Hour of Code with Tynker

Teacher's Guide

Welcome to Tynker's Hour of Code! We are excited to share our tutorials with you. We’ve built a series of game and puzzle based programming activities, appropriate for beginner (grades 1 to 3) and intermediate (grades 4 to 8) level students, that teachers and parents can use to introduce computer programming to children.

Tynker is currently used by over 3,500 schools and offers a standards compliant computer science curriculum for grades 3-8. Tynker’s online programming courses are used by thousands of students worldwide to get a fun, self-paced introduction to computer programming.

Setup is as easy as 1-2-3!

New teachers welcome! You can easily set up a classroom on Tynker and and set up for the Hour-of-Code in these 3 simple steps:

  1. Register on Tynker, it’s free – Start here.
  2. Create a classroom – Create one or more classrooms and select some of the Hour-of-Code activities for your students.
  3. Add student accounts – You can either create student accounts on Tynker, or pass the class code to your students if they already have school provided google login accounts.

Please note that the sign-up is optional. Anyone can just visit www.tynker.com/hour-of-code and start using the tutorials immediately.

Existing teachers

Please log in to your accounts and add the Hour-of-Code lessons to your Tynker class rooms using the “Add Lessons” option in the Lesson Plan tab of your classroom, and you should be all set.

Adding Student Accounts

There are three ways to set up student accounts on Tynker. Log in to Tynker and select the classroom on the “My Classes” dashboard under the “Classroom” Tab. In the "Student Management" you'll see an orange button that says "Add Students." This allows you to add students to your classroom.

  1. Some schools issue Google accounts to students If your students have Gmail accounts already, send them this link http://www.tynker.com/school and ask them to sign in using Google. They will be prompted to enter their class ID, which you can provide them. It can be found at the top left-hand corner of the “Student Management” tab for each classroom you create.
  2. You can also sign your students up for direct accounts with Tynker. Just enter their name and we'll assign them a username and password.
  3. Alternatively, you can upload a CSV file with the students you want to import. The first row should be the labels for the subsequent rows. Use "first name" for the first name, "last name" for the last name, "username" for a desired username or email, "password" for desired password. If a user name is unavailable, the system will create an alternate one.

If you run into any issues we’re here to help - please send an email to support@tynker.com

What’s in the Hour-of-code?

Try any of Tynker’s 8 free Hour of Code tutorials:

  • Puppy Adventure Mini — a Beginner coding puzzle
  • Puppy Play Time — a free play activity for Beginners
  • Lost in Space — a Beginner coding puzzle
  • Sketch Racer — an Intermediate coding puzzle
  • Space Zombies — an Intermediate Build-a-Game tutorial
  • Puppy Adventure Complete — an Intermediate puzzle and debugging tutorial
  • Math Art — an Intermediate tutorial to learn how to program to draw shapes.
  • 15 block Challenge — a free play activity to spur creative juices.

What do these tutorials teach?

The puzzles are designed to teach students the basics of computer programming such as sequencing, repetition, and conditional logic. Students solve each puzzle by connecting visual code blocks to achieve a goal.

Tynker’s Hour of Code tutorials introduce the following concepts and ideas to children

Name Description
Sequencing Break down a problem into a series of ordered steps to achieve a goal.
Loops and Repetition Use a “loop” construct to repeat instructions. There are many kinds of loops - such as those that repeat a certain number of times; those that repeat until a certain condition is reached.
Conditional Logic Use an “if” construct to handle logic during programming. Perform one set of commands if a certain condition is true, and another set of commands if the condition is false.
Math Art Program a turtle to move using simple commands such as “move forward”, “move backward” or “turn” a certain angle. Draw complex shapes and patterns using these commands in conjunction with loops, sequencing and conditional logic.
Programming is a creative activity Using a given set of commands, build a web app and publish it. Use the free play activities such as Puppy Play Time, Math Art or the Space Zombies game to use the given building blocks and create your own projects.

Beyond the hour of code, Tynker offers a complete computer programming curriculum for grades 3-8. Learn more

Tynker’s curriculum maps to CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards.

Block help

Block Description
{"func":"blockControlCall","cat":"functions","name":"On Start","label":"On Start","hasFlap":false} This is the first block of your program. Add blocks under this one.
{"func":"blockControlCall","cat":"functions","name":"Bark","label":"Bark"} Each Bark block makes the Actor bark.
{"func":"blockControlCall","cat":"functions","name":"Run","label":"Run"} Each Run block makes the Actor run one square on the path.
{"func":"blockControlCall","cat":"functions","name":"Jump","label":"Jump"} Each Jump block makes the Actor jump over obstacles and moves two squares on the path.
{"func":"blockControlRepeat","values":[{"type":"number","value":"9"}]} Repeats the blocks in this "Repeat" block 9 times. The "Repeat" block is useful when you want to run the same code again and again. You can connect the "Run" and "Jump" blocks inside it. You can also change the number of times you want to repeat the code.
{"func":"blockControlRepeatUntil","values":[{"type":"wrapper","func":"valueControlCall","name":"reachedGoal","label":"Goal"}]} Repeat the blocks in this "repeat until" until the Actor reaches the Goal. The "repeat until" block is useful when you want to run the same code again and again until the goal is reached. You can connect the "Run" and "Jump" blocks inside it.
{"func":"blockControlWhile","values":[{"type":"wrapper","func":"valueOpNot","values":[{"type":"wrapper","func":"valueControlCall","name":"reachedGoal","label":"Goal"}]}]} Repeat the blocks in this "repeat while" while the Actor has not reached the Goal. The "repeat while" block is useful when you want to run the same code again and again while a condition is true. You can connect the "Run" and "Jump" blocks inside it.
{"func":"valueOpNot","values":[{"type":"wrapper","func":"valueControlCall","name":"reachedGoal","label":"Item"}]} The "not" block is an expression that returns true or false. In this case it returns false if there is a Item in the front.
{"func":"blockControlWhile","values":[{"type":"wrapper","func":"valueOpNot","values":[{"type":"wrapper","func":"valueControlCall","name":"reachedGoal","label":"Cap"}]}]} Repeat the blocks in this "repeat while" until Pixel reaches the baseball cap. The "repeat while" block is useful when you want to run the same code again and again while a condition is true. You can connect the "Run" and "Jump" blocks inside it.
{"func":"blockControlIf","values":[{"type":"wrapper","func":"valueControlCall","name":"isPath","label":"Condition"}]} Run the blocks in this "If" only if the Condition is true.
{"func":"blockControlIfElse","values":[{"type":"wrapper","func":"valueControlCall","name":"isPath","label":"Condition"}]} Run the blocks in the first "If" section if Condition is true. Otherwise, run the blocks in the second "Else" section.
{"func":"blockControlCall","cat":"functions","name":"forward","label":"forward"} Each "forward" block makes the rocket ship go one step forward to the next space on the path.
{"func":"blockControlCall","cat":"functions","name":"turnLeft","label":"turn left"} Each "turn left" block makes the rocket ship turn to the left.
{"func":"blockControlCall","cat":"functions","name":"turnRight","label":"turn right"} Each "turn right" block makes the rocket ship turn to the right.
{"func":"blockControlCall","marked":true,"cat":"functions","name":"forward","label":"forward {string:dots}","values":[{"type":"string","value":"100"}]} Moves the turtle forward 100 dots.
{"func":"blockControlCall","marked":true,"cat":"functions","name":"turnRight","label":"turnRight {string:angle}","values":[{"type":"string","value":"90"}]} Turns the turtle right by 90 degrees.
{"func":"blockControlCall","marked":true,"cat":"functions","name":"backward","label":"backward {string:dots}","values":[{"type":"string","value":"150"}]} Moves the turtle backward 150 dots.

Solutions to Activities

The puzzles have several hints available. Each time you click the Hints button, you will see a different hint.

There can be many correct solutions to a problem, but students should be encouraged to solve the puzzles using the least (or optimal) number of blocks.

Below, we’ve attached answer keys for the following activities:

Answer Key: Puppy Adventure Mini

Answer Key: Lost in Space
Answer Key: Sketch Racer
Answer Key: Puppy Adventure Complete
Answer Key: Space Zombies

Space Zombies is a game that students build as a guided tutorial. In the second part, students can skin this game with different backgrounds, characters, music and also change the parameters of the game. They can save this and share with friends and family.

Puppy Play Time is a free play activity where students program Pixel the puppy to move up/down/left/right using the arrow keys and explore the backyard to uncover the interactive objects.

Math Art is a free play activity where students program Snap the turtle to draw geometric shapes.

15 Block Challenge What is the coolest project that you can create using these 15 blocks? You can use each blocks as many times as you want. There are several backgrounds already in the project that you can change by using "Next Scene". You can also change the main actor to a lion or an alien by using the "Next Costume" block.