Monday, January 9, 2017

Break the Code --- Daisy the Dinosaur

Today is the second post in the series of "Break the Code" -- a review of different learn to code apps & websites. Today we have the iPad app "Daisy the Dinosaur"

Daisy the Dinosaur is a iPad app aimed at the youngest learners of code. With its colorful dinosaur and simple set up, students can navigate through different levels. Students drag blocks of code that the dinosaur will do in in order to get the yellow star.

daisy the dinosaur

Classroom Uses - Kindergarten & 1st 
Daisy the Dinosaur is a great app to use with younger students (7 and under). I used it after we introduced Code.Org to both K & 1, but felt like K didn't get as much out of it because of the reading difficulty. My 1st grade students breezed through it!

Classroom Uses - 2nd, 3rd, and 4th
None - Daisy the Dinosaur is aimed at much younger students. It provides very little challenge for older students.

daisy the dinosaur screenshot

1. Simple structure. This program doesn't have a lot of wiz bang to it. It's perfect as one of the first ways younger students can learn to code.
2. After students work through the levels, students can practice with free play to create their own code.

1. Daisy the Dinosaur just doesn't have a lot of content. Students can either work through the levels or just free play on it. My kindergarten students lasted about 15 minutes on their own playing and then they were bored.
2. With my high EL population, there were just too many words for my kindergarten students to read. I had to go from student to student to read the words they couldn't understand. I also felt like I had to do a lot vocabulary introduction of words that meant very similar words (turn, spin and rotate)
daisy the dinosaur screenshot

I think Daisy the Dinosaur is a great first app for young coders. But don't expect it to sustain student's attention for as long as a teacher probably wants. It's a good way to introduce moving vocabulary for young learners as well.

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