If you’re an EdTech teacher, you’re likely thinking about teaching your students some coding. There are many options, but what do your students really need to learn and how can you integrate it into your classroom?
The folks at Let’s Start Coding are here with the answer. They believe that real typed coding (not block or drag-and-drop) is critical to introduce to your students as early as 4th grade, so they’ve created a product, curriculum, and lesson plans to help you do it.
First things first, what exactly are these things? Let’s Start Coding kits are physical boxes that include a mini computer and a bunch of electronic components that the mini computer can control with code.
Kits cost around $50-$100 depending on the model. Check out the picture below to see the LED lights, buttons, speaker, and Maker Board mini computer that come in each kit. Students physically combine these components into circuits and get hands-on with what they’re building – who doesn’t want to code a party light show or a miniature piano?
The Let’s Start Coding Base Kit allows you to complete 14 lessons and 30+ projects.
Students follow the online step-by-step lessons that Let’s Start Coding has created for beginning coders. These lessons are free and show students how to build a circuit, then how the code for that circuit works. For example, the first lesson gets students blinking an LED light. Then, they’re prompted with challenges like “how would you blink the light twice as fast?” to get them engaging with real, typed C++ (c-plus-plus) code!
The typed code may look intimidating, but it’s well explained in the step-by-step lessons.
You might be thinking “Great, but how can I integrate this into my own classroom?” That’s where Let’s Start Coding has really stepped up to the plate. They have free downloadable resources for educators. There are over 100 pages of lesson plans and in-depth alignment with:
- Common Core Math Standards
- Common Core English Standards
- Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
- Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) Standards
- International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for grades 4-12!
Never taught coding before? No worries. The lesson plans break down entire class periods with minute-by-minute prompts for you to share with students, questions (and answers) to further their knowledge, and a Programmer’s Notebook each student can use that helps you assess their progress.
With these kits and resources, your kids will be learning important coding skills that they can use in their future classes and in the workplace. You’ll get a huge head start with the free teacher resources and you can guide your classes from there. Some links to help you get started:
Educator resources: www.letsstartcoding.com/educators#resources
Step-by-step lessons covered in the lesson plans: www.letsstartcoding.com/learn
A 30 second video that shows a project being built: https://youtu.be/hzmj_4qTUAM
You can also find Lets Start Coding on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep up with the latest.