TeachersFirst's Coding in the Classroom

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This editor's choice offers a curated list of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst selected to help teachers and students learn about coding, and for use as a guide for finding the appropriate tools for use with all grade and skill levels. Nurture problem solving, logic, and creativity with the many ideas found in the “In the Classroom” portion of the reviews. Find resources for just one hour of code or for use as ongoing technology lessons. Explore these resources for use with after-school computer clubs or as an excellent tool when recruiting skilled parent volunteers. Turn the intimidating content of computer programming into an exciting learning adventure for all with these helpful sites!

View our entire list of resources that are tagged Coding.

 

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Construct3 - Construct.net

Grades
K to 1
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Design and create games with Construct3. Choose from many different formats including puzzles, role-play, and storybooks along with a choice of beginner and intermediate level coding...more
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Design and create games with Construct3. Choose from many different formats including puzzles, role-play, and storybooks along with a choice of beginner and intermediate level coding ability options. Take advantage of the beginner's guide and tutorials to learn and practice the available features. All of the game options include drag and drop coding features. Free accounts offer you up to 25 events per game, two layers per layout, two effects per game, and one font choice. To share, publish your finished game to the site's arcade or download to your server.

tag(s): coding (80), game based learning (157), gamification (80), STEM (219)

In the Classroom

Include Construct3 with your other options for teaching coding to students. Take advantage of the included levels to differentiate learning based on knowledge of coding. If you are uncomfortable with coding, enlist students to become technology coaches in your classroom to teach and share their knowledge with others. Use and share Google Forms to create how-to guides for students to get started including images with tips and suggestions. Ask "in-the-know" students to enhance their learning and create one-page websites using Jimdo, reviewed here, sharing advice for individual games included in Construct3. As students become familiar with coding, have them use FlexClip, reviewed here to extend their learning by creating simple explainer videos detailing how to build and share personalized games.

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Blockly Games - Google

Grades
K to 12
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Learn computer programming with Blockly Games, developed for students who don't have any prior coding experience. Games progress in difficulty starting with a simple puzzle and increase...more
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Learn computer programming with Blockly Games, developed for students who don't have any prior coding experience. Games progress in difficulty starting with a simple puzzle and increase through creating a pond game with text-based programming. Start from the beginning or choose any game to complete activities at your own pace.

tag(s): coding (80), game based learning (157), STEM (219)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the varying levels included with Blockly Games to introduce and develop coding skills with your students. After sharing the site on your interactive whiteboard, add a link to this site on classroom computers for use as a coding center. Include Blockly Games with your other coding resources using a bookmarking tool like Symbaloo, reviewed here, to share links in one single tool. As students learn about coding, enhance technology use by asking them to reflect upon their learning through blogs. Edublogs, reviewed here, is a free blogging platform developed for classroom use. Modify technology use by asking students to include screenshots of their work and discuss their problem-solving tips as they work through the different levels of coding skills. Use a screenshot tool such as Nimbus Screenshot Capture, reviewed here. As students become more proficient in using code, ask them to create their own games using Blockly, reviewed here.

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Learn to Code with el Chavo - Roberto Gomez Bolanos

Grades
K to 6
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Learn to Code with el Chavo teaches basic coding concepts beginning with movement and spatial reasoning. Each of the 60 levels includes increasingly challenging activities. Use the...more
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Learn to Code with el Chavo teaches basic coding concepts beginning with movement and spatial reasoning. Each of the 60 levels includes increasingly challenging activities. Use the hints to help solve problems if needed. Choose from options to play in English or Spanish.

tag(s): coding (80), computers (109), DAT device agnostic tool (174), engineering (131), logic (240), problem solving (288), STEM (219)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to experiment while viewing their results. Learn to Code with el Chavo is great for differentiating for students with different abilities and learning styles. Set up a computer center for students to practice with the program and share with parents to use at home. Encourage students to go beyond game play and reflect upon their learning through use of a video response tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here. Pose a question for student response asking them to discuss difficult portions of an activity and how they solved the problem. Start another response with a question asking students to provide tips and hints for their classmates. As students become more proficient with coding use Scratch, reviewed here, in your learning centers for students to create their own games and activities. Transform learning by challenging students who are proficient to use Snap!, reviewed here, to create video tutorials using a tool like FlexClip, reviewed here.

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Disney Hour of Code Digital Toolkit - Moana: Wayfinding with Code - Disney and Code.org

Grades
2 to 6
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Participate in Hour of Code activities using Disney's Moana as an engaging introduction to computer science. This site includes videos, a printable toolkit, and a hands-on coding adventure...more
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Participate in Hour of Code activities using Disney's Moana as an engaging introduction to computer science. This site includes videos, a printable toolkit, and a hands-on coding adventure geared toward students ages eight through twelve. There is information in the toolkit sharing suggestions for preparing for your Hour of Code activities including coordinating volunteers and providing the appropriate technology needed for the session.

tag(s): coding (80), STEM (219)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free materials to plan your Hour of Code activities for your school or classroom. Although created for Hour of Code, use these materials to create student interest in computer science at any time. Find many other coding activities and tutorials for all ability levels at Code, reviewed here. Instead of using the invitation provided in this activity, enhance learning and have students personalize and create their own flyer and invitations using Canva, reviewed here. Use Canva after your activity to send thank you notes to volunteers. Extend learning and have students share their coding stories (including successes and failures) using FlipGrid, reviewed here. Encourage students to continue to learn about coding and computer science using Scratch, reviewed here, to create their own learning games.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Sinespace - Sine Wave Entertainment Ltd

Grades
6 to 12
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Create and participate in a virtual world community with Sinespace's next-generation virtual world platform. Choose the explore link for an overview of some of the most recent and popular...more
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Create and participate in a virtual world community with Sinespace's next-generation virtual world platform. Choose the explore link for an overview of some of the most recent and popular regions created by users in the site. Sign up using your email to access creation tools and choose your avatar. Use tools to personalize your avatar and build your virtual region including vehicles and home backgrounds. The free basic plan includes one region with ten concurrent users. At the time of this review, Sinespace works on PC that has Windows/Mac/Linux. Though they are working on Android and iOS versions.

tag(s): animation (62), coding (80), computers (109), digital storytelling (148), STEM (219)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check with your Technology Department, as many districts require authorization to download or install new applications. Plan ahead as you request that this application be installed on your classroom or laptop cart computers. Share Sinespace on classroom computers and allow students to create and explore on their own. Consider sharing with "tech savvy" students first and let them learn how to create within the site's program. After some students become experts, share Sinespace with other students to begin learning how to work within a virtual environment. Use an infographic creation tool like Canva, reviewed here, to create and share tips for using Sinespace. Once students learn how to perform specific functions, ask them to create an explainer video for other students use using My Simpleshow, reviewed here.

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Chemistry in Minecraft - Microsoft Studios

Grades
6 to 12
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Chemistry in Minecraft is an update to the popular Minecraft Education Edition, reviewed here. Download the chemistry update to explore elements and...more
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Chemistry in Minecraft is an update to the popular Minecraft Education Edition, reviewed here. Download the chemistry update to explore elements and compounds and conduct experiments in a virtual world. Crafting tools like the Compound Creator allow for the opportunity to combine elements and explore elements by finding electrons, protons, and neutrons. Download the Teacher's Lab Book that shares how to use this update in the classroom and provides lesson suggestions.

tag(s): coding (80), elements (39), game based learning (157), gamification (80), matter (64), Microsoft (75), molecules (48), STEM (219)

In the Classroom

Benefit from the many features shared in this download to allow students to explore chemistry concepts through gameplay. This site offers many opportunities for problem-solving and decision making. Ask students to share some of their ideas through a podcast. Anchor, reviewed here, is a podcast creation tool that offers the ability to record or upload audio from your computer and add songs from Apple Music and Spotify. Have students share concepts learned through animated videos. My Simpleshow, reviewed here includes free tools for making simple explainer videos.

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The Code Player - thecodeplayer.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn to code through videos demonstrating actual typing of code to create items from scratch. Scroll through the page to choose a demo featuring HTML5, CSS, Javascript and more. Click...more
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Learn to code through videos demonstrating actual typing of code to create items from scratch. Scroll through the page to choose a demo featuring HTML5, CSS, Javascript and more. Click the demo image, then Play, Walkthrough, or View code. Project ideas include creating an interactive to-do list, text bubbles, or hover over information over images, and much more. After selecting a video, go to the upper left corner and click to play the walkthrough or view the code. Playing the walkthrough takes viewers through typing the code from beginning to end. There is no audio/sound.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): coding (80), computational thinking (35), computers (109), critical thinking (123), design (89), logic (240), problem solving (288), STEM (219), tutorials (48), video (274)

In the Classroom

The Code Player is an excellent tool for anyone who prefers to watch demonstrations to learn instead of reading or listening to directions. Depending on the coding abilities of your students, choose one of the demos to display on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector and learn together. Have groups of students choose a different coding format to complete an activity. Use this site as a model for you or your students to create your own screencasts sharing how-to projects with coding. Enhance learning by using a tool like Screencastify, reviewed here. Screencastify works with the Chrome browser to record your screen and capture audio recordings. Have more advanced students create their own coding projects for classroom use.

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Edabit - Matt MacPherson

Grades
6 to 12
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Learn to code with Edabit and their progressively difficult interactive challenges. Start by using your email to register. Begin with challenges that match your coding skills, then...more
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Learn to code with Edabit and their progressively difficult interactive challenges. Start by using your email to register. Begin with challenges that match your coding skills, then continue learning as you progress through more challenging activities. Each Edabit Challenge includes a problem, practice with code, help resources, and a discussion area. As you complete coding challenges, earn experience points and unlock new skills through real-world situations.

tag(s): coding (80), computational thinking (35), computers (109), critical thinking (123), engineering (131), problem solving (288), STEM (219)

In the Classroom

Coding is an excellent way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Use this site as homework, a center, or in a lab setting. Activities are self-paced, so differentiation is easy. However, it is still a good idea, if possible, to seat a more experienced computer user with one who is less experienced. Explain to students that coding is a critical skill in today's world filled with technology and will also be a valuable skill in the job market. Many jobs that will require coding do not yet exist. Put a link to this tool on your class website, blog, or wiki.

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codeCampus - Raj Sidhu

Grades
K to 6
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Learn to code in just a few hours with codeCampus' standards-aligned curriculum. Sign up for free and get four free lessons for you and your students. ...more
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Learn to code in just a few hours with codeCampus' standards-aligned curriculum. Sign up for free and get four free lessons for you and your students.

tag(s): coding (80), computational thinking (35), computers (109), critical thinking (123), logic (240), problem solving (288), professional development (248)

In the Classroom

Make your staff the envy of all other schools with your coding prowess! Sign up for a school account and learn about coding together. Once finished, take advantage of the free lesson plans for teaching coding to your students.

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Minecraft Education Edition - Microsoft and Mojang AB

Grades
2 to 12
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Promote creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration through game play with Minecraft Education Edition. This version of the popular game includes features for classroom use including...more
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Promote creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration through game play with Minecraft Education Edition. This version of the popular game includes features for classroom use including documentation of work and a secure environment for class play. In addition to the software download, this site includes a small base of lesson plans, classroom community support forums, and a My Classroom feature. My Classroom allows teachers to create a private world for students to join enabling them to work together in the same world.

tag(s): coding (80), computational thinking (35), game based learning (157), gamification (80), Microsoft (75)

In the Classroom

Make use of the features provided in the education edition of Minecraft to allow learning through gameplay. Ask students to use the camera and portfolio features to document decision making and progress through games. Use features within the game to learn about history, for example, have students import 3-dimensional structures such as the Roman Colosseum to explore and create experiences from that time. Instruct students to create a story for creative writing projects. Encourage students to retell a story through a Minecraft experience. Use Minecraft features to teach math lessons on shape, volume, area, and more. Discover more ideas at Minecraft Hour of Code Tutorials, reviewed here.

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Minecraft Hour of Code Tutorials - code.org

Grades
2 to 12
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Use code to make your own Minecraft game or learn the basics of computer coding by moving characters through a Minecraft world with these Hour of Code activities. These two ...more
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Use code to make your own Minecraft game or learn the basics of computer coding by moving characters through a Minecraft world with these Hour of Code activities. These two activities teach and reinforce coding skills through the familiar Minecraft game. After watching a video introduction, you will follow instructions to place code to move characters within the game.

tag(s): coding (80), computational thinking (35), computers (109), critical thinking (123), design (89), problem solving (288), STEM (219)

In the Classroom

Make coding part of science inquiry or math logic in any classroom. Include it as part of scientific method or discussions about careers in science. You may even want to portray coding as just another "world language" in today's world. Be sure to look at all the implementation advice before introducing these extensive coding resources to your class. It would be wise to complete the Hour of Code yourself, so you will feel comfortable helping students if they get stuck. Better yet, invite a few students to do an hour with you after school and learn together! You will have a team of "techsperts" to help their peers. Plan an hour of Code on nationally designated days or on your own calendar! Invite the PTA/PTO to host a coding event. Select a video from this site to use to introduce Computer Science to your students. If you only have a few computers, introduce this tool using a projector or interactive whiteboard and bookmark it as a learning station with earbuds/headphones. Encourage students to help each other when they have difficulty. Share this on your website for students to use at home, too.

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Hippani - Hippani Ltd

Grades
6 to 12
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Hippani is an HTML animation software download for creating apps, animations, and more. There are many tutorials available making it easy for beginners to start creating professional...more
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Hippani is an HTML animation software download for creating apps, animations, and more. There are many tutorials available making it easy for beginners to start creating professional looking results. There is a free and professional version. The free version allows you to create HTML animation and GIF's. With the free version, you can also test out the professional version during the free 30 days trial. Works with Windows and Mac OS X, however, the web apps created can be converted to iOS, Android and Windows phone apps via another program.

tag(s): animation (62), coding (80), images (274)

In the Classroom

Download Hippani's software onto classroom computers to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to explore and see what they can make. Then, for those who show an aptitude for coding, take advantage of the free 30-day use of the professional edition. Have students browse through the gallery and tutorials to learn about the features of Hippani. Allow them to explore and create on their own as part of your MakerSpace or as a center. Challenge students to use this software to create animated GIFs such as demonstrating how simple machines work, changes in landforms over time, or significant events from novels.

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CodeChef for Schools - Directi

Grades
8 to 12
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CodeChef for Schools offers computer programming training and competitions. After registering as a New User, choose the Get Started button to begin as a newbie and explore frequently...more
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CodeChef for Schools offers computer programming training and competitions. After registering as a New User, choose the Get Started button to begin as a newbie and explore frequently asked questions. Choose the practice area to hone skills from beginner level through challenge level. Compete in monthly competitions with other coders from around the globe. Middle and high school students will appreciate the lunchtime contests, an introduction to competitive coding, targeted for their age group. These take place the last Saturday of each month, and specific times are posted on the site. The demonstration videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): coding (80), competitions (13), computational thinking (35), computers (109), critical thinking (123), problem solving (288), STEM (219)

In the Classroom

Coding is an excellent way to teach critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Use this site as homework, a center, or in a lab setting. The site offers different levels, so differentiation is built in. Explain to students that coding is a critical skill in today's world filled with technology and will also be a valuable skill in the job market. Many jobs that will require coding do not yet exist. Put a link to this tool on your class website, blog, or wiki. Encourage advanced students to enter the monthly competitions offered on CodeChef.

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Dash - General Assembly

Grades
4 to 12
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Dash is an interactive, online learn to code program. Use Dash to practice HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build a website, blog theme, CSS robot, or your own mad libs ...more
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Dash is an interactive, online learn to code program. Use Dash to practice HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build a website, blog theme, CSS robot, or your own mad libs game. Choose your project, then follow prompts in each accompanying slide show to add coding and receive feedback. Dash also highlights skills learned to view progress throughout tutorials. Click on any learned skill for a quick review lesson. The one-minute intro video resides on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable.

tag(s): coding (80), computers (109), critical thinking (123), problem solving (288), STEM (219)

In the Classroom

Use Dash to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to explore and see what they can make. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools. Younger students may familiarize themselves more easily working with a partner. Be sure to recommend that students "ask three before me" (the teacher). When finished with these lessons, move to other free tools such as Scratch, reviewed here. Teachers of even very young gifted students can turn them loose with these challenges when they have already mastered the math or science curriculum. Have them create a creature they can explain to the class or share with gifted peers in other classrooms.

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Google CS First - Google

Grades
5 to 9
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Google CS First is a program for clubs to increase access and teach computer science to 4th-8th-grade students. All training and materials are free for anyone hosting a club in ...more
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Google CS First is a program for clubs to increase access and teach computer science to 4th-8th-grade students. All training and materials are free for anyone hosting a club in the U.S. Materials offer lessons based on themes such as storytelling, sports, social media, friends, and fashion and design. In addition to lesson materials, Google CS provides online training information for club leaders.

tag(s): animation (62), coding (80), computational thinking (35), critical thinking (123), digital storytelling (148), gamification (80), musical notation (37), problem solving (288), social media (42), sports (100), stories and storytelling (34)

In the Classroom

Create a club in your classroom as part of your STEM activities, as a lunch/recess club, or an at-home activity for students. Use the flyers and presentation materials provided to create interest in the club. Differentiate clubs by student interests and abilities. Share Google CS First with your school's media or tech leader as an excellent resource for teaching coding. This site is perfect for those who want to learn more about coding, but have some hesitancy since all materials from creating a group through the lessons are free. If you still have some doubts, enlist the services of a tech-savvy high school student to help with activities as part of their volunteering requirements.

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Pencil Code Gym - David Bau

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Code your own art, music, and interactive fiction with Pencil Code Gym. The main language is Coffescript, but you can press the gear button to use HTML, Javascript, and CSS. ...more
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Code your own art, music, and interactive fiction with Pencil Code Gym. The main language is Coffescript, but you can press the gear button to use HTML, Javascript, and CSS. Follow instructions to code using drag and drop blocks or text. Click the pencil in the upper left corner to see several resources including Materials for Teachers, Teachers Manual, Printable Activities, and several others. Toggle back and forth between the two formats to view the different formats. The wide range of activities make this site perfect for use with students of all levels of coding abilities. When complete, share finished projects on "GymStage", the sharing portion of Pencil Code Gym.

tag(s): coding (80), computational thinking (35), critical thinking (123), digital storytelling (148), drawing (75), geometric shapes (176), musical notation (37), problem solving (288)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers for use as centers. Use the text options for students to use with digital storytelling. This site is perfect for differentiating different levels of coding skills. Allow students to explore at their own pace, then share their creations with classmates. Redefine learning by challenging students or groups to create videos explaining their creations using My Simpleshow, reviewed here, and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Be sure to add a link to your class website for students to practice at home.
 

Comments

Great resource for all ages, more appropriate for middle school and above. Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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