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Free Coding Lessons

The free coding lessons below are easy to start and require no lesson preparation.
They are perfect for anyone who would like to teach or learn coding.
Currently lessons are available for Scratch and ScratchJr.
Check back soon as new lessons are added often.

 

Why Code?

Coding fosters creativity, makes math more fun and engaging, develops problem solving skills, enables computational thinking, teaches organization, and promotes hands-on learning by doing.

 

Coding is a valuable skill for not only software engineers, but also for other careers that might not seem to be related to code. Workers in manufacturing trades need to understand the fundamentals like variables, conditional statements, and arithmetic operators to control equipment. Musicians with coding skills can produce complex musical pieces using code. Programming skills make data collection and analysis efficient and effective, and is essential for many scientists. Coding skills are likely to be useful in more and more places as artificial intelligence progresses.

Engineering Robot Car

Scratch Coding

Scratch is a great place to start coding for anyone at least seven years old. Don't think it is only for children just because it is fun and easy. Scratch is used in many universities as an introduction to computer programming. It uses a "drag-and-drop," block-based, snap-together programming environment to introduce students to coding. Students can learn coding concepts without the hassle of syntax and typing errors. 

 

These lessons teach real coding concepts in order of increasing difficulty. Each lesson teaches how to create various scenes and games and then challenges the students to do it themselves on their own devices. Students will be inspired to create their own stories and games as they learn basic computer programming concepts.

GETTING STARTED:

  • Simply create a free account at https://scratch.mit.edu/  or if offline access is preferred, it can be downloaded and installed on a PC from the same site. 

  • Play the video, "Scratch Coding Lesson 1" below, and code what you learned. Nothing else is needed. Allow extra time after each lesson to try new blocks and explore your own ideas.

  • Repeat with the next lesson on the following day or the next week. It is fine to do more than one lesson per day, but don't skip to the later lessons because they build on one another.

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ScratchJr Coding

ScratchJr is a great place to start coding for 5 to 8 year olds. It uses a "drag-and-drop," block-based, snap-together programming environment to introduce students to code. These lessons teach real coding concepts in 15 lessons of increasing difficulty. Each lesson teaches how to create various scenes and games and then challenges the students to do it themselves on their own devices. Students will be inspired to create their own stories and games as they learn basic computer programming concepts.

GETTING STARTED:

  • Simply add ScratchJr app to an iPad or download ScratchJr and install on a PC. If desired, learn more about it at https://www.scratchjr.org/
    Touch screens are better for younger students.

  • Once they have access to the ScratchJr app, play the video "ScratchJr Coding Lesson 1" below, and ask the student to code what they learned. Nothing else is needed. Allow them extra time after each lesson to try new blocks and explore their own ideas.

  • Repeat with the next lesson on the following day or the next week. It is fine to do more than one lesson per day, but don't skip to the later lessons because they build on one another.

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