Curriculum?

Hi,

What curriculum are you using before transitioning students to Snap? I am thinking of just starting code.org as I'm not the tech teacher and can't see the kids every week. When I do see the kids, I can do offline coding type classes to help reiterate concepts. Then I can go in sometime January with the more custom coding project...

Any thoughts?

What age kids are you thinking of? Paul Goldenberg is teaching math to 2nd graders (7 years old) using Snap!. When I was volunteering in my local elementary school I ran an after-school Scratch class for 4th and 5th graders in which the curriculum was basically "Here's how you click two blocks together; go!" Once a month or so I'd bring in a challenge project and tell them to build it. The only reason I didn't use Snap! was that we didn't have the community sharing site yet, and that was important to the kids.

We start from preschool all the way to 8th but revamping the whole curriculum now
since there was no consistency. Now that we can push coding weekly :slight_smile: things will change! I'm doing BJC MS for 6th grade and up for sure (maybe even 5th). We've been doing simple offline coding and Bee-Bots/Dash robots for preschool to 2nd and introduction of basic sprite interactions with 3rd and 4th.

Ahh, classic code.org, you could get the students used to code.org, it basically introduces kids to coding and how to code with a lot of pre coded things to code, I think that code.org would help introduce kids into coding, but if they have already coded a lot I would use Snap!.

So, I am not the tech teacher and this is pretty much my only way to get weekly coding classes to the kids :grimacing:

Has anyone used "The Coding Book"? It says it's for age 8-12 on the web page:
https://www.hinkler.com.au/the-coding-book

The one amazon review says it's good for 7 year olds:
https://www.amazon.com/Coding-Book-Curious-Universe/dp/1488910502/

I have a copy, and plan to try it next year with my kid (now 6). She's still enjoying Scratch Jr. for telling stories.

Interesting. It says "endorsed by Snap!" on the cover. @jens, did we endorse it?

There's a quote from Jens on the back cover:

"When Brian and I created Snap!, we were hoping for kids to use it both as an environment to learn about computer science and as a medium for telling their own interactive stories. We made it about 'building your own blocks' so kids can make up their own words, and thereby -- like ourselves -- fall prey to the nerdy delight of creating something in itself. The Coding Book picks up these ideas in a playful way. Exploring Snap!, a medium for telling interactive stories, as an adventure story itself makes this book even more than a gripping foray into programming: it's a gentle nudge towards the strange loop of metacircularity."

Still curious if anyone has tried it with kids. @Jens, have you gone through it in any detail? Tried it with kids?

I did go through it in detail, and some of us - including myself - have been in several discussions with the author, and yes, I like the book a lot and I did write the endorsement for the cover. Brian also read the drafts and he didn't receive the book's concept as favorably as I did, so he declined to endorse it. Brian's main critique was that the book doesn't go far enough and falls short of introducing custom blocks, Snap's main feature.

I haven't gone through the book with children myself, mostly because my own kids are too old and not much interested in programming anyway, and also because whenever I do something with kids it's mostly to try out and refine new ideas we're working on. We did get numerous requests for help in this forum from parents whose children "got stuck" at some point, and we were mostly able to help them. Most of the "getting stuck" was not the book's fault, btw, but people using Internet Explorer or old iPads instead of laptops. While we still don't and probably won't ever again support IE, iPads should work fine now, but we strongly suggest using a stylus.

Does that help?

Not Snap!-specific, but two best IMHO for age 8+ are the companion works:

Dorling Kindersley, Computer Coding for Kids, 2019 https://www.dk.com/uk/book/9780241317730-computer-coding-for-kids/

Dorling Kindersley, Computer Coding Projects for Kids, 2019 https://www.dk.com/uk/book/9780241317761-computer-coding-projects-for-kids/

Have a look at the table of contents.

... is the publisher, not the author.

Correct. DK puts Carol Vorderman on many of their titles, not unlike a celebrity endorsement. She is a well-known game show host in the UK. The name sells. The actual author is Dr. Jon Woodcock. Co-authors: Craig Steele, Sean McManus, Claire Quigley, and Daniel McCafferty.

I see. That's... dishonest.

Agreed. Reminds me of 'ghost writers.'