Welcome to Middlefork Coding Kids!
Co-Sponsors: Ms. Jen Gilbert and Señora Dengsavang

Have a wonderful summer! 


 Middlefork Coding Kids on the news!  Thank you, CBS Chicago!



 Kodable came to visit!

We were very honored to host Grechen Huebner and Neal Rooney from the Kodable team as part of their first Kodable Road Trip.  Kodable is one of our favorite coding activities and we were excited to learn more about their curriculum in mini-workshops for students on Tuesday, May 19.
Contact Ms. Gilbert for more information!
 Kodable Visit

 Scratch Day

Check out Scratch Day 2015 information!

Scratch Day was held on Saturday, May 9 from 9:45a-4p at West Ridge Elementary School in Chicago (6700 N. Whipple St.).
 Registration link: The event was free, and registration was here.
Information for parents about Scratch can be found on their site. 


Virtual tour of iRobot "Cool Stuff Room Museum" via Ava 500 the telepresence robot.
First through third grade coding club students were invited to the introduction of the virtual tour during lunch recess on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.  This was our time to test the technology and introduce students to Ms. Lisa Freed (STEM Outreach Coordinator for iRobot) and Ava, the telepresence robot.  We were very honored to be the first school to ever try this type of "virtual tour" with iRobot.  The iRobot headquarters is in Bedford, Massachusetts.  We hope that many more schools will have the opportunity to experience the "Cool Stuff Room Museum" virtually if they are outside the New England area.  Ms. Gilbert was able to see it in person this past spring break and highly recommends it for any schools that can schedule a tour in person!
Many coding club students chose to attend this activity held during recess.  Any coding club participants who may have forgotten about it (and our Kindergarten participants) will have the chance to "visit" iRobot when we connect again during a morning coding session for each group.

Look above for more news and information during Session #3!
Session #3 ran weekly on Wednesdays or Thursdays at 7:40am starting April 8/9, 2015 through June 3/4, 2015.
Session #3 filled quickly.
Please contact Dr. Greene and/or Jen Gilbert for any wait list, we would love to have your child(ren) join us! 

 Session #2 ran weekly on Wednesdays or Thursdays at 7:40am starting January 14/15, 2015 through March 25/26, 2015. 

Session #1 ran weekly on Wednesdays at 7:40am starting October 8, 2014 through December 17, 2014.
(no session on November 26, 2014 due to Thanksgiving break holiday) 

App for iPad                   Info

→ Free and paid versions
→ Visual, arrows only
→ Great for beginners
 Daisy Daisy the Dinosaur 
→ Limited content, but good place to start
→ Free play mode 
 Light Bot  Light Bot
→ Free, paid and web versions
→ Visual, text instructions
→ Pattern recognition 
 Hopscotch Hopscotch 
→ Free version, offers in-app purchases
→ Closest to Scratch on iPad until Scratch iPad app is released
→ No structured lessons 
 Tynker Tynker 
→ Original Hour of Code activity via web
→ Many skill levels in web-based version
→ App gives introduction to Puppy Adventure  
 A.L.E.X. A.L.E.X. 
→ Free and paid versions
→ Visual programming
→ Unique interface 
→ Free version only
→ Visual programming, problem solving 
 Bee Bot Bee-Bot 
→ Free version only
→ Helps teach logical thinking
→ Exact layout of controls for Bee-Bot (programmable robot) 

 Robot Turtles
Robot Turtles! 
 This is a board game that was just re-released by ThinkFun, based on the original design from Dan Shapiro's Kickstarter project.  We have one at Middlefork now and I am very excited to try this with students!  Unfortunately the release of this version did not happen until after our coding club ended for the year :(

For your consideration:
Scratch (and other) programming books can be found at the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library!  Check some out to try Scratch with your child(ren) and consider buying your own copies for titles like these:

 Kodable created a "color your own" printable PDF.  Click the link to open that file.  Some of our students have seen this, many have not!

The directions are linked below for making your OWN Kodable-like fuzz.
Directions are for the ones given out to members of our coding club, but you can get creative and crafty to make your own version as well!
Make your own Kodable-like fuzz!  Find the abbreviated directions right here, and the very detailed long version here.  If you need a low resolution file, please see the low res version here.
Fleece family fuzz  

 Scratch cat    You can find a re-cap of Scratch Day by The Maker Mom in this blog post. Scratch cat
 Thank you to all those who came and participated with their children!


Scratch Day!  

 Check out Scratch Day information!

Scratch Day will be held on Saturday, May 17 from 9a-3p at West Ridge Elementary School in Chicago (6700 N. Whipple St.).
Information for parents about Scratch can be found on their site. 

Interested in working on your coding skills at home?
Try some of the activities below with your kids!
For computers (not tablets or portable devices) try: 
Puppy Adventure Mini  Puppy Adventure Complete  Sketch Racer
  • Puppy Adventure Mini (12 levels) is the first activity our students try.   
  • Puppy Adventure Complete includes more challenges and has 20 levels.  Both activities can be found on the left side of the page linked above (see screen shots).  
  • Sketch Racer has not been covered in our class yet.
  • Click the green "Solve coding/drawing puzzles" button to begin and be sure to read the on-screen instructions/hints as you progress though each lesson!

For iOS devices (iPad, may not be compatible with iPhones):
* Please note that we will continue to work on these same activities in our morning sessions.  If your child is looking for less structured (i.e., not lesson-based), more advanced independent work, they can explore at home - check out Scratch.
Remember - our goal is to have FUN with coding in the short period of time we have each week!  Everyone will progress at their own pace, learning new coding skills along the way. 
Last Modified on September 2, 2015