Playing with Programming: Coding for Younger Students

The recent development of graphic-based programming environments has brought programming to a wider audience, including younger children. At this center you can (individually or with others):
  • experiment with different programming environments
  • reference background material related to the pedagogy of teaching programming, with specific reference to younger children
  • personal / group reflection related to coding for younger students

How this center relates to:

  • Teachers of younger students: provide you the opportunity to consider adding this to your curriculum; if you already are programming with your students, share your experience with others, explore other alternatives (ideas, environments)
  • IT Support: see what this initiative is like and how best you can be involved
  • Administrators: hands-on experience and awareness to support your teachers
  • Parents of young children: consider this for your own children
  • Computer Science Teachers: experience learning computer programming unlike the way you (and I) learned to program!

Programming Environments (Applications)

You must bring your own device(s) to this centre. It is recommended that you download / install on your own device(s) the programming environment(s) that you would be interested in using prior to coming to this center. ALL the suggested environments are FREE. Some offer additional features / support for an additional cost. All the suggested environments can be used to introduce programming to younger students without any cost. The Progrogramming Environments (Applications) for this center (alphabetical order):
Daisy the Dinosaur
Scratch Jr

Pedagogy - Why should younger students code?

Code Kids - CBC Documentary about a movement in Atlantic Canada to include coding across the curriculum.
The United Kingdom has recently revised the curriculum to include a focus, at an early age, on computing:
Computational Thinking in the Primary Computer Curriculum, Phil Baggee
Coding in the Classroom: Computational Thinking Will Allow Children to 'Change the World', Anthony Cutherburtson
National curriculum in England: computing programmes of study - GOV.UK
This blog post offers another perspective, not specific to younger students, but provides excellent overall background:
Don't learn to code. Learn to think
New resources added December 2014:
Coding for Kids for Dummies blog post by Peter Skillen
So you want kids to code! Why? blog post by Peter Skillen

Related #bit14 Session

Coding for Kids: Skills in the Programming Age by Anthony Chuter - Thursday, November 6, 12:00pm - Fallsview Theatre A
Coding in Math by Brian Aspinall - Thursday, November 6, 4:00pm - Peller Estates Ballroom D

Related Minds on Media Center

Turtle Art! with Artemis Papert and Brian Silverman

General Resources (Application Independent)
BBC Schools Computing
Coding for Kindergarteners
Phil Baggee's Blog

Application Specific Resources

Daisy the Dinosaur



Hopscotch resources Provide your information and you will get instant access to download a zip file of Hopscotch material
Hopscotch YouTube Channel
Hopscotch Challenges (FREE Kindle book)
Use Hopscotch to make Flappy Birds


Basics (from Kandu)
Kandu Tutorials on YouTube


Resources (from Kodable)
Kodable YouTube Channel

Scratch Jr

WIRED (background article)
Resources (from Scratch Jr)


For Educators (from Scratch)
ScratchED - Preschool and Kindergarten
Literacy from Scratch


(recommended for Grade 3 and up)
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