Tools to Introduce Programming to Kids
LiveCode | Teachers
Teach programming with no experience using LiveCode. ... It was easy for us to learn, covered the whole curriculum and best of all, the kids love it" ... Quickly and easily students can build apps that they can deploy to their Android phones, ...
Hopscotch - Coding for kids
Hopscotch teaches kids to code using simple, intuitive building blocks. ... is an iPad app that lets kids drag and drop blocks of code to create their own programs.
Developed by the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is a visual programming language for children age 6 and up. Since its release in 2007, over 800,000 users have joined the Scratch website and have shared over 1.7 million projects — from games to animations. That sharing aspect is an important part of the Scratch community, so the projects that are uploaded to the site are licensed under the Creative Commons attribute and share alike license so that others can download and remix them. Scratch is available free of charge and runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux computers.
Scratch remains a free go-to online app, and now there's ScratchJr! ScratchJr is a free iPad app that brings coding to students as young as age five. Like Hopscotch and Scratch, this uses block coding, but instead of words, the blocks have icons. The blocks snap together to create a program, allowing students to build their own stories and games. Though the program uses images instead of words, it still has some complexity with loops. We feel that, rather than letting kids start with exploration, direct teaching would be the best way to start with this program.
Code Studio https://code.org/educate/k5
We're very excited to share more resources specific to elementary teachers from Code.org! The site now features Code Studio, a K-5 curriculum that has both unplugged and digital resources for teaching coding. There are three courses, with about 20 lessons per course. The courses use block programming that looks similar to Scratch, but students will see familiar characters from games such as Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies. Teachers can sign up for a free account that allows them to track student progress and access lesson plans and resources. You might even find free face-to-face professional development in your area! And although labeled for K-5, the second and third courses could be used with middle school students who have not been exposed to coding.