name a classmate who fell into each of these professions.

With this logic, I really don’t want anyone to buy into the idea that doing the Hour of Code will somehow turn out the next generation of programmers.  It could but just like I can write a paragraph in two languages, play baseball, do mental mathematics when shopping, the real goal should be to develop problem solving skills.  The computer and programming languages of the future haven’t been invented yet but there’s a real advantage in being able to use the concepts of computational thinking to solving problems and also to tame that device that’s in their backpack.

Integrated properly, the skills of the past week can be developed into an integral way of doing everything.  If you haven’t read Jim Cash’s post 5 ways to turn the ‘hour of code’ into the ‘year of learning’ you really should.  I truly hope that your classroom continues to experience success in the weeks to come.

Screenshot 2017-12-10 at 10.32.46


Are you ready to share your experiences and learning?  Then, join the #ECOOchat on Tuesday evening.  We’re hoping that it turns into a great opportunity to share, make connections, and take a look to the future.

This Week in Ontario Edublogs

There’s nothing like the first snow of the year to bring out your inner-Husky.  Now, having grown up in the snow belt, I know that it’s heresy to call what we’re experiencing this morning as “snow” but it’s the sort of thing that gets students here up and checking to see if buses are running or delayed.  Teachers have already done that.

Nothing says more than “winter in Essex County” than walking past the school that we do every morning and seeing the caretaker out in a short-sleeved t-shirt sweeping snow off the sidewalk for students and staff.  Or, Santa Claus arriving by canoe.

If you want one last winter-ish activity for the Hour of Code, check this out.

No matter what the weather is like where you are, I hope that you can take a few moments to read some of the great blog posts from Ontario Edubloggers I ran across this week.

Preserve Our Language Project

When Stephen Hurley and I were discussing this on voicEd Radio, he noted that he hadn’t seen me this excited about something before.  It’s a true statement.  This is an awesome project and I found out about it by being tagged by Mike Filipetti last week during Follow Friday time.  I checked out the project and was just blown away.

So, here’s the deal.  When you get a new computer and set it up, chances are it will have an American English keyboard by default.  You can always change it for your preference.  I always opt for Canadian English.  I’ve also experimented personally with a Dvorak keyboard and it delivered as promised.  But, I dropped it for some reason.  I can recall a conversation with a French teacher who indicated that it was important for French students to see a French keyboard when they’re typing in that language.  Fair enough; that can be done easily enough.  Everyone should be able to keyboard in their language.

What if that language is Ojibway?  On my Macintosh, I’d be out of luck.  Scrolling to the Os reveals…


So, what excited me about this project was that one of the features that they’ve developed is an Ojibway keyboard and made it free to download.  Think it’s not a big deal?  Try this then – switch the keyboards in your class to another language like Persian or Polish and have the students come up with a workaround to be able to type in their own language.

I am excited about this project and some of the other things that you’ll find including videos.  Importantly, check out who all is involved with the project.

It’s a project worth following and please give them a little social media love by sharing this post.

5 ways to turn the ‘hour of code’ into the ‘year of learning’

This post, from Jim Cash, is timely for the end of Computer Science Education Week.  I hope that everyone had a chance to do at least an hour of coding with students.  I also hope that you’re asking yourself “What’s next?”

If you are, this post has some suggestions for moving forward.

I’ll share three with you here…

  • Learn to code by starting your own coding project
  • Think of coding as a literacy
  • Plan a design-thinking, project-based learning activity

You’ll have to click through and read Jim’s entire post to get all five.  His vision of coding as a literacy started an interesting discussion on Twitter.  Personally, I think that  if coding skills are going to become successful and valuable, it needs to be more than a literacy.  How about it becoming a fluency?

As the Hour of Code wraps up and people are thinking of great successes and next steps, ECOO is hoping to engage you in a Twitter chat next Tuesday evening at 8pm with the hashtag #ECOOchat.  I hope to see you there.

What EQAO Doesn’t Know

Just as Jim’s post was timely, this one from Peter Cameron is equally as timely given the Ministry of Education’s review of assessment and curriculum in the province.

This is a long post but well worth the read and to share with others.  Passionate educators will also pause to recognize all of the fallout from testing that certainly couldn’t have been predicted when EQAO was first introduced.

Peter’s post reminds us that there are more than score-buckets sitting in desks in Ontario classrooms.  They’re eager learners who have a whole year to demonstrate their learning in various ways for their teacher.  Yet, there comes that moment in time when they have a pre-determined about of time to write a test for someone else.

If this is deemed to be important, are we doing it properly?  I’d suggest that you forget the notion of the test when you read the post.  Put yourself in the position of the students that he describes.  Would you consider yourself fairly assessed?

Midterm Reflections: #BIT17, PD Day, Midterms, Student Feedback, and Tracking Observations

I had to smile when I read the title to this post from Amy Szerminska.  If I had that many concurrent thoughts, I would have broken it down into five different posts and schedule them for successive days.  There’s a whole week of blogging there!

It was confirming to read her observations of #BIT17 and the importance of connections. You know that Amy is not alone in her thoughts.  We’re more powerful educators when we make these connections.  Hopefully, school districts recognize this when an application is received to go to a conference.  Go beyond the title and what you have always thought about the host; think of the connections that go far beyond the conference.

What I really found interesting was the discussion around the Professional Development Day.  Embedded in the post is her presentation.


It’s a wonderful click through and those in the audience must really have appreciated the conversation that it would have generated.

Speaking of assessment, you have to love this student’s quote

“It’s weird but if I can negotiate my way to a good grade I don’t mind.”

LONDON GOOGLE SUMMIT: Presenting Google Classroom, Meet Entrepreneurship

In case you were wondering whether or not the Thames Valley District School Board was using Google or not, this presentation from Heidi Solway and Jason Bakker will give you a definitive answer.  I really do like it when presenters make their slide deck and other resources available for those who couldn’t attend to enjoy.

Ignite the passion in your classroom by developing your students into entrepreneurs through Project Based Learning (PBL). This project has students producing product, designing marketing, and handling sales at a Business Fair. We will share how to disseminate steps of the project via Google Classroom, having students manage their business in: Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Drawings, and Classroom. We will also touch on how students might create advertising pieces using tools such as Garage Band, green screen with DoInk and/or iMovie, Please bring a Chromebook or laptop.

Of course, the folks at Google might take issue with the final statement and the use of the word “or”.

The slidedeck links to a thing popular with the Google crowd right now – Hyperdocs.  In this case, they are worksheets to support the concepts from the project.

For the Office 365 folks, a big project like this could easily be adapted to using the O365 tools.

Classrooms Should Be More Like Trains

A “quiet table” in a noisy classroom is rather like a smoking section in a restaurant. I understand that the noise doesn’t stop when it gets to the table (oh, for the ‘cone of silence’!!) Ideally I’d prefer a room where students could go and work quietly if needed. Putting a table in the hallway or some other quiet corner of the school is also a possibility, but obviously supervision and safety is a concern. At the very least, the “Quiet Work Table” shows students that if they need quiet, that’s acknowledged and addressed in some small way.

When I read this post from Andrew Campbell, I recognized how fortunate I was with my classroom setup.  At the time, I had the ability to organize my students according to activity.

The main classroom had tables with movable chairs and wonderfully, a carpeted floor.  Behind us was a room that was supposed to host a mini-computer that never arrived.  It had tiled floor (which was great to avoid the static electricity from the classroom) and more tables to hold our computers.  Behind that was supposed to be the computer operator’s office.  It turned into a seminar room for my class.   And, of course, we had a hallway for additional organization.  All of the rooms had huge windows so you could stand in one and see what was happening in all three.  For those who needed another level of isolation, I was not against the use of headphones.

I really was fortunate.  Andrew makes excellent points and it’s a reminder that the traditional school design never really takes all this into consideration – how are you making for quiet spaces in your classroom for those that want/need them?

OTF and the Professional Learning Ecosystem

If you’re not aware of everything that the Ontario Teachers’ Federation offers, you will be after reading this post from Brenda Sherry.

I think that I knew about all of the various pieces that she touches on in her post but I’d never seen them arranged all together at once.  Looked at this way, it really is impressive.

TLLP – The Teacher Learning and Leadership Program
OTF Connects – live webinars in the evenings
OTF Summer Institutes – 3 day summer sessions
Pedagogy B4 Technology Conference – 3 days of learning
TLLP – Provincial Knowledge Exchange
Teacher Learning Co-op (TLC) – Collaborative teams

Are you aware of these opportunities?  Read Brenda’s post and then head over to the OTF Learning Page.  Check the left sidebar for even more!

Whew!  Yet again, this is a wonderfully relevant and current look at things from Ontario Edubloggers.  We’re so fortunate to have these people sharing their thoughts with us.

Make sure to add all of the above to your list of accounts that you’re following.

If you’re blogging and not in the list of Ontario Edubloggers, please take a moment to visit and add your details.

Hour of Code – Day 4

So far, I’ve worked my way through a number of Hour of Code activities.  Three of them have made it to blog post status.

It’s been so much fun.

Today, it’s a classic and dedicated to those Computer Science students that I taught.  I can’t think of a year when I didn’t have a student or group of student want to write their own version of Pac-man.  Even today, the name just conjures up visions of business success for the developers and distributors.  It’s still a fan favourite and you can find all kinds of places to play it online.  But, wouldn’t you like to create your own?  Have you ever wanted to make a version that was better than everyone else?

You can at the AgentCube implementation here, courtesy of University of Colorado Boulder, Pädagogische Hochschule FHNW, and Agent Cube.


Start here.

The tutorial is a short trip through a Google Slides presentation.  Many of the slides have opportunity to learn more about the steps covered.  Or, you can just OK your way through and have a starter game of Pac-man created for you.


Minimalist is correct.  It’s still a challenging game and the little slider that goes from turtle to rabbit lets you adjust your game according to your skill level.


Uh oh.

Then, it’s time to look under the hood and make it your own.

There are an abundance of tools to work with the objects in your game.



A few drag and drops and you’re on the way to making the game yours.

If you or your students enjoy the classics and have this desire to make your own custom version, this one is for you.

Hour of Code – Day 3

Have you ever bet on the wrong horse?

That was what went through my mind as I was looking for an activity for the Hour of Code to play around with today.  In a university, a long time ago, I took a statistics class.  Some of us in the class had calculators but, for the most part, people didn’t.

Consequently, our professor spent some time talking about calculators and what we really need to do in order to be successful in the course.  She was adamant that we should get an RPN calculator rather than an algebraic calculator.  I took her advice and bought one.  Since then, I’ve always had one or an RPN calculator on my phone.  I’ll say one thing about RPN; you learn about stacks and order of operations like nowhere else.

While my calculator served me well, it turns out that the algebraic calculator really took off.  A popular choice is the Texas Instruments TI-84 which actually is a whole series of calculators.  For the Hour of Code, the TI-84 is the tool in the Poor or No Internet category.

If you and your students have a TI-84, you’re all set.  If not, you might want to do a search; there are plenty of online alternatives.  In fact, you may have so much fun with the activities, you may want to rush out and buy your own.

Does anyone remember when a calculator added, subtracted, multiplied, and divided only?  (Hint, your computer may have one installed)

But, I’m off track.  From the Texas Instruments website, there are three entry points to get started.  I went into the TI-84 section and the learning is great if you’re ready to do some coding on your calculator.


Consistent with many programming languages, you’re ready to do some coding.


The activities are intriguing.

Confession time – I started with the first activity, and once I realized how intuitive this would be, I jumped right ahead to the Graphics section.  My old HP calculator didn’t do graphics.

By the time, I looked up, I had spent way more than an hour on this.  While I can imagine everyone having fun with this, I’m thinking secondary school students who have this calculator in their knapsack would eat this up nicely!

Hour of Code – Day 2

Keeping the ball rolling, I’m trying out the suggestions for Hour of Code from its activity page this week.

Now something for the gamers among your students – Code Combat – Escape the Dungeon.  The scary dungeon is called Kithgard Dungeon.  And, there’s a path carefully laid out to get your through the dungeon.  Avoiding all the things that make dungeons dangerous, of course.

Unlike the drag and drop interface, here you’ll be doing a little coding.  You can play anonymously but it’s going to be difficult to finish in an hour.  I just kept my game going putting my computer to sleep as I moved along.

When you start the game, you’re given a choice of programming languages.


I went with the default, Python.

So, you’re plunked into this dungeon with all of these challenges.  If you’ve ever played this type of game before, you know that movement and avoiding bad things is your challenge.


Sometimes, the shortest path isn’t the most desirable.  Especially if you don’t want to let ogres see you!

The scripting appears in a menu so you don’t need to know all the complete syntax but make the wrong choice and your hero will head in the wrong direction.


I like the commenting that appears right in the code for you.  It explains what to do and also demonstrates how to use comments.  Start them early.

It was fun working my way through the levels.  Challenges increase with every level but that serves to engage.  Background music adds to the atmosphere.  At the completion of each level, there are rewards to keep you inspired.

If you’d like a gaming approach to your Hour, give this one a shot.