Welcome to a world of exciting possibilities for your classroom! Teaching coding is a remarkable journey that empowers your students with essential skills for the future. Below, you'll find a comprehensive guide to coding in the classroom including free curriculum, lesson plans, and examples.
Start Teaching Coding in the Classroom
While 90% of parents want their child to study computer science, only 53% of high schools offer computer science. Here's a quick overview of how to get started.
1. Explore Engaging Platforms
Consider platforms like Create & Learn, Code.org, and Scratch. These offer a wealth of free resources, including live classes, step-by-step lesson plans, interactive projects, and assessments. Award-winning platform Create & Learn offers live online expert-led classes in 35+ computer science subjects (including AP classes) with a curriculum designed by professionals from Google, Stanford, and MIT. Pick from 10 fun options for your students to learn, and get in touch for your free class! Students can also join free live online computer science events with experts from technology companies including Intel, Pixar, NASA, and more. Explore more information on lesson plans, curriculum, and coding in the classroom examples below.
2. Start with the Basics
Begin with foundational concepts such as algorithms, sequencing, and loops. Structure your lessons so that they progressively build on previous knowledge. Start with simple coding tasks and gradually introduce more complex challenges. Creating interactive puzzles and games can make learning these concepts engaging and fun.
3. Incorporate Creativity
Integrate coding with creative subjects your students already love like sports, art, music, and storytelling. This interdisciplinary approach not only sparks creativity but also helps students see real-world applications of coding.
4. Assess and Celebrate
Regularly assess your students' progress through project sharing and presentations. Celebrate their achievements to boost motivation.
5. Connect with Community
Join coding education communities, both online and in your local area. These networks can provide invaluable support, resources, and fresh ideas. And encourage your students to participate in coding contests and challenges, such as the Congressional App Challenge to connect to their communities as well.
6. Stay Updated
Coding is a rapidly evolving field. Keep yourself informed about the latest coding trends and technologies to inspire your students with cutting-edge knowledge. For example, explore the latest ChatGPT AI resources for educators.
Remember, teaching coding is not just about instructing; it's about inspiring the next generation of innovators. Your dedication to providing coding education will equip your students with skills that will serve them well in an increasingly digital world.
Coding Resources and Lesson Plans for Teachers
Coding in the classroom is more than a trend; it's a transformative educational tool that equips students with vital skills for the future. You'll be relieved to find out there are even free coding resources for teachers. These platforms offer classes, lesson plans, and comprehensive curricula suitable for all ages, from kindergarten to high school, ensuring that every child can start their coding journey when ready. Explore a complete list of free coding resources for teachers here.
You can also book free virtual coding classes for your students (groups of 10+) - any time of the year! Create & Learn serves all schools and community organizations, and has even partnered with SMASH and Meta's Engineer for the Week to teach students across the US. Just pick the activity you're interested in for your class (from these 10 fun options) and contact us. We'll get in touch to get you all set up for your live Zoom sessions.
Coding Examples for Coding in the Classroom
Looking for ideas you can implement into your classroom quickly? Here are a few resources to explore.
Code.org offers a comprehensive collection of lesson plans suitable for different age groups. These plans cover various coding concepts and incorporate engaging activities, puzzles, and games. You'll find coding examples for both block-based and text-based languages.
Scratch, a widely used coding platform, provides a multitude of creative projects that can be explored and customized. From creating animations and interactive stories to designing games, Scratch offers a wealth of coding examples that promote creativity and problem-solving. On the website there are tutorials students can follow and kids can easily 'remix' other students' projects. They also run a fun YouTube channel chock full of additional ideas and challenges. And there are lots of independent creators that make even more games kids can try to build, such as Griffpatch. Here are some of the best Scratch games.
GitHub is a vast resource where developers and educators share coding projects and examples. You can find repositories specifically created for educational purposes, containing a wide range of coding examples and resources.
Teach coding by having your students develop their own mobile apps. Platforms like MIT App Inventor/Thunkable offer intuitive interfaces and coding examples for app creation. Here's a Thunkable tutorial to try, and a mobile coding class.
5. Coding Communities
Now you have a diverse set of resources to inspire and educate your students effectively. Remember, the key to successful coding education is to make it fun, engaging, and relevant to the real world.
Benefits of Coding in Education: Enhanced Problem-Solving, Critical Thinking, Future-Ready Skills
Coding in the classroom isn't just about programming computers; it's about nurturing essential skills. Teaching coding fosters problem-solving skills, critical thinking, creativity, and digital literacy, preparing students for a tech-driven future. Furthermore, coding integrates seamlessly with other subjects, enhancing interdisciplinary learning and making complex concepts more accessible and fun for students. Six different studies show that students who study computer science perform better in other subjects! Coding is a universal skill relevant to every student, regardless of their future career path. Happy coding adventures in the classroom!
Bring coding classes to your school easily with classes taught live by Create & Learn's experts. We serve all schools and community organizations. Just pick the award-winning coding activity you're interested in (from these 10 fun options) and contact us to get your students set up.