If CargoBot and Lightbot are ideal for Upper Key Stage 2, then Kodable is the perfect programming-based tool for KS1 and EYFS. The program is specifically designed to cover the entire KS1 curriculum, so you have everything you need to teach programming in one place.
Teachers can also access lesson plans and other teaching materials at their website (which can be found here) and can use these alongside Kodable to cover their entire computing curriculum for Year 1 (K-5 internationally).
What The Children Do:
Children take control of a colourful character (a fuzzy ball) and guide him through different colourful levels – unlocking new characters along the way.
They’ll be asked to complete different programming challenges by improving their code as they progress through the app; i.e. children will have to tell their character which direction to move and when to change direction (to avoid a dead end). Once they’ve done this, they’ll be challenged to consider which direction is best in order to collect gold coins on their route.
Once children have mastered the early levels, the activity increases slightly in complexity as children have to place coloured squares over their directional arrows. This enables the character to change direction whenever it hits a square that matches that colour. Children are also tasked with understanding coding loops (performing a set of code multiple times) which can be difficult to understand – however Kodable breaks the subject down for them into child-friendly and easy-to-understand tasks.
It’s a very progressive program and children learn about coding loops, algorithms, procedures and debugging as they work their way through the different levels.
How It Works:
Children create an account and begin working through the levels. Each time children are faced with a new principle of programming, they’ll be given an in-depth child-friendly tutorial which will help them understand the work. This allows them to work independently.
Why It’s Good:
There are three major benefits to using Kodable in the classroom.
Firstly, Kodable is extremely child-friendly and the children will be quickly engaged when using the app. Each character is colourful and appealing to children which will make them feel like they’re playing a game – when actually they’re developing exceptional programming skills.
Secondly, as I’ve mentioned above, Kodable can be used to teach the Year 1 (K-5 internationally) curriculum. This is a major benefit to teachers because it saves you time searching for different computing related tools and ensures you have everything you need in one place.
Finally, Kodable will definitely help children progress. Each level is designed to be more challenging than the last, so children are constantly expanding their knowledge base and skill set. The program will help children to understand different aspects of coding and encourage them to debug their own programming problems.
If you’re serious about teaching computer science to KS1 children, then Kodable is a must-have for your classroom. Kodable is an extremely child-friendly problem-solving activity which will teach children about direction whilst also developing their programming skills.