Buckle Up Fuzzes: Now Flying into the World of Asteroidia!

We’ve been rolling through mazes, and now we’re taking the fuzzFamily talents to space- let’s just say, the Kodable fuzzes have never looked so good. We are so excited to bring you the world of Asteroidia, and introduce you to the added concepts and lessons that you will use to build on your student’s coding instruction!

Clearing the Asteroid Field

Universe_BgAlmost immediately after take off from Smeeborg, the fuzzes encountered all types of issues flying in space. Soon they were upon fields of multi-colored asteroids. The only way to clear the asteroids was to match them with their supply of fuzzballs! Taking their learning from exploring the Technomazes of Smeeborg and being excited to learn new skills, the fuzzFamily is now working together to fly safely through Asteroidia.

 

Asteroidia, gives students the opportunity to have fun learning about how variables work. Every level gives them a group of asteroids that are blocking their ship from moving forward. To clear the asteroid field, students must match numbered (integers) and colored (strings) fuzzballs with like asteroids. They must select the matching variable in order to eliminate the asteroids in the way.

Example5.3

As they progress farther into Asteroidia, students will be required to arrange their colors and numbers into arrays and launch them as an ordered list to clear the asteroid field. To fly their spaceships to the next level, students must match the colored and numbered  fuzzes with the asteroids and launch them from their ships.

 

Asteroidia is Complete with Variable Lesson PlansCurriculumVar

All of the new lessons in Kodable are accompanied with lesson plans, learning guides and screen free activities for easy curriculum integration. You can view the lessons from the curriculum page on your teacher dashboard.

fuzz shot for astroidia blog

Asteroidia: Variables, Syntax, and What it All Means

As we have fully shifted into being a K-5 coding curriculum, we’ve aligned our lessons with an end goal: students going through the Kodable Curriculum will be reading and writing code by 5th grade.

The concepts in Asteroidia that build on foundational skills and prepare students for reading and writing code are:

  • syntax- the rules in programming language that define how code is written
  • variables– A variable is a container for information.  Variables form the bridge between the foundational coding concepts we teach in Smeeborg with higher level concepts like object-oriented programming (coming soon!) that will enable students to directly read and write code.

There are three types of variables in Asteroidia:

    • strings (a sequence of characters or words)
    • integers (basic, mathematical integers. ex: 1, 2, 3, 4)
    • arrays (ordered lists of variables)

By matching, ordering, and grouping fuzzballs and numbers, students will successfully apply basic rules of syntax and variables to clear their way through Asteroidia, prepared to move into object-oriented programming.

Where Our Fuzzes (and students!) Are Going

Like the progression of learning in any subject, the Kodable Curriculum begins with developing fundamental skills. Students using Kodable in grades K-2 begin with creating a foundation that will allow them to learn more abstract, complex concepts.
With the world of Asteroidia bridging foundational skills and mastery, students will apply their knowledge of syntax and variables and get one step closer to reading and writing code. When students reach 4th and 5th grade, they will begin learning and mastering object-oriented programming, where computer programs are designed out of objects that interact with one another.

Foundational Skills

 

We are so excited for you to check out Asteroidia and start getting familiar with the new material in the Kodable Curriculum! Make sure you stay tuned for our improved student login release, coming in the next few weeks.

Reach out to support@kodable.com for additional support navigating our new features!

Hasta la Vista, Student Limits!

Jon here, one of the founders of Kodable. We have some exciting news to share with you! Starting today, we’re removing the student and class limits for Kodable Teacher accounts. Our goal at Kodable is to provide teachers and administrators with an elementary programming curriculum that you fall in love with. As we prepared to release more of our new curriculum, we realized that the student and class limits could take away from the experience we want educators to have using Kodable, and that’s something we never want to do.

So, starting today, teachers, schools, and districts are free to enroll as many students and as many classes as they want in Kodable to experience just how valuable programming education is. We will continue offering the full curriculum, admin tools, professional development, and more as part of Kodable School, but we know by giving all of your students a chance to use our new curriculum, you’ll agree that it is a worthwhile investment in their future.

FAQ

What’s changing for teachers?

You can now add unlimited students and classes and use the free Kodable Curriculum with all of them. All of the new students will get access to Kodable, as well as the new curriculum and game content. Please note that premium content will remain locked until Kodable School is purchased.

I’m a school administrator/technology coordinator. Can I add my entire school to Kodable?

Yes! You can now create separate classes and get progress reports on all of them, all with a free Kodable Account. However, administrative tools such as remote teacher account management, transferring classes between teachers, shared playlists, etc. will continue to be reserved for Kodable School subscribers.

I already have a teacher account, do I need to make a new one?

No! Your existing account has been upgraded and you can jump right in and add the rest of your students.

I’m an existing Kodable School user, how does this affect me?

It doesn’t! The premium content, admin tools, and professional development offered with Kodable School is remaining the same, and will continue to be billed per-student or via site license as it was before. If you have any other questions, please email me personally.

I really like this, now I want to purchase Kodable for my school! How can I do that?

Great! You can request a quote to give us some basic information about your coding needs, and a Kodable representative will respond to you within one business day.

Curriculum Playlists: It’s About to Get Personal!

One of the first and best pieces of advice I was given when I started teaching was “Don’t reinvent the wheel.” I spent my first year of teaching ignoring this- I was too full of zest and creativity and hadn’t worn myself out enough yet.facepalm blogAfter wasting too much time recreating lessons, I started to understand the value in using resources that already exist and tweaking them to cater to my unique classes. At Kodable, we have made changes to our curriculum that allow you to do just that.

We are proud to introduce Curriculum Playlists, giving you the ability to take the existing Kodable Curriculum and customize what students have access to on their devices. You can now manage the Kodable curriculum in a way that will meet all of your class’ coding needs, and we are ALL about that!

What is a Curriculum Playlist?

A Curriculum Playlist is a customizable scope and sequence of the Kodable Curriculum.

A Curriculum Playlist allows you to:

  • Control what portion of the Kodable Curriculum your students see and use on their devices (your edits immediately appear on student devices!)
  • Customize where your classes start and stop in the Kodable Curriculum
  • Manage your Curriculum Playlists as needed

Why Use Curriculum Playlists?

  1. Access Guided Practice activities that correlate with each set of lessons in the game
  2. Click on unit numbers to hide lessons
  3. Control what lesson students stop at, ensuring that their Independent Practice is aligned with your lesson plans
  4. Access the “I do” portion of the lesson in the Teacher Guide, which explains the concepts in the unit
  5. View the list of classes assigned to the specified Curriculum Playlist
  6. Track your class’ progression by checking lessons off as you go
    CP why blog

Best Practices

Whether you’re a second grade teacher with a class of 25 or a technology teacher with 500 students, we have some best practices that will help you make the most of Curriculum Playlists.

best practices for levels and grades

Number 1: Organization

Keep everything organized by color coding, intentionally naming, and tracking your playlists.

  • Color code by grade level, class, or academic level.
  • Name your classes by grade, teacher name, or academic level. Keep your names consistent to make things easier for you!
  • Keep track of your classes’ progression- check off your lesson objectives as you go.

Number 2: Updates

One of the major benefits of a 21st Century curriculum is the ability to get instant updates.  We’re always keeping our curriculum updated with revisions and new content. Keeping your playlist up to date ensures you have control over all the latest content in your students’ devices.

  • Take a look at the update description, this is where we will tell you about everything that has changed.
  • If you have planned a timeline, make sure the additional lessons will fit into your semester’s objectives.
  • Curriculum Playlist updates correspond with new content in the game, so make sure your student devices have the latest version of Kodable. (With in reason. We’re very sensitive to the update habits of schools managing hundreds of devices.)
    upgrade

Number 3: Build on previous instruction

Use Curriculum Playlists to build on last year’s instruction without repeating units or lessons.
Example: “My 2nd grade classes learned about sequence and loops in 1st grade, I want them to start their lessons in loops as a refresher and move onto functions.”

  • Hide the lessons in the units leading up to loops by clicking on the circled number to the left
    Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 10.59.40 AM

Example: “My 1st graders are learning about sequences this year. I want them to start with loops next year.”

  • Stop students at the end of sequences so they can’t do lessons that they will learn the following year.

Number 4: Save time

Don’t reinvent the wheel. Use your existing Curriculum Playlists (or the Kodable Default playlist) as a template to create Curriculum Playlists for other classes or grades.
Example: “I’ve designed a Curriculum playlist for 4th grade, and want to create a similar Curriculum Playlist for 5th Grade but with access to a few more lessons.”

Creating a new playlist is simple, take a look at our help article here for more info.

 

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Number 5: Differentiate

Starting this August, ALL Kodable users can make as many classes as needed! This allows you to separate your students in to as many classes, work groups or academic ability levels as needed. Like any subject, there will be students who work through the curriculum at a faster pace than others. Create a “high” or “gifted” Curriculum playlist with access to more (or all) lessons or assign a gifted class to a higher grade level’s playlist.

Example: You have 50 third graders and half of them are on pace to complete a unit before the rest of your third graders. You can assign this group of students to a playlist that has more lessons available or stop them at a different unit.

 

 

best practices differentiate

 

 

 

contact:

Get ready! Here comes Kodable 2.0!

August: the month that leaves us saying goodbye to summer days, seeing the sun drop a little earlier, and gearing up for back to school with pencils (and iPads) in hand.

What’s different about this trip around the sun? This August is the month of Kodable 2.0! That’s right, we have been working on epic changes and new features that we are ready to unleash! Over the past year, Kodable has gone from an app that teaches coding to a complete K-2 coding curriculum, but that’s only half of our mission. With that said, we are SO excited to announce Kodable 2.0. This month will kick off a wave of Kodable updates over the coming months that will bring us closer to our goal of becoming the first K-5 programming curriculum.

Coming soon:

  1. Curriculum Playlists coming Wednesday, 8/5 Customize what content your students see on their devices
  2. Asteroidia coming mid-August Introducing lessons on variables
  3. Improved Student Log in coming Monday, 8/31  Making it even easier to get your students logged in on their devices

Minions

What is a Curriculum Playlist!? – Wednesday, 8/5

A  Curriculum Playlist is a Scope and Sequence of the Curriculum content in Kodable. Curriculum Playlists allow you to control what portion of the Kodable curriculum your students see and use on their devices. This means you can customize what your students have access to by hiding lessons and customizing where each class starts and stops in the Kodable curriculum. All edits in the Curriculum Playlist can be adjusted as needed and immediately appear on your students’ devices.

Screen Shot 2015-08-04 at 9.09.20 AM

Why use Curriculum Playlists?

  • Preview lessons
  • Manage lessons
  • Access teacher guides that correlate with lessons
  • Get classroom activities for Guided Practice with your students
  • View estimated time for completion of each lesson and unit
  • Customize your class’ learning paths
  • Track your lesson progress by marking sessions completed as you go

 

The World of Asteroidia –

Mid-August

Students have led their fuzzes through the technomazes of Smeeborg, gathering enough knowledge and resources to enter another world. As they leave Smeeborg to explore the universe, the fuzzes will be met by a vast asteroid field that needs navigating. In their spaceships, fuzzes will use colors (strings), numbers (integers), and groupings of colors and numbers (arrays) to break through walls of asteroids in each lesson. Asteroidia’s units introduce concepts that are developmentally appropriate and put students one step closer to writing code by 5th grade.

In Astroidia, students will discover and master:

  • syntax- the rules in programming language that define how functions and commands are arranged and carried out.
  • variables– A variable is a container for information. Like a jewelry box holds various types of jewelry, variables in programming contain different kinds of information. Variables form the bridge between the foundational coding concepts we teach in Smeeborg with higher level concepts like object-oriented programming (coming soon!) that will enable students to directly read and write code.

There are three types of variables in Asteroidia:

    • strings (a sequence of characters or words)
    • integers (basic, mathematical integers. ex: 1, 2, 3, 4)
    • arrays (ordered lists of variables)
      * Coming soon: booleans (true or false)

Astroidia 2.0 blog

The Improved Student Login- Monday, August 31st

We had the pleasure of visiting 60+ classes on our Kodable Road Tour this past spring. We learned how hard it is manage a class of 20 or more students with half of them needing help at the same time. Our improved student login process is based on the experiences we had and input gathered from teachers on our road trip. We want to eliminate the chaos associated with getting students signed in, and our improved Student Login process gives students and teachers an intuitive, kid-friendly login experience.

We hope that you’re just as excited as we are about taking coding in the classroom to the next level! As always, reach out with feedback and questions, we love hearing from you!

Stay tuned for more exciting updates, releases, and new features throughout the back to school months!

Kodable iOS Update FAQ

Kodable iOS Update FAQ

If you recently updated Kodable on your iPad, you might have noticed that Kodable looks…a little…different. You’re right!

We have spent the last month improving our iOS version of Kodable, and are now happy to present to you the latest changes to Kodable on the iPad. If you haven’t seen these improvements, be sure to update to the latest version of Kodable on your iPad. You may have a few questions after seeing our latest update, so we have put together a short FAQ below to help you get acclimated to the new version of Kodable. 🙂

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why did you change the menu?

Kodable is a modular, comprehensive curriculum, and we wanted our game interface to reflect that. Now, you can seamlessly transition from concept learning guides, to screen-free activities, to in-game lessons, to vocabulary workshops.

How does this new menu teach programming?

Each programming concept we teach is separated into units. Units are now scaffolded into multiple easy-to-digest lesson collections in Kodable. We have seen this boosts learning outcomes and saves teachers time in lesson planning.

Concepts in Kodable

How do I navigate the new menu screen? 

The new menu screen is ordered by concept and each concept is indicated with it’s assigned command in Kodable. An arrow indicates Sequence, a colored tile Conditions, rotating arrows Loops, and brackets symbolize Functions.

Did I lose my student’s progress?

No! All of your student’s progress has been saved, but the order of some of our lessons has been changed slightly. To help with this transition, we’ve included this ‘lesson migration reference’.

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How does this work with the new dashboard?

The curriculum tab on your dashboard now directly matches what students will see on their devices. Each concept in your curriculum tab matches a ‘section’ of the Kodable world. Each unit inside that concept is matched with a collection of lessons in that concept. As students complete lessons, you will see their progress reflected on your class dashboard. You can also be confident that the lessons in the game will directly correlate with the activities, learning guides, and vocabulary lessons we provide for that unit.

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The names in the game don’t match the names on my dashboard!

We’ve found that kids don’t always get excited for games with titles like ‘Sequence Unit 1,’ So we’ve included fun, exciting names for kids that will boost engagement. You can always see the name of the unit that kids will be attempting by going to the curriculum tab and expanding the corresponding unit.

Parent Teacher Portal No Longer Available

Where is the parent teacher portal? 

Due to transitioning to the new Teacher Dashboard, we have temporarily removed the Parent Teacher Portal from the iOS version of Kodable. Let us know what your thoughts are on the PTP by emailing neal@kodable.com

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Where is Bugs Below? 

Bugs Below and debugging concepts are now contained within Sequence, Conditions, Loops, and Functions concepts. After careful consideration, we believe young students should begin developing debugging skills and start practicing these techniques with every concept.

More Questions? 

If you have any further questions about our new iOS version, feel free to comment on this post or reach out and contact us below. 🙂

 

The Kodable Programming Curriculum is LIVE!

It’s been awhile in the making, but we are proud to announce that the new Kodable Curriculum is now LIVE and can be accessed right from your Kodable Teacher Dashboard! To explore these exciting new changes simply:

1. Visit Kodable.com

2. Login to your Teacher Account in the top right hand corner:

3. And voilà! Welcome to your new Kodable Programming Curriculum!

Kodable Programming Curriculum Dashboard

What’s included in the new Kodable Programming Curriculum?

Thousands of educators have been teaching their students basic programming concepts with Kodable for over a year. The focus of the new Kodable Programming Curriculum is to make teaching these coding concepts even easier.

Organized by concept, the new Kodable Programming Curriculum is a step-by-step guide to teaching your students the basics of programming.

Teaching Programming by Concept

Kodable Programming Curriculum: Sequence

The Kodable Programming Curriculum covers the most important programming concepts for beginners:

  • Sequence
  • Conditions
  • Loops
  • Functions
  • Variables (Coming Soon!)

Teaching programming concepts can often be intimidating, and sometimes it is difficult to know where to start.

Don’t worry! 

In the new Kodable Programming Curriculum we divide each programming concept into digestible and time efficient units. These units are also chock-full of teaching resources to help you along the way:

  • Concept Learning Guides
  • Unplugged Activities
  • Kodable Lessons
  • Lesson Answer Keys
  • Concept Vocabulary

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Brand New Programming Lessons

To supplement the new Kodable Programming Curriculum we have also added brand new Kodable lessons for the following programming concepts:

  • Sequence
  • Algorithms
  • Debugging

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More coming soon!

Over the course of the next few months, we will be adding resources and making improvements to the curriculum. So keep an eye out for future updates!

Kodable Web

New Kodable Dashboard is Live

Exciting news from Kodable HQ! After finishing up some major updates to Kodable Web, we are ready to release our new Teacher Dashboard! As of this moment, our new Teacher Dashboard is live and available for Public Beta in your Kodable Teacher Account.

To start using the new Kodable Dashboard, follow these instructions:

1. Visit Kodable.com

2. Log into your Teacher Account

3. Click on link in the header to try the new dashboard!

Kodable Dashboard Public Beta

4. Presto! Welcome to your new Teacher Dashboard!

Kodable Dashboard is ready to use

What’s new on the Teacher Dashboard?

Our new Kodable Teacher Dashboard is loaded with a ton of new features to help you with get the most out of your Kodable Curriculum.

View CCSS Standards in Progress and Completed

You can complete many CCSS standards using Kodable. Take a look at what standards your students are working on, and which ones they have completed.

CCSS Standards in progress and completed

View Lessons Completed

Quickly glance at your class’ progress and see what lessons they have yet to complete.

Quickly view your progress

Manage Administrator Access

Kodable School account holders can now easily manage their school’s Teacher Accounts from a single page.

Manage your teacher accounts as an administrator

View Assignments and Curriculum Resources

Introducing the new Kodable Curriculum! Learn Sequence, Conditions, Loops, Functions, and Debugging using Kodable’s learning guides, unplugged activities, video tutorials, and lessons.

Assignments Tab in Kodable

View and Edit all of your students

Quickly view and edit all of your students in every class from a single page.

View All Students and make bulk changes

 Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!

 

 

Introducing the Kodable Programming Curriculum

Kodable Programming Curriculum for Elementary

When we founded Kodable, we made it our goal to bring programming to every classroom around the world. In order to make this dream a reality, we have decided to take the next step in teaching coding, and transition from a game to a complete programming curriculum. For those just starting out, developing your own coding curriculum can be a daunting task. That’s where we can help. From now on, all of our updates will work to provide teachers with all of the resources, materials, and metrics that they need to teach their students programming. Take a look at the exciting changes we have made so far.

New Features of the Kodable Programming Curriculum

In 2014, we heard a lot of awesome feedback from the Kodable Community about how to make Kodable even better. You spoke, we listened, and we are now thrilled to introduce the new Kodable Programming Curriculum.

Native Desktop Application (Currently In Beta)

Kodable Desktop Application

Kodable can now be accessed and played right from your desktop. Kodable Desktop works with any hardware, and syncs all student data to the cloud so they can resume their progress on any device.

Administrative Tools (NEW) 


Kodable School Teachers can now manage multiple Teacher Accounts from one Administrative Account. Invite existing teachers, create new accounts, and view all of your classes/students from one dashboard.

Redesigned Dashboard (UPDATES COMING THROUGHOUT MARCH)

Class Dashboard (New)

Easily manage, view, and track class/student progress from your Teacher Account Dashboard. See what standards your class has completed, and quickly identify students that are struggling.

Kodable Dashboards Assignments

Plan, organize, and access your lessons from the new Assignments tab. Create a custom lesson playlist, or use the provided lesson guides to help you conquer your first programming lessons.

Learning Guides & Curriculum Activities (SNEEK PEEK) 

Kodable Learning Guide: Sequence

Prepare to teach your students Sequence and Condition programming concepts with our revised Learning Guides. Make connections to programming concepts outside of Kodable with unplugged activities for your classroom.

Try our new Sequence Activity –>

In Case You Missed It: Recent Updates

Add More Free Students to Your Class 

Add up to 30 students to your Teacher Account

You can now add up to 30 students to your Free Teacher Account. Take full advantage of your Kodable Free Trial and add your entire class to begin saving and tracking student progress.

New Pricing 

Kodable Curriculum Materials

Pricing for Kodable is now simpler than ever.  Purchase a site license for your entire school at a single flat rate, and get access to the complete Kodable Curriculum– now and forever.

Fresh Website Design (NEW)

Kodable Programming Curriculum

Visit Kodable.com and take a look at our redesigned homepage. If you have not signed up for a Teacher Account, enroll in a Free Trial and begin teaching your students to code.

Kodable Web 

Kodable Web

You can now visit game.kodable.com to start playing Kodable anytime, anywhere, right from your Internet Browser.

 

Even more changes are on the way. Contact neal@kodable.com with any questions. 🙂 

 

Learn to Code: New Sequence Activity

Learn to Code: Sequence

Teach your students the fundamentals of sequence with our new fuzzFamily Fever activity! Worksheets and directions are included and available for download below. Happy coding!

Overview

  • Time frame — About 30-45 minutes
  • The fuzzFamily has crash-landed on the planet Smeeborg and needs your help! Fill in the boxes below each maze with the correct commands and cardinal directions to navigate the fuzzFamily to safety.

Materials

  • Pencil
  • fuzzFamily Fever Handout (Download Below)
  • Kodable
  • SMART Board or Project (optional)

 

Learn to Code: Sequence Activity

We have more activities coming soon! Check back for updates. 🙂