4 End of the Year Coding Challenges

The school year is coming to a close and everyone is itching for a brain break. Enjoy these four free coding challenges to get kids moving, creating and thinking about code. Three of the lessons include a sample of unplugged activities from our paid plans. 

Show What You Know!

Sequence Coding Challenge – Grades K-2

Students will design, draw, & solve their own programming problems. Sample of the unplugged activity from Sequence Capstone Lesson on the Kodable School plan.

  • Get Creative! Students will draw a maze
  • Write the answer or share with a partner
  • Take your design to the next level. Create it in the Kodable Maze Maker! 

 View the lesson here

simonFuzz Says! 

Conditions Coding Challenge – Grades 1-3

Learn about conditional statements through an unplugged game of Simon says! Sample of the unplugged activity from Conditions Lesson 4 on the Kodable School plan.

  • Review Conditions with a quick video! (optional)
  • Get moving and thinking in this game of Simon Says with a coding twist
  • Color a fuzz inspired by your summer plans or create one in Kodable

View the lesson here

 

Funky Functions Fitness!

Functions Coding Challenge- Grades 3-5

Flex those muscles! Create a fun fitness routine to help the fuzzFamily. This is a sample of the unplugged activity from Functions Lesson 1 on the Kodable School plan.

  • Review Functions with a short video (optional)
  • Create a repeating fitness routine using functions. Get active! Try out your routines!
  • Create a maze that must be solved with functions and share it with the class

View the lesson here

 

Summer Coding Challenge!

Celebrate and set a goal for the summer – Grades K-5

School is coming to a close, but learning doesn’t need to! Celebrate student progress & encourage them to set a coding goal for the summer.

  • Celebrate student achievements with end of year certificates
  • Ask students to set a goal for the summer
  • Send their summer challenge worksheet home to track their goal with family

View the lesson here

 

Maze Maker Challenge Winners – here at last!

Wow! What an exciting month! We received over 30,000 submissions for our Maze Maker Challenge. We were blown away with the quality of some of the mazes that they made, and there were easily hundreds of mazes that could have won!

After a lot of tough deliberation, we were able to choose our favorite 20 mazes. Then, we let you and your students vote for your 5 favorites.  And vote you did! Over 50,000 votes were cast by students all around the world, and at long last, we have our winners!

Without further ado…your 5 Maze Maker Winners!

 

These 5 mazes will be permanently included in Kodable for millions of kids around the world to play. But that’s not all! Our 20 finalists will all remain playable until June, completely free! So be sure to update Kodable to the latest version and check them all out – we’re sure you’ll be as impressed as we are!

We made some changes: Better pricing for every school

I can barely believe it has been 6 years since we started Kodable. The CS community has been on quite a journey since then, and continues to develop. Today we’re announcing some changes to our plans and pricing to meet schools within  our community where they are. 

Many schools and districts believe in the importance of computer science. The innovators and superstars across the US are making coding happen for their students because they believe it will be one of the most important skills their students will learn. However, that means going though the thoughtful and sometimes long, bureaucratic process of getting approval and finding the time for computer science in the already packed curriculum.  

I spend half of most days talking to educators who want to implement a computer science curriculum in their school, but they need to prove its value to their administrators, co-teachers and school community before they can get the funds to invest in it. On the other hand, in order for Kodable to continue, we have to offer a product of value that schools are willing (and able) to pay for. So today, I am excited to reveal something we have been working hard to test and create for schools: A paid plan that is designed to allow educators to experiment, explore, and demonstrate the value of computer science. 

Why is the game access plan is a great option?

The Kodable Game Access plan gives you access to all of the Kodable game content at a price that makes sense for most US schools right now. You’ll get access to all the student practice levels and some teaching materials so you can demonstrate just how valuable this education is to your students, on your own terms. 

Increase Exploration and Student-Driven Learning 

The game access plan gives you access to all the student practice and creative content. You can decide to open up all levels for your students to explore and work at their own pace, make unlimited mazes, fuzzes and more. Or if you’re ready to do some instruction and want to pace students according to your schedule, you can assign content to them super easily! 

Guidance for Each Concept is Easily Accessible

Explore computer science without the pressure of finding time for lessons every week. You’ll still have access to all the teacher guides which explain each concept, the vocabulary and real world applications. We’ve even included short videos for teachers so you can explain new concepts to students with confidence. 

Easier Transition to a Structured Curriculum

Principals and administrators appreciate when a new instructional tool is implemented with care. Most principals are able and willing to spend a few hundred dollars to prove something is worthwhile and will be used. Then when you and your school are ready, you can make the transition to something more structured with a year or more of practice under your belt. 

What is included with the Game Access Plan? 

Get access to all the student content in Kodable. 

Your entire school has access for the entire year. 

Students can build as many Fuzzes as they want using JavaScript.

Students can design as many mazes as they want and share them with the entire class.

Allow students to play and learn at their own pace or assign content to them as you go. 

Encourage other teachers at your school to teach coding. You can invite them every teacher at your school. 

 

With all the research we’ve done on how teachers are using Kodable, I hope you’ll find this new plan is a good fit for your school. Now is the time to make the case for Kodable in your school. Most administrators are making their budgets now. If you feel like this new option is just right for your school submit it for approval. 

Get an Order Form

Is your school ready for structured computer science? 

If your school is ready for a structured curriculum, we’re still offering our site licenses.However, now you can choose the curriculum package that is just right for your school. Kodable lesson plans cover the foundational skills of coding and work up to JavaScript. You’ll have lesson plans for every step of the journey as well as supplemental lessons covering Math, ELA, Robotics, Social Emotional Learning and more. 

I’m happy to help you decide which option is the best fit for your school. 

Schedule an Appointment

The March Maze Maker CHALLENGE!

Since we released our Maze Maker 9 months ago, we’ve been blown away by the ingenuity and creativity that students have shown in creating almost one million mazes!

We racked our brains at Kodable HQ trying to decide how we could show the world some of your awesome creations, and today we are launching the first annual Maze Maker Challenge! Starting today, kids all over the world will be able to create mazes that have a chance to be permanently included in Kodable!

How it works:

Build  (March 5th – March 30th)

Starting today, teachers can join the Maze Maker Challenge directly from their Kodable Dashboard. Once they join, all Mazes created until March 30th, 2018 will be eligible to participate in the challenge.

Vote (April 2nd – April 15th)

On April 2nd, the Kodable Team will select 20 maze design finalists and release them in the Kodable Game. Students will have two weeks to play and “heart” up to 5 favorite mazes to vote for them

Win! (April 16th)

We will calculate the votes and announce the winners! The 20 mazes will continue to be available until the end of May, and the 5 most a-maze-ing mazes will be eligible to be permanently included as levels in Kodable!

What are you waiting for?Join the Maze Maker Challenge!

We can’t wait to see what your students create!

Make aMAZE-ing Mazes with your students

Creative challenges allow students to express themselves and engage with new subject matter in a whole new way. Creative projects also help you, the teacher, understand how well students can apply information. Students can now customize, create, and solve their own mazes to challenge themselves and the class!

Build a maze and get creative with friends.

Apply knowledge of coding concepts learned along the Kodable journey.

Share creations with the class. Give love to your favorite mazes! 

Modify mazes from your classmates.

Return after more experience and exposure to see what new coding concepts have been unlocked.

5 Kodable Maze Maker Mini-Challenges

  1. Have students draw out and plan their mazes on paper before rolling through the online Maze Maker. Make sure if students are using conditions to write their “if-then rules” for getting through their maze.
  2. Students can practice writing instructions or “rules” to their maze so others will know what to look for.
  3. Tie-in math by counting how many squares were used in specific parts of the code or exploring and drawing shapes. 
  4. Create & design a maze with a partner. Switch devices to solve (and save!) the unique mazes. Have students make and solve at home!
  5. Allow each student to write a review of another student’s maze, then modify it to make a second iteration.

Visit your ship’s control panel to start exploring ->

Join The Year of Code Challenge!

Every Back to School season is exciting for us but this year, the momentum is unmistakable. Computer Science education in our schools is progressing and in the past year, we’ve seen the data to back up the commitment.

As more states begin mandating CS education, everyone is getting prepared for the rollout of CS in their districts and schools. We’re encouraged by so many teachers diving in, whether it’s to catch up or get ahead!

Now, it’s easy for you to join others in the computer science education movement. Our goal is to document the 2017-2018 school year while educators around the country make a difference in their classrooms, schools and communities. Join us for the Year of Code, and challenge yourself to make a change in your classroom.

Start with a goal

You don’t need to have a perfectly structured plan to get started! If your state, district, or school hasn’t set a plan in place for the upcoming school year, you can still join the thousands of teachers bringing CS education to the classroom.

Goal examples:

  • I will do the Hour of Code with my students this year.
  • I will teach CS beyond the Hour of Code week by doing coding (x) times a (week, month, semester).
  • I will plan/host a family coding night to get families involved in CS education initiatives at our school.
  • I will teach a (4, 6, 8 week) coding unit, teaching CS lessons every (Friday).

Setting measurable goals will help you track your challenges and successes so you can learn for next year’s implementation.

Join Kodable’s “Year of Code” Challenge!

It’s easy! All you have to do is commit to participating in CS education this year.

Throughout the year we’ll randomly select classes to check in on. If you’re selected and are still on track, you’ll win awesome prizes for you class!

1. Set a measurable goal (see above!)

Need to brainstorm? We’ve got you! Record your thoughts and ideas on our Goal Template.

2. Share your goal with us!

Submit your goal through this short form for a chance to win great prizes like a swag bag, pizza party, ice cream party or one of many other great prizes!

 

 

Measure your progress and success

Check back in with your goal and monitor your progress. Things aren’t working out as planned? Revise your goal and adapt!

Share your challenges and successes!

We want to hear about it all! Send photos and updates throughout the year to brie@kodable.com or share and tag us on Facebook (don’t forget to like our page!). You can find us on Twitter and Instagram as @kodable.

We’re as excited as this adorable corgi is see your goals for the 2017-2018 school year 😀

5 Ways to Blast Back to School with Kodable!

A new year is here! We hope you had a great time chillaxing by the pool.

It’s time for another great school year. Kodable has tons of resources to help you get ready for the new year of teaching coding to your class!

 

Deck out your classroom! 

 

Inspire coding excellence. We have dozens of images, posters, and coloring sheets to decorate your class.

Image pack download ->

“5 Reasons to Teach Coding” Classroom Poster

Fuzz Coloring sheet

Back to School Kit 

All the resources you need to tell your school community about your plans to help your students learn to code are included in this post about “5 Tips for Back to School Night”.

Read the full post here ->

Back to School Webinar

Whether you’re new to Kodable or returning for another year of coding in your classroom, Brie Gray is here to help you have a successful launch! Brie walks you through setting up your classes, teaching your first lesson, assigning content to your students, as well as recapping some improvements we made over the past year.

3 Back to School Lesson Plans

The wise and wonderful Brie Gray prepared three lesson plans specifically for introducing your students to your classroom and to prepare them for your management style.

Exploring Digital Citizenship with Coding

K-2 Back to School Procedures Mini-lesson

3-5  Culture Team Builders + Code

Tools to Share with Parents

Parents are an important part of your classroom culture. Help them understand what their child is learning and why it is important!

Send home a letter that tells them all about how you’ll be teaching their child to code. Edit it however you like! Letter to Parents ->

Let your students continue learning at home. You can print instructions for them to access Kodable at home. Parent Instructions ->

When students master a concept, share the celebration with their biggest cheerleaders! Send home a snazzy certificate. Just go to the current unit you’re teaching and click Print Student Certificates ->

Beginning with Robotics!

Often the best way to introduce new computer science concepts to students is with tangible examples. The Kodable curriculum is full of such lessons and examples. Today we’re excited to be able to expand our curriculum with a truly tangible branch of computer science: robotics!

 

Why robotics is important

We often hear of teachers combining Kodable with a unit on robotics because it allows kids to explore functional hardware while learning about the more abstract concepts behind it all. Especially in lower elementary, kiddos start thinking about the world around them. Kodable Director of Curriculum, Brie Gray says, “Robotics gives students an opportunity to question how things work and dig deeply into the role individuals can play in creating, controlling, and working with machines.”

 

Kodable does robots!

Since we’re new to the world of robots, The Kodable team collaborated with Wonder Workshop to come up with a style of learning both teams felt would give teachers and students the strongest introduction. Brie’s goal was to, “help teachers see how easy it is to teach robotics and programming, separately and together! Both of these areas can easily be integrated into everyday life, and into core classroom subject areas.”

Robots work off of the same logic as computers and software. There are core constructs to the code used to control them.  In many ways, the lessons are reinforcing concepts students learn in other units of Kodable. The lesson structure and style follows the same three part (I do, we do, you do) model found in the rest of Kodable, but now there’s a physical object involved! The lessons still have independent practice on-screen for students, but include guided practice in Wonder Workshop’s Blockly app, and of course, Dash!

The robotics unit covers hardware and software, sequence, algorithms, loops, events, and functions. Followed by a four session (minimum) project focused on Design Thinking, which Brie says, “I honestly would love to participate in myself!” The priority is students learn while having fun and experience learning in a setting that allows them to ask questions, be wrong sometimes, try new things, and work together.

Robotics naturally lends itself to inquiry based learning, projects, and Design Thinking. Design Thinking is a method of minimizing the uncertainty and risk of innovation by engaging users through a series of prototypes to learn, test, and creatively refine concepts. Design thinking is a process we use daily at Kodable and I’m sure you follow in your own life as well.  The four part assessment encourages design thinking to foster and encourage creativity and collaboration in the classroom and the real world.

 

You don’t need robotics experience to get started!

Even if you have zero programming or robot knowledge, you still have all the information and materials needed to teach the lessons. Everything you need is included! The lessons are scripted, so Brie suggests, “read right off them if needed, or use them as a template for building your own if you find it doesn’t fit your style!” Most of this is new to everyone, so don’t be afraid to just dive in and learn along with your students! You’ll be rewarded with hands on engagement and a lot of learning.

4 Tips to Encourage Summer Programming

The school year is winding down, but that doesn’t mean the learning has to. Kids who continue learning through the summer see learning benefits for up to two years afterward. You can help your students continue to grow as learners by encouraging them to continue programming at home. Here are a few quick and easy tips!

1. Send home Kodable log in details for parents.

Parents will be looking for educational programs to keep their kiddos occupied this summer. You can easily print log in instructions for all your students and send home instructions for parents to facilitate more programming!

2. Start a Summer Coding Challenge

Challenge your students to set their own learning goal for the summer! Students will share something they learned this year and something they want to learn over the summer. They will set a goal for the number of programs they want to write and can even track their progress to share with their friends next year!

3. Celebrate a year of learning with certificates for students

Recognize your students’ achievements with a certificate they can take home. Proud learners love showing off their skills! Encourage them to keep learning with positive reinforcement.

4. Open next year’s concepts for early practice.

Get students excited for next school year by letting them explore the concepts they’ll be learning next year. You can easily adjust the grade level on your classes, so they’ll have access to the next set of units without moving too far ahead. Early access will give them a point of reference when you’re teaching the concepts next year!

Keep up all the great work and enjoy a fun and well earned summer vacation!

via GIPHY

 

Kodable for Everyone: we’re on our way!

We recently announced Kodable for Everyone to raise awareness for the power computer science can have in a child’s life. Our goal is to rally as many contributors as we can to bring computer science education to schools in need. So far, we’ve been blown away by the response.

In the past two weeks, we’ve raised $12,587 to fund Kodable for schools in underserved communities.

We’ve had dozens of schools of apply to our sponsorship program and we’re thrilled to introduce you to our first three Kodable for Everyone sponsored schools!

Skyline Futuristic West African Academy

Skyline Futuristic West African Academy, led by Increase Okechukwu Divine-Wisdom, is an exciting addition to the Kodable community. The first completely paperless elementary school in West Africa, Skyline Academy relies completely on digital learning.

What makes Skyline a standout school is their emphasis on using technology to collaborate around problem-solving. Mr. Divine-Wisdom’s long-term goal is to see his students become people who can integrate technology into their community and personal lives to achieve the best possible outcomes.

With CS education, students from Skyline Academy will be able to find efficient and sustainable approaches to improving their community.

Grandview Elementary

Grandview Elementary is a diverse K-5 public school in Michigan. Grandview’s goal is for all students to have access to CS education and coding as a way to build 21st-century skills.

Lisa Piontek, Grandview’s technology teacher, hopes integrating the Kodable curriculum will foster critical thinking and problem-solving skills in her students. She hopes coding will engage students in a way that pushes them forward and will encourage students to continue learning and gain opportunities beyond elementary school.

Bangor Central

Bangor Central’s technology program is rooted in big ideas that encourage students to good for others. Turning adversity into triumph, Bangor has come together to support fellow students and community members by using critical thinking, problem-solving, and technology to yield big results.

Technology teacher Janel Caverley is spread among 3 elementary schools in the district to ensure that all students have access to technology. With limited technology funding, Janel has written grants and collaborated with community volunteers to provide opportunities for students that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

A school described as “full of love”, Bangor Central is all about diving in and taking risks. Kodable will add to this incredible school community by giving students concrete programming skills to further their ideas and continue to impact their community in positive ways.

We are so excited to see how our newest Kodable schools progress and continue to add to our growing list of sponsored schools! If you’re interested in donating or applying, we want to hear from you!