Coding Edition professional development newsletter

Hey subscribers.

Welcome to the coding edition of iPad Monthly.

Coding is the big topic in education at the moment. How can we integrate coding into the Primary/Elementary school in an authentic and engaging manner?

There are so many opportunities to introduce students to code across the entire curriculum. But let's start with the why. I think Jobs said it best when he stated:

because it teaches you how to think”

I sincerely hope this edition clearly illustrates how easy it is to make a start. I also hope primary/elementary teachers become more aware of curriculum connections, and that we shouldn't teach code in isolation.





4-7 years of age


Start by asking the students what code actually is. In my experience many young students talk about secret codes. Mention that we are going to talk to the cat and tell it what to do by blocks of code. Let's begin by bringing in a background and getting the cat to talk about the setting.

Open Scratch Jr and talk about the gallery page. Can you find the symbol for creating a new project?

Press + and then press the background icon above the cat's head.

Select one of the preset backgrounds and then press the tick to select it.

Press the Pink code and allow students to drag down 'say' block of code.

Students press the hi and change it to a simple sentence about the place. I.e the house has a red door.

Allow students to create and build on the descriptions according to development/ability. For students who really struggle with literacy allow them to record their description by using the green sound code.

For further extension allow students to move around the stage by using the blue move code. Students can then stop at different places to give the description. See screenshot below.



Foundation Year Level Description - People live in places focuses on developing students’ understanding of place. Students explore the place they live in and belong to, and learn to observe and describe its features. Learning about their own place and building a connection with it contributes to their sense of identity and belonging and an understanding of why and how they should look after places.

Year 1 Level Description - Places have distinctive features develops the concept of place through studies of what places are like and how their features have changed. Students learn that places can have natural, managed and constructed environmental features, and range from those that have largely natural features to those with largely managed or constructed features.

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CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.2 - Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.6 - With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

How our students learn code is just as important as what our students learn. The following rules promote a classroom culture of risk taking and persistence.

We need to create a culture that focuses on the students solving the problems, not the teacher!


Pose Math related problems to consolidate basic number facts. Introduce the concept of testing.


4-7 years of age


Introduce students to the blue move code and allow students to investigate different blocks.

Communicate to students that you can delete code by dragging it into the scene stage.

Show students the background setting and tell them to select the surfboard scene.

Move the cat to the left of screen and slightly up.

Tell the students their task is to get the cat to the surfboard by dragging the blue move code. However, they can only use the numbers 6 and 3.

Focus on the process of testing and not giving up. In fact the only way we can succeed is by failing. This will encourage the students to bring over small chunks or code and then test.



Establish understanding of the language and processes of counting by naming numbers in sequences, initially to and from 20, moving from any starting point (ACMNA001) Use direct and indirect comparisons to decide which is longer, heavier or holds more, and explain reasoning in everyday language (ACMMG006)

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CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.1 - Count to 100 by ones and by tens CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.A.2 - Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1) Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction. CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.OA.A.1 - Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.1

Why not introduce young coders to debugging?

Students need to create code but also analyse existing code. This teaches young student to analyse each piece of code, thus encouraging deeper level thinking!

Show your students the following code and pose the question 'there is something wrong with this code, can you fix it ?' Scratch needs to get to the red door!


Consolidate maths topics such as angles and measurement through a simple animation challenge.


7-12 years of age


Like all coding tasks we need to encourage our students to persevere at tasks and reinforce the importance of testing code to be able to move forward.

Open the Tickle App

Select the ORCA project template.

Show students how to delete sample code by dragging off the screen.

Talk through and play with the move blocks of code. Get students to create some simple movements.

Discuss the concept of a repeat as a way of controlling blocks and making our code more efficient.

Add a new character with the Add button in the top right corner of the page. A simple object like a rock would be great for this challenge. Don't apply any code to the rock.

Go back to the Orca code.

Give the students the challenge of making the Orca swim around the rock. It may be beneficial to reinforce the angles and distance required to move pass the rock. Encourage students to make the Orca swim the course as naturally as possible.

A great extension lesson may be to look at the grid coordinates and using x and y code as a method of moving.



Compare angles and classify them as equal to, greater than or less than a right angle (ACMMG089) Use a grid reference system to describe locations. Describe routes using landmarks and directional language (ACMMG113) Estimate, measure and compare angles using degrees. Construct angles using a protractor (ACMMG112)

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Geometric measurement: understand concepts of angle and measure angles. CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.MD.C.5 - Recognize angles as geometric shapes that are formed wherever two rays share a common endpoint, and understand concepts of angle measurement: CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.MD.C.7 - Recognize angle measure as additive. When an angle is decomposed into non-overlapping parts, the angle measure of the whole is the sum of the angle measures of the parts. Solve addition and subtraction problems to find unknown angles on a diagram in real world and mathematical problems, e.g., by using an equation with a symbol for the unknown angle measure.

We believe:


Create a simple Music game for younger students to play.


7-12 years of age


Introduce the students to the Tickle App. Refer to the last lesson for setting up a new Orca template.

Add three, similar size characters to your stage screen. Watch video tutorial for help.

Select one character and add the when character is clicked code followed by the play sound code.

As this is a game for younger students explore sounds that are single beat sounds that don't repeat. That way, the students who are playing the game can create a simple beat.

Repeat the first piece of code for the remaining characters, but remember to choose a different sound. You require an Internet connection to download characters and sounds.

Go to full screen and start tapping to create your musical composition.

An extension activity might be to incorporate the 'when character is clicked' code to create an alternative game. This can be simple or complex.



Years 3 and 4 Content DescriptionsExamples of knowledge and skills: Develop aural skills by exploring, imitating and recognising elements of music including dynamics, pitch and rhythm patterns (ACAMUM084) Practise singing, playing instruments and improvising music, using elements of music including rhythm, pitch, dynamics and form in a range of pieces, including in music from the local community (ACAMUM085) Create, perform and record compositions by selecting and organising sounds, silence, tempo and volume (ACAMUM086)

iPad Monthtly would not be the success it is without the amazing individuals who have authored content. Pioneers, legends, friends!


Create a piece of Art using the Hopscotch App. Explore X and Y coordinates and introduce students to values.


9-15 years of age


This coding lesson builds on past lessons. It would be beneficial for students to do lessons 3 and 4 first.

Begin by allowing students to create an account and logging into Hopscotch. There is an option of not entering an email address.

Select a blank project.

Drag over a character of your choice.

Go to the when code. And go to more button.

Drag over when pressed and then select iPad.

Include the following code to enable touch drawing.

Allow students to go further by mixing colour palettes and adding new characters with different features.



Develop and apply techniques and processes when making their artworks (ACAVAM115) Plan the display of artworks to enhance their meaning for an audience (ACAVAM116)


Demonstrate a Scientific concept or understanding by creating a simple animation, with an explanation, though coding.


8-15 Years of age.


In this tutorial the students are going to create a simple animation that demonstrates gravity. Students can then make connections with the science concepts they are learning through coding.

Create 2 characters. One will be the character that throws the ball and the other will be the ball.

The tennis ball can be found by creating a text object and then clicking on the emojis on the keyboard.

The following code enables the tennis ball to go up and down on an iPad press. This is a great opportunity to discuss and consolidate grid points and X and Y.

Add a little sound code for a realistic effect.

Allow students to explain what is happening through a set text code. The wait allows a little time before the text appears.

Use this tutorial as a teaching tool. It is important students then create their own animation explaining a different concept. This may also be used in other curriculum areas.



Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS110) Processing and analysing data and information. Construct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS107)

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CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.9 - Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.

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Have a great week everyone. And don't forget:

It is not the device or the Apps, but what we do with them!


Created By
Paul Hamilton

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