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Google Classroom (and more free resources)

I’ve found a few more resources that are only available to schools and two of them specifically work with Google Classroom. Because of this I have finally created a Google Classroom account for STEAM Lab.

Signing up

Go to Google Classroom and log in with a non-school google account. Click on the (+) in the upper right corner to join a class and enter the code: ifbjps2 That’s it! You can see an organized view of resources by clicking on the Classwork Tab. On the lefthand side you will see various class topics. This is where I have arranged complete courses, bonus material, and different curated resources.


Computer Science 100 is a class aimed at 3rd – 5th grades. It uses block based coding to solve simple puzzles. I would guess that it is appropriate for any comfortable reader and would be frustratingly tedious for a fifth grader with any programming knowledge. This would be a great class for a kiddo who wants to learn block based coding and isn’t comfortable diving in.

Computer Science 300 is a middle school level programming course. It gives a basic intro to the platform and then several more intros to various text-based languages including Python and Javascript. I’d start a kid on this course if they wanted something structured and were too experienced for CS100

Tynker puts out free Weekly Challenges that are puzzles to solve with a tutorial. They each require 30-60 minutes of work and appeal to a broader audience. They generally use block-based coding and allow for extension.

CS First

CS First is Google’s free coding curriculum. Assignments range in size and complexity from an hour to 15-20 hours. Scratch (the original and free block based coding developed by MIT) is used for all of the coding, but CS First gives structure to what can be a very intimidating platform. Some children love a blank canvas. Others like a jumping point and CS First provides this in a very robust way.

I’ll toss up all of the hourly assignments first and then curate some of the longer ones as I see where kiddos interests lie. The fun thing about google classroom is that it can provide a way for kiddos to share their creations and get feedback (from me and others).

I like these classes enough that I may offer a more formal version of one or two of them with class discussions, so keep your eye out for that!

Wonder Workshop

Wonder Workshop (home of Dash and Dot) is rolling out its new robot simulator early due to our looong summer vacation. I’ve been given early access and will be able to set up a classroom for that soon.

In the meantime, they’ve made class connect available for connection from home, so I’ve created a class. If kids get stuck working through the puzzles with their own Dash and Dot, or one of our rentals, I can see what’s going on and help them out. I’ve put all of that info into Google Classroom so that we have a way to communicate.

Wonder Workshop is also going to be adding weekly programming challenges for kids to complete with the chance to win prizes. I will be keeping track of kids who would like some help with this in Google Classroom as well.

Anything else?

I’ll be adding instructions for signing up for Code Combat and any other resources that come my way. I’ll also be linking my Scratch and Inkscape YouTube videos, but not more questionably educational videos such as my daughter’s Minecraft tutorials.

Let me know if there’s anything else we can do to keep your kiddo thinking and engaged during this interesting time.

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