Posts Tagged coding

STEM Tuesday — Coding– Book List

Let’s get coding! Why? Because coding skills develop students’ logical thinkng and problem solving skills, teach structural thinking and how things work, and is fun and rewarding. We’ve assembled a varied list of books on coding designed to capture a middle-grade reader’s imagination.

Code This Game! Make Your Game Using Python, Then Break Your Game To Create a New One! by Meg Ray and Keith Zulawnik

This is a great book for instruction on how teens can create their own video game.

Code This! Puzzles, Games, Challenges and Computer Coding Concepts for the Problem Solver In You by Jennifer Szymanski

Join the Coder Crew’s mission and learn coding with puzzles, games, and fun characters.

Can You Crack the Code? A Fascinating History of Ciphers and Cryptography by Ella Schwartz; illustrated by Lily Williams

Delve into the history of codes in this fun book that introduces readers to wartime secrets and hidden messages.

Coding Creations by Janet Slingerland

Young readers will use SCRATCH, a computer language, to create their own music, stories, games, and animations.

Video Game Coding by Janet Slingerland

Slingerland takes readers on the path of discovery with this title about coding video games.

So, You Want to Be A Coder? The Ultimate Guide to a Career in Programming, Video Game Creation, Robotics, and More!  by Jane Bedell

Readers who have begun having fun with coding will enjoy reading about STEM careers in coding, from cyber security to artificial intelligence to gaming.

Coding Games in Scratch: A Step-by-Step Visual Guide to Building Your Own Computer Games by Jon Woodcock

Learn to master SCRATCH in this step-by-step guide for young coders.

Code Your Own Games: 20 Games to Create with Scratch by Max Wainewright

More coding adventures await young readers in this additional Wainewright title.

Scratch Programming Playground: Learn to Program by Making Cool Games by Al Sweigart

Here’s another title that uses SCRATCH to engage young coders.

Code Like A Girl: Rad Tech Projects and Practical Tips by Miriam Peskowitz

Step-by-step projects will guide young readers through the creative process, self-expressions, and telling their own stories. Projects include smartphone gloves and a motion sensor to tell when someone enters your room.

Spies, Code Breakers and Secret Agents: A World War II Book for Kids by Carole P. Roman

Take a look at another facet of coding with this historical STEM book that takes readers on a tour of the undercover operations that helped the Allies win WWII.

Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change The World by Reshma Saujani

Be inspired by the creator of the Girls Who Code organization to get hands-on with this book. Create apps, games, and robots to make the world a better place.

Secret Coders 6-book series by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes

Although this series is fiction, former computer programming teacher Yang delivers an exciting mystery full of logic puzzles and basic coding instructions. Pair with any of the other coding books above.


Nancy Castaldo has written books about our planet for over 20 years including, THE STORY OF SEEDS, which earned the Green Earth Book Award, Junior Library Guild Selection, and other honors. Nancy’s research has taken her all over the world from the Galapagos to Russia.  She strives to inform, inspire, and empower her readers. Nancy also served as Regional Advisor Emeritus of the Eastern NY SCBWI region. Her 2020 international title about farm and food is THE FARM THAT FEEDS US: A Year In The Life Of An Organic Farm. Visit her at www.nancycastaldo.com. 

Patricia Newman writes middle-grade nonfiction that empowers young readers to act on behalf of the environment and their communities. The Sibert Honor author of Sea Otter Heroes, Newman has also received an NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book Award for Eavesdropping on Elephants, a Green Earth Book Award for Plastic, Ahoy!, and a Eureka! Gold Medal from the California Reading Association for Zoo Scientists to the Rescue. Her books have received starred reviews, been honored as Junior Library Guild Selections, and included on Bank Street College’s Best Books lists. During author visits, she demonstrates how young readers can use writing to be the voice of change. Visit her at www.patriciamnewman.com. Stay tuned for her upcoming Planet Ocean – spring 2021.

STEM Tuesday – Shining the Light on Technology, Engineering, and Math — In the Classroom

Last week, the STEM Tuesday team featured this month’s Book List on the topic Shining the Light on Technology, Engineering, and Math. Click here to go back to that list.  It’s a broad-ranging list, certainly, which mades this week’s post about classroom applications even more fun! I’ve narrowed the focus to three amazing science topics.

CODING:

   Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World is by Reshma Saujani.  Saujani is not only the author of an amazing book, but she’s also the founder of a worldwide organization by the same name. Girls Who Code offers free summer programs and year-round clubs and is more than 90,000 girls strong! After sharing this book in your classrooms and libraries, visit the Girls Who Code website and find out how to start a club in your school or community.

And, the book? You’ll have see it to believe it. Half how-to, half graphic novel, this is the most clearly written, interactive, and non-intimidating explanation of coding of I’ve ever seen. As an adult reader, I was fascinated. Middle-graders – boys or girls – won’t find a more thorough introduction into coding anywhere.

ARCHITECHTURE:

From the temples of Greece to the Chrysler Building in New York City to the Sydney Opera House, The Story of Buildings is a visual feast paired with fascinating detail and information about dozens of the most famous buildings in the world.

Do a “Before You Go” Project:  Every school is different when it comes to field trips and travel opportunities for middle-graders. Some schools take an annual trip to Washington, DC, where the focus is often American history, but the opportunity for architectural study abounds.  My own children, who all attended a very rural public school, had the fortune to spend a weekend in Chicago as fifth graders, where everyone took the Chicago River Architectural Boat Tour.  Urban students might only need to go out their school’s front doors and look up to find inspiring examples of architecture.  Whether your class field trip takes you miles or minutes from home, consider using this book as a “before you go” learning experience.  The prior knowledge will shine through as your students recognize structural and design elements in every building they see.

ROBOTICS:

When it comes to robotics, classroom applications are seemingly endless! Below is a list of possible activities to explore after reading Jennifer Swanson’s Everything Robotics from National Geographic Kids.

  • Find a workshop, event, or online challenge for teams and individuals by clicking here to go to Robot Events, a web service of The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, which exists to connect students, mentors, and schools in every community to a variety of successful and engaging technology-based programs.
  • LEGO fun. Click here to go the LEGO Middle School Education page.
  • Enlist NASA’s help! Visit NASA’s Robotics Alliance Project page for 6th – 8th graders for a list of links you’ll love!
  • Robot Scavenger Hunt – Robots are all around us. Start small. See if students can find any robots at work in their school or community. On a larger scale, take a look at robots in manufacturing. This interesting article will help you and your students locate which states rely most heavily on robotics to produce the goods we use every day.
  • Predicting the future:  Brainstorm in small groups what the future of robotics might hold. What are some potential practical uses of robotics that might make life better?
  • Hold a debate.  Are robots the key to a productive future? Or do they threaten jobs once filled by humans? Is there a possibility that robots could become too intelligent?  Here’s a great resource for holding classroom debates. I’d like to be a fly on the wall in a middle-grade classroom for this one!

Can you add to the conversation? In what ways have you been shining a light on Technology, Engineering, and Math? Comment below and share an idea!

Today’s STEM Tuesday post was prepared by Michelle Houts, wanna-be-coder, fan of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, future robot owner, and author of the Lucy’s Lab Chapter Books from Sky Pony Press.