We’ve selected these resources as a starting point for 3rd graders with no previous exposure to computer science (coding/programming/etc). Many of the exercises can be repeated multiple times to reiterate problem solving techniques.
Our biggest goal at this age is to encourage trial and error and to begin to see patterns in the code. The experience shouldn’t be frustrating; instead, we focus on making incremental changes to get the desired outcome. We also encourage students to run their code as often as necessary to solve the puzzle.
Increasing order of difficulty
- Hour of Code – (Millions of students worldwide complete the Hour of Code each year. You can sign up and your student will get a printable certificate upon completion. There are several versions that include Minecraft, Star Wars, and Angry Birds) – hourofcode.com
- Loops – studio.code.org/s/coursec/stage/8/puzzle/1
- Events (Create your own Flappy Bird game) – studio.code.org/s/coursec/stage/12/puzzle/1
Scratch – scratch.mit.edu – Free online account – Allows your students to use the ideas learned above in their own creative programming environment. They can add characters and backgrounds to program their own games and animations. Students can share their work with friends and view other projects on the site. You can check out our studio here to view the projects we’ve made.
Tynker – Free app for iOS, Android, and ChromeOS (also a website tynker.com). Limited number of free puzzles similar to the links listed above.