There are numerous block-based programming languages for kids to learn and use; Code.org, Scratch, Tynker, Hopscotch, and more. I will explore three of these (Scratch, Hopscotch, and Tynker) showing some of their similarities and differences. During the presentation, we will create a simple unique game from each of the three block-based environments discussed above. We will show that real programming can be done within a block-based environment by continually reinforcing fundamental concepts such as variables, loops, and events.
I've been in education for 22 years. The last 11 as a teacher at Meridian Technical Charter HS and currently the lead programming instructor. This past year, my wife and I opened Code Ninjas Meridian where we focus on teaching the fundamentals of programming to elementary and middle school kids by having them make video games.