CodeSpark - The Foos for the Win!!
I feel that the Foos is a great start... engagement is instantaneous. I am looking forward to projected updates for the Fall. It was really easy to set up to create student friendly logins. I really like the dashboard but I know I am not using it to it's full potential but it certainly meets my needs for my afterschool code club. I still have a lot to test in the CodeSpark family of products as I work through more of the resources they have available. I hope that the latest PD offerings will help me to integrate more of the products and levels with more of my student population.
How I Use It
I used the Foos from CodeSpark to introduce my 1st & 2nd graders to coding. It was very engaging for students with the variety of characters, the "star" based feedback for performance and self pace. I used it in a paired programming delivery first than allowed students to work independently with frequent teacher check in as a station. When students were ready and moved on to independent work/play in the Foos... I found that there would often play through as far as they could go and disregard the number of "stars" they earned to reflect mastery of a level. I would simply tell them they would need to go back through and work each level until they did master (earn all 3 stars) for each level before they could move on.