The Morning Code
There's nothing like starting the school day with a little computer programming! This session is designed as a morning wake up. Jump into a variety of online and desktop coding programs in the list below. See how far you can stretch your imagination and mindset for solving puzzles.
This is the standard for visual coding blocks for young learners. It was created in the MIT Media Lab and it's free. Scratch is available in desktop form or online. Students must create an account with their parents' permission to store their files in the cloud and share projects with the Scratch online community. The links below are useful video tutorials to get you started.
Tynker was founded by software engineers who learned of classroom teachers who wanted their students to have coding experiences, even though they lacked the skills and knowledge to teach them. Tynker is Scratch-inspired and uses similar visual coding blocks along with animated tutorials to teach students the fundamentals of programming languages. Students may also jump into a "sandbox" and code their own projects inspired by their imagination.
This organization is best known for sponsoring the annual global event Hour of Code. It has pulled together coders from Fortune 500 companies and game sites to provide free access to challenging games and puzzles. Code.org has a mission to teach young people coding concepts and languages through entertaining activities in order to engage them to pursue a future in computer science.