Coding resources for early years and primary

There has been a flurry of interest in coding and computational thinking at Early, First and Second level since the publication of the new Technologies Experiences and Outcomes. This post is an attempt to signpost some of the great resources that I have found out about recently.

The Stirling High School Learning Community is taking part in a pilot project with SSERC to develop coding mentors within each nursery and primary school, working closely with secondary computing colleagues. A lot of the resources I’m about to mention were demonstrated in the two CLPL sessions we have had with SSERC so far; the others I found out about yesterday at the Learning Through Technology conference!

Teachers’ Guide for Early Years and Primary

Firstly, if you’ve not already seen it: TeachCS.Scot. This website is the home of a fantastic teachers’ guide that links the Es and Os to the benchmarks and has lots and lots of suggestions and links to resources.

Coding Unplugged

Create-A-Face is a great activity where pupils use “if” statements to program a robot face.

The fantastic Jam Sandwich Bot activity involves using commands to program a person acting as a robot to make the perfect jam sandwich.

One of these teachers is actually a jam sandwich robot…

Marching Orders requires one partner to follow instructions precisely to recreate an image the other partner can see. For extra challenge try it with the Doodle Monsters!

If, like me, you are a big Pirates of the Caribbean fan, then you will appreciate the Treasure Maps activity. There is another version (with video) here.

Ozobots

Ozobots are little robots that follow a line drawn on paper and can be programmed using different combinations of colours.

An ozobot in action!

The ozobot in STEM page has resources for teachers, and Ozoblockly can be used to program the ozobots using block programming.

Programming on iPads

One of the workshops I attended at the Learning Through Technology conference was the excellent Mission to Mars, which introduced me to the Tynker iPad app. This can be used for block coding and also as an introduction to Swift. Another app to try is Swift Playgrounds.

I also got to have a go with a Sphero robot. These are more expensive than the ozobots, but they can be programmed using either Tynker or the Sphero Edu app. Plus, they contain sensors that can be used for investigations and experiments. AND you can get a BB8 Sphero robot. What’s not to love?

Finally, check out the iBook store for a number of resources for teachers, including Get Started With Code 1 and 2, and Learn to Code 1 and 2.

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