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Block Language Coding for Children

Students ages six to ten learn fundamental coding concepts by helping a beaver build a dam on instructor-provided Chromebooks. First, students learn to code using simple commands to move left, right and drop logs. Next, students learn to code repetition using repeat loops executed a fixed or a variable number of times. In the second part of the course, students learn to code using conditional loops. In the third part of the course, students learn to code using conditional statements with simple and compound conditions.

The classes run in semester sessions. Each class is 45 minutes long. We adjust to the student's pace, with students typically needing between four and six months to complete the course depending on age and previous coding experience.

Unit 1. Sequencing and Loops

Students build a foundation in coding and problem-solving.
Lesson 1. What is coding?
Students learn that coding is giving precise instructions to a computer. Then, each student creates their first program – a dance routine for the class to follow!
Lesson 2. Program using the computer
Introduces the coding platform Code Monkey™. Students do their first coding exercises, using commands to drop and move right.
Lesson 3. Complex sequential programs
Students learn two new commands and how to code using advanced planning.
Lesson 4. Programming repetition
Students learn to write concise code using loops.

Unit 2. Complex problems

Students build a foundation in coding and problem-solving.

Lesson 1. Longer loops
Students continue their practice with repeat loops whose bodies are two or more commands.

Lesson 2. Problem-solving
Students learn to solve problems by splitting the problems into simpler subproblems and solving each subproblem separately.

Lesson 3. Nested loops
Students create complex programs with loops within loops.

Lesson 4. Counter loops
Students learn to create and analyze programs with counter loops.

Unit 3. Conditional Loops

In this unit, the students learn conditional loops, which repeat based on a given condition, and master using loops, combinations between loops, nested loops, and more.

Lesson 1. Let’s Build Our House
Students learn the concept of until loops and practice coding with them.

Lesson 2. Do not Fall Off the Roof
Students learn new commands and create complex programs.

Lesson 3. Beware of the Fish
This lesson is focused on introducing the while loop and solving complex challenges with new combinations of consecutive and nested loops.

Lesson 4. The Loop Master
In this lesson the students will learn how to implement while loops with multiple conditional statements and practice more nested loops while helping the Beaver fix broken tiles.

Unit 4. If/Else Conditions

Students will learn about conditional statements that can decide whether or not to execute code based on whether a given condition is valid. Students will complement their fundamental algorithmic knowledge with conditional execution.

Lesson 1. Make the Right Decision
Students learn to code using conditional if statements.

Lesson 2. It is Either This or That
Students learn to code using conditional if-else statements.

Lesson 3. Let’s Build a Factory
Students learn the fundamentals of event-driven programming.

Lesson 4. Group by Color
Students learn to code using compound conditional statements.

Enrichment and tutoring in Math and Computing for any student who wants to learn.
Led by Ana Nora Evans in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Blue Ridge Boost
2171 Ivy Road
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
Email: nora@blueridgeboost.com
Phone: ‪(434) 260-0636