The Foos: Code for an Hour FREE for girls and boys
The Foos is a kid-friendly programming tool. It is a great introduction for introducing coding to students. It is recommended for ages 6 to 8 but it is possible that middle school students would enjoy this at the beginning of a programming unit.
The characters that are being manipulated are very animated. The programming language offers a variety of choices through buttons for the students select for the character movement.
As the student master new levels additional buttons are unlocked. They begin with the basics of walking left and right, then add in jumping up, and left and right. Eventually they are building and capturing the monsters in the game. The best part about this activity is that it challenges the student to try numerous scenarios to solve the problems presented with the fewest buttons. This teaches efficiency of motion. The obstacles presented in The Foos applies in-depth problem-solving strategies.
|Repetitive looping can be used with the ability to choose how many times.|
|Growing the avatar, then manipulating the new avatar.|
The Foos offers a variety of applications outside of the computer classroom. It could be used in an English class for writing "how to" papers, within mathematics to promote logical thinking and processing. Science for cause and effect, and strategy building.