Grokking in Grades 3–6

Interested in using Grok Learning’s resources with primary or elementary students? Here’s what we have on offer.

Years 3–4

In years 3 and 4 the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies requires students to learn about algorithms as sequences of steps which can be followed in order to solve problems, and to write programs with algorithms involving branching (decisions) and user input using a visual programming language.

Grok’s Monster Maker courses have been designed to introduce these concepts to young students, as they write code to create their own monster characters!

Monster Maker

In this course, students use Blockly, a visual programming language with drag-and-drop blocks, to write their own programs and learn about sequence and ordering. Students learn:

  • to write their own programs using a visual programming language;
  • that a program is a sequence of instructions for a computer to follow;
  • that the sequence of instructions needs to be written in the correct order.

For more information see: Programming in primary school: Making monsters!

More Monster Maker

This course builds on the concepts introduced in the first Monster Maker course, introducing students to more complex algorithms involving decisions and user input. Students learn:

  • to write their own programs using a visual programming language;
  • to write programs which ask for user input;
  • to write program which make decisions using if-statements;
  • to write programs with nested instructions.

For more information see: Programming in Primary School: Introducing if statements

Years 5–6

In years 5 and 6, students need to expand on what they learned in years 3 and 4 to write algorithms which include repetition, also called iteration or looping. Looping is the act of repeating the same or similar steps over and over again until a result has been produced.

Grok’s courses for years 5 and 6 introduce students to a general-purpose version of Blockly, allowing them to write real programs with drag-and-drop blocks. At the same time, we show them the code ‘under the bonnet’ to ease the transition into programming in Python.

Introduction to Programming (Blockly)

This course is a Blockly version of Grok’s Python Introduction to Programming course. Students write their own programs to solve real problems (including programming the Turtle to draw pictures with code), and learn to use foundational programming concepts including:

  • User input;
  • Variables;
  • Different data types, such as numbers and strings;
  • Decisions (branching);
  • Looping/iteration.

Newbies Competitions

We also run a ‘Newbies’ Blockly stream of our learn-to-code competitions several times a year. These cover the same content as our Introduction to Programming (Blockly) course, but with all-new problems to solve and thousands of students from around the world to compete with! Take a look at our Events Calendar for upcoming competition dates.

ACA DT Challenges

Our partners at the Australian Computing Academy have created a series of Australian Digital Technologies Challenges which are available for students to complete on Grok. These themed courses cover the coding aspects of the 5- 6 Digital Technologies curriculum and include projects for students to build at the end. Best of all, the DT Challenges are currently FREE for all Australian students in grades 5–8:

* DT Challenge Blockly — Chatbot

In this course, students use the visual programming language Blockly to write word games and their own Pirate Chatbot!

* DT Challenge Blockly — Turtle

In this course, students learn to program the Turtle to draw pictures on screen. They also learn about angles and perform mathematical calculations with code.

* DT Challenge Blockly — Year 5 Biology

In this course, students discover how biologists use programming to help them do science. Students learn about the biological features of animals, and write programs which can make decisions to code their own species identifier.

Other (free!) resources

micro:bit Starter (Blockly)

Photo by Gareth Halfacree, CC BY-SA 2.0

The BBC micro:bit is a handheld, fully programmable computer perfect for all sorts of coding, electronics and robotics projects in the classroom! Our Blockly Starter course introduces students to the basics of programming the micro:bit, and includes a full micro:bit simulator so students don’t require a real micro:bit.

Short courses

In addition to our longer courses, we also offer free hour-long short courses which offer great introductory taster activities if you are introducing coding to your students for the first time. We have a mix of Blockly and Python activities, including Monsters, turtle, and micro:bit activities, so there’s something for every student!

How do I get my students started?

Interested in using Grok with your students? We have a couple of options:

  1. Discounted primary subscriptions: A Grok Learning subscription give your students access to all of our courses and competitions. We are currently offering heavily discounted subscriptions for primary school students! Take a look at our pricing page for more information.
  2. Primary Site License: Want to take coding at your school to the next level? Our discounted primary site license option gives every student at your school full access to our courses and competitions.
  3. Free resources: Want to start with just the free stuff? No problem! Student accounts are free to register.

Have you used our primary school resources with your students? We’d love to hear your feedback! Please leave a comment below, or get in touch (info@groklearning.com)!