This month, students in grades 3, 4 and 5 will learn computer science principles by completing puzzles and projects in code.org and scratch. Both of these websites teach students coding using blockly, a visual programming language that teaches computational thinking and problem solving.
In the 3rd grade, students will complete their work in Course D of code.org which teaches students key concepts and terminology such as algorithms, sequences, loops and conditionals, debugging and nested loops. Students will also particpate in unplugged activities that require the use of only pencil and paper. The final project of this course will be for students to create a Dance Party by programming sprites to move on a dance floor.
In the 4th grade, students complete their work in Course E of code.org which builds on the the principles from the previous course by introducing functions and variables. In addition, students will complete a final project using sprite lab or the artist application. Students can create a digital story or game with points. Students will have the opportunity share their projects with their families and fellow classmates. Students will also design an interactive poster and complete a minecraft coding adventure in this course.
In the 5th grade, students will complete an express course in code.org that review all the principles that were taught in previous courses such as sequences, loops, conditionals, nested loops, functions and variables. At the conclusion of this course, students wil pair up and create a game or story using code that incorporates digital citizenship into its main premise. Topics could include cyberbullying, privacy, identity theft, clickbait or copyrights.
Finally, 5th graders will also record their Ted Talks on famous explorers they’ve researched in class.