A New Plan

(I know, 3 blogs in one week.  Bear with me. This one is short)

I spent some time over the weekend hashing out the project plan and learning objectives for my two code clubs.  I feel better with a plan and ideas in mind and on paper.

I also revised my expectations for last week.  My learning objective for the students last week was to get to know Scratch and the code blocks that include Events, Motion, Looks and Sound.  I have to remember there’s also a new costume editor they will have to get a feel for as well as the notion of the Stage and Sprites and how they are different.  That’s actually a lot. I think the majority of the students have got a grasp on some of those concepts. (If they haven’t forgotten them in the meantime)

One student came up to me today and said, “I wish Code Club was everyday!!” What an awesome sentiment.

This week I’d like to focus on Initial Conditions, Conditionals and Sensing blocks. To that end, I’ve updated the maze project to use for Scratch 2.0. And we will try it out tomorrow.

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Scratch 2 Maze Project – Google Docs

I wonder if I’ll have time to mention the “Think like a Programmer” ideas of make one change, test it, make another change, test it?

Then next week both clubs can work on the same project.

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New Club’s 1st Session

Last Thursday was the first meeting of my new Code Club at MLS. I had 12 fourth graders joining me (8 boys and 4 girls). They were really curious about me, Scratch, Code Club, making their own game, making a web site, rules, everything.  Their lab wasn’t set up with Scratch 2 so I introduced Scratch 1.4 and let them explore the program a bit. Then I had them try out the maze project. Success was mixed. A couple of students diligently followed the packet and ended up with working games.

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Example of a maze game.

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A couple of others got stuck and got off task. Did you know if you click the “add random Sprite” button a whole bunch of times you fill up the Stage pretty quickly? I’ve had a handful of students try this out this year at both schools.  I can’t remember anyone doing that last year. Interesting.

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Testing the “Add random Sprite” button

And a couple of others got partway through.  They just needed more time but I let them free explore again at the end of the session and they were glad to get the chance.

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There is a different routine at this school and I’ll need to learn it just as much as the students will need to get to know me.

Scratch 2 is now installed so next we’ll try “Felix and Herbert”.  It’s both an introductory lesson and a game.  I used it last year but it is currently an archived project at Code Club World. Then both clubs will be back in sync and working on the same projects.