While the curriculum is the most crucial part, you also have to connect that curriculum to what you are supposed to be teaching. Coding can always be a creative activity with any standards, but connecting it directly to the existing standards gets even better. Thankfully, many coding tools have multiple direct connections. Let’s talk about what to look for here and what makes one resource better than another.
When you start with standards and coding, the discussion begins with the specifics. Are there specific coding standards, and does the resource align? Most states are just starting there. They may have adopted standards recently, or they still need to adopt them. The beauty, though, is that most of these match up almost directly with CSTA standards, and until things are set, you can use those as a starting place.
You also won’t find many coding resources that don’t have them. The key will be to find the ones that have started the process of adding states. It will begin with the big states and inch out further. If you start looking, look for that.
The other thing to look for is alignment with core standards. While many states don’t like Common Core, it does hit core concepts that your individual state standards align with. It should allow you to map your standards quickly. Thankfully, most states don’t have the same contempt for Next Generation Science Standards. You could look for those in a coding resource and get a whole different view of what the resource brings. They likely have to have core concept lessons to use those, though.
Of course, coding is creative. You can always apply any standard just by thinking of it that way. As you look at your content, see if a game, animation, or story could come out of it. You can play any standard there. If you use your imagination, you can make any standards work!
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