Coding for Kids

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Programming Courses

Scratch 3

Scratch is a block-based visual programming language and online community targeted at young students. Students can learn the fundamental concepts of coding without the need of learning the syntax, or so-called “grammar” of the programming language, which can often leads to much frustration. Scratch 3.0 is developed by the MIT Media Lab.

Scratch

ScratchJr

Scratch Jr is a visual programming language designed to introduce coding skills to children ages 5–7. Young children can learn to think creatively and reason systematically, despite not being able to read. It is available as a free app for iOS, Android and Chromebook.

ScratchJr

 

 

Makecode Microbit

Makecode Microbit is a similar block-based visual programming language powered by Microsoft Makecode. It is meant to pair and operate the hardware micro:bit system designed by the BBC.

MakeCode Microbit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course Content

Scratch Course Content

Course content will follow the official Scratch syllabus closely.

Module # 1 Why Teach Students Programming

In this module, students will learn and demonstrate their knowledge of:

  • The benefits students can gain from learning computer programming.
  • The world wide need for more computer programmers.
  • How “blocky” programs allow people create programs without memorization.
  • The types of projects can be created with Scratch.
  • Programs similar to Scratch or derived from it.

Module # 2 The Basics of Scratch

In this module, students will learn and demonstrate their knowledge of:

  • The history of Scratch.
  • The difference between sprites and images.
  • Using Scratch’s built-in sprites.
  • Creating your own sprites.
  • How is “blocky” activities the same and/or different than coding?
  • Scratch’s block categories.

Module # 3 First Project Basics

In this module, students will learn and demonstrate their knowledge of:

  • Adding movement to a sprite.
  • Adding sound to a sprite.
  • Changing the colors of a sprite.
  • Making a sprite appear to speak.
  • Making a sprite appear to think.

Module # 4 Adding Interactivity

In this module, students will learn and demonstrate their knowledge of:

  • Adding eight types of events that can be triggered by the different keyboard buttons.
  • Adding clickable “Buttons” to give the player several choices during the activity.
  • How to add make your game keep score.
  • How to signify that the game is over when a specified score is reached.

Module # 5 Math Concepts

In this module, students will learn and demonstrate their knowledge of:

  • The four operations.
  • Random numbers.
  • Comparing numbers.
  • Logic and logical arguments.
  • Creating variables.
  • Using variables.

Module # 6 Logic

In this module, students will learn and demonstrate their knowledge of:

  • The Stop block.
  • The Wait block.
  • The Forever block.
  • Repeating actions.
  • The Broadcast block.
  • Conditional statements.
  • Nested control statements.

Module # 7 Adding Sound

In this module, students will learn and demonstrate their knowledge of:

  • Linking sounds to a sprite.
  • Playing Scratch’s sounds.
  • Recording and playing your own sounds.
  • Adding narration to your story.

Module # 8 Costumes and Background Changes

In this module, students will learn and demonstrate their knowledge of:

  • Adding and changing costumes.
  • Adding and changing backgrounds.
  • Graphic special effects.
  • Changing the size of a sprite.
  • Working with multiple sprites.

 

Scratch Course Content

Course content will follow the official Scratch syllabus closely.

Module # 1 Making

In this module, students will…

  • Exercise creativity and resourcefulness by coming up with ideas for using simple household materials to accommodate the micro:bit’s size and weight in many different ways.
  • Test and iterate using different materials and sizes in order to create an optimal design to house the micro:bit and battery pack
  • Learn how to download programs and move them to the micro:bit file to run on the micro:bit.
  • Use the design thinking process to develop an understanding for a problem or user need.
  • Apply their understanding in a creative way by making a “micro:pet” creature.

Module # 2 Algorithms

In this module, students will…

  • Understand the four components that make up a computer and their functions.
  • Understand that the micro:bit takes input, and after processing the input, produces output.
  • Learn the variety of different types of information the micro:bit takes in as input.
  • Apply this knowledge by creating a micro:bit program that takes input and produces an output.

Module # 3 Variables

In this module, students will…

  • Understand what variables are and why and when to use them in a program.
  • Learn how to create a variable, set the variable to an initial value, and change the value of the variable within a micro:bit program.
  • Learn how to create meaningful and understandable variable names.
  • Understand that a variable holds one value at a time.
  • Understand that when you update or change the value held by a variable, the new value replaces the previous value.
  • Learn how to use the basic mathematical blocks for adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing variables.
  • Apply the above knowledge and skills to create a unique program that uses variables as an integral part of the program.

Module # 4 Conditionals

In this module, students will…

  • Understand what conditional statements are, and why and when to use them in a program.
  • Learn how to use the Logic blocks ‘If…then’ and ‘If…then…else’.
  • Practice using the Logic blocks so different conditions yield specified outcomes.
  • Demonstrate understanding and apply skill by collaborating with classmates to create a game that uses a micro:bit and a program that correctly and effectively uses conditionals.

Module # 5 Iteration

In this module, students will…

  • Understand the value of iteration in programming
  • Understand looping as a form of iteration
  • Learn how and when to use the Looping blocks ‘repeat’, ‘while’, and ‘for’
  • Apply the above knowledge and skills to create a unique program that uses iteration and looping as an integral part of the program

Module # 6 Review/Mini-Project

In this module, students will…

  • Develop and create a mini-project independently
  • Learn to improve on mini-project with feedback and reviews

Module # 7 Coordinate Grid System

In this module, students will…

  • Understand that the 5 x 5 grid of LEDs on the micro:bit represents a coordinate grid with the origin (0,0) in the top left corner.
  • Understand that the values of the x coordinates range from 0 through four and increase from left to right.
  • Understand that the values of the y coordinates range from 0 through four and increase from top to bottom.
  • Learn how to refer to an individual LED by its X and Y coordinates.
  • Learn how to plot (turn on) and unplot (turn off) individual LEDs and how to toggle between these two states.
  • Learn how to check the current on or off status of an individual LED as well as check and set the brightness level.
  • Apply the above knowledge and skills to create a unique program that uses coordinates as an integral part of the program.

Module # 8 Booleans

In this module, students will…

  • Understand what booleans and boolean operators are, and why and when to use them in a program.
  • Learn how to create a boolean, set the boolean to an initial value, and change the value of the boolean within a micro:bit program.
  • Learn how to use the random true or false block.
  • Apply the above knowledge and skills to create a unique program that uses booleans and boolean operators as an integral part of the program.

Module # 9 Bits, Bytes and Binary

In this module, students will…

  • Understand what bits and bytes are and how they relate to computers and the way information is processed and stored.
  • Learn to count in Base-2 (binary) and translate numbers from Base-10 (decimal) to binary and decimal.
  • Apply the above knowledge and skills to create a unique program that uses binary counting as an integral part of the program.

Module # 10 Radio

In this module, students will…

  • Understand how to use the Radio blocks to send and receive data between micro:bits
  • Understand the specific types of data that can be sent over the Radio

Module # 11 Arrays

In this module, students will…

  • Explain the steps they would take to sort a series of numbers.
  • Recognize three common sorting algorithms.
  • Practice creating Arrays.
  • Practice storing and retrieving values in Arrays.
  • Learn common Array operations such as setting and getting values by index.
  • Demonstrate understanding and apply skills by creating a musical instrument that uses a micro:bit and a program that correctly and effectively uses Arrays to store data.

Module # 12 Independent Final Project

In this module, students are asked to create an independent project that demonstrates the use of something they have already learned, something they went out and researched for themselves, something they borrowed from somewhere else (with citations) and something completely original. They are also asked to document their learning process throughout the next couple of weeks using an independent project framework that emphasizes metacognitive development and process-oriented work.

 

Sample Projects

Playing music from program

Microbit Sound

Creating a clock
Microbit Timer