Teacher Review for Codecademy

Great Site, You Need to Make it "Real"

Marcello S.
Classroom teacher
Rocketship Mateo Sheedy Elementary School
San Jose, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Creation
Further application
Small group
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
How I Use It
I would go through a lesson at home on my own. Then I would do a teaching intro to students and then have them do the lesson. This along with the context I talk about later are what I mean by making the site "real". This makes content more engaging and gave them a deeper understanding. Some students were able to work independently and go at a faster pace but a large majority walked through the lessons with me. Keep lessons short (10 minutes) followed by 20 minutes or so of coding. 30 minutes is pushing it in this setting, so keep it short and sweet (especially for 5th-7th graders). Have students discuss what they coded and share what they did, this will help them to be more into the coding and enjoy the product of what they create more (as the lines of code can get dry at times). This is a great program to introduce in April-June to get kids up and running before summer, when they will hopefully continue practicing independently. The second way of making the coding real is by showing kids the coding behind iPhone apps and websites, so that they get excited about learning code and see the possibilities if they got good at it.
My Take
I am not a programmer but used this website to introduce my 5th grade students to programming. The website is not super engaging for students/young kids. They could grasp the concepts but just weren't super into it, they did it, and liked it at times, but weren't clamoring each day to get back at it. That being said, if you can find a student who gets really engaged and loves it, this is something a student could take home or take with them over the summer and literally teach themselves to code. Which is why I introduced them to it, and hope some of them keep doing it in the future.