How I Use It
I have used Code.org with my students (K-5), for the past three years. I started with the Hour of Code, but the kids enjoyed it so much that I now use all the courses for the elementary level. My students enjoy working with characters from favorite games and shows such as Minecraft, Star Wars, Disney Infinity, and Angry Birds (among others). The puzzles or mazes that they must work through become progressively harder, building on what they have already learned. There are video explanations before each new skill is introduced, and users can try as many times as they need or want in order to succeed. It can be a little frustrating for the very youngest students when they first start because of the reading involved. They have to know what each block of code will do, so they need to read the text written on the blocks. Once they learn to recognize the blocks, then they can work with it easily. I print out login cards for the students to take home so that they can continue to practice and try out the different courses or master more levels than they had time to complete in class.
My kids love this tool and so do I. They come back to school each fall and ask, "Are we doing the Code again?" It promotes creativity, problem-solving, perseverance, and logical thinking. It offers a fun entry to the world of code and programming for all students. I especially like that some of the students who struggle in other academic subjects turn into mentors and help other students complete a level that has them stumped. The professional development for teachers is a wonderful resource, and the teacher community offers support and a place to share success stories. I highly recommend Hour of Code and Code.org.