Top 5 Free Sites to Help Elementary and Middle Schoolers Learn to Code (Recommended by Create & Learn)

Coding is one of the most valuable skills to master for kids. Standards for K-12 computer science education have been established in 34 states in the US, and the number of students taking computer science AP exams has tripled over the last three years. 

Unfortunately, few schools are equipped to teach it adequately. 

At Create & Learn, students learn state of the art computer technologies such as AI, coding, and robotics, with experienced teachers. To help our students practice and master the learning out of our class time, we recommend some free online resources.

Here are the top five sites on our list:


1.Scratch (scratch.mit.edu)

Developed by MIT, Scratch is an excellent platform to get started with coding. It allows students to program their own interactive stories, games, and animations. It is used by tens of millions of learners around the world. We are also a huge fan of its creator, MIT Professor Mitch Resnick, who is an incredibly dedicated educator. The site does not have a formal curriculum. However, it has a very active community where you can find millions of excellent projects of all levels that students can easily follow along and remix. And this is what we encourage our students to do as extra practice when they take the Scratch Ninja or Accelerated Scratch classes. 



2. CS First

Speaking of Scratch curriculum, CS First is an excellent Scratch curriculum created by Google. We know a number of the contributing team members and have been impressed by their dedication to bringing computer science education to all students.  

CS First was created to empower teachers who do not have technical training to teach computer science . Consequently, it is particularly easy for students to follow outside of our classes. Another great thing about CS First is it has multiple series of classes that map to different interests areas such as sports, art, and games. So, students can find their favorite subjects and dig in!




3.Code.org

Have you heard of Hour of Code? That’s the annual world-wide big event organized by Code.org with hundreds of millions of students participating. The organization has made extraordinary contributions in coding education for kids. The site offers a wide range of web resources, tools, and apps for kids to get started in coding. One thing we like in particular about Code.org is in addition to coding, it also covers general computer science topics such as data and Internet.  

 



4.Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers computer science lessons in the form of instructional videos and exercises. The video may be particularly appealing for some learners. Their coding materials mostly cover HTML and Javascript which are not for beginners. However, the materials on general computing such as algorithms, Internet, and cybersecurity are well designed and offers rich learning.  


 


5. W3schools.com

W3Schools is an excellent site for advanced learners. Because of that, you don’t see it much as a resource for kids’ coding. But it is one of the most popular sites for adults who are new coding or want to pick up another language. The site started with web focused technologies such as HTML and JS in the early years and has expanded significantly to include almost all popular languages such as Python and Java. The step by step content and quizzes cover the core concepts in great details. We find it to be an effective way for our students in Python for AI and Build Your Web classes to practice and master what they have learned in classes. 




Have more questions about these platforms and how we use them? Feel free to email us at info@createandlearn.us. And, sign up for a free introduction class to have your child start coding or advance to the next level with our Scratch, Minecraft, and Python coding classes.

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