Overview of CS First
CS First is a free, easy-to-use computer science curriculum designed for students in grades 4-8 (ages 9-14). Teachers use the video content to teach kids coding basics with Scratch for CS First, a special version of the Scratch coding editor inside the CS First website. CS First is available online at http://g.co/csfirst and can be used by anyone, and in any setting (in school, after school, or outside of school).
A class consists of a roster of students and one or more CS First lessons. Classes can be used to organize and assign lessons to your students. The curriculum includes standalone lessons and sequenced multi-lesson units; you can view them all at g.co/csfirst/curriculum.
Description: Standalone lessons teach students the basics of block-based coding with Scratch for CS First, and are great for anyone who is new to coding or for special one-day events such as conferences or Hour of Code™.
Structure: Standalone lessons are 45 - 75 minute standalone lessons designed for students to start and complete a coding project in one session. Students will watch a series of videos and create one coding project in Scratch for CS First with opportunities to personalize their work using “Add-Ons.”
Description: Multi-lesson units are built around student interests and vary in complexity. They are designed to introduce students to core computer science concepts over several sessions.
- Structure: Each multi-lesson unit consists of eight lessons, which include roughly 10 - 12 hours of content. For each lesson, students will watch a series of videos and create one coding project in Scratch for CS First with opportunities to personalize their work using “Add-Ons.”
Students can complete CS First lessons independently, but they are also encouraged to collaborate with one another throughout the coding process.
- You set up a class online. Anyone can teach CS First—no computer science experience required.
- CS First provides the curriculum and materials, all for free.
- You teach the class. Lesson plans and other resources are available. (See our CS First Teacher Supports articles for more details.)
Anyone can run a class anywhere as long as you have:
- Internet (See our tips for what to do if you have slow internet or no internet.)
- Headphones (recommended but not required)
Setting up a CS First class allows you to:
- Request physical materials (for multi-lesson units only).
- Track student progress for students enrolled in your CS First class.
- Gain valuable insight via reflection survey summaries.
- Access your students projects within your teacher dashboard.