Week 2 for Code Club happened.
We did an old project game called Felix and Herbert which I’ve done before. It’s not on the list of current Scratch project at Code Club World, but its simple concept with different movements- follow mouse movements- makes it a good second week project. It is a cat and mouse game and introduces some good game elements such as broadcasting and keeping score.
I allowed the students to pick any two Sprites – one to chase and one to be chased. This let to some creative pairings.
It also became important in debugging to know which Sprite was which. When introducing the project I did point out where it says “Test your project.” I let them know that this was a big part of programming. I think I’ll need to emphasize that each time. I notice a lot of creative testing – playing with sounds, looks, speed, scoring, but not much debugging or referring to the project pages when things don’t work.
At the beginning of Code Club, I decided, we would add a bit of reflection to our meeting. On Wednesday I asked how the first code club went? What were the successes and failures. Many noted that they ran out of time or weren’t able to get the sensing of the edge of the maze to work. I told them that it was a difficult task and if they were able to set up the Sprite to use the arrow keys, that was a success.
With Thursday’s group, I asked them to share one thing they found that they liked about Scratch. This time I asked for positive responses mostly because they’d only played with Scratch and hadn’t really tackled a whole project yet.
I enjoyed this reflection time. These are big groups and I don’t always get to connect with each student during our hour of coding. Afterward Code Club I do take the time to look at the projects they save, highlighting a few here and noting any trending issues. And, of course doing my own reflecting on this blog.
I must say that my volunteers are awesome! They work very hard fielding questions, debugging code, working with students. Even so, I think the students are asking for help too quickly. They need to look at the project more closely and begin to do a bit more problem solving themselves.