The projects for our showcases are finished and have been published on the Scratch site and I’m compiling them onto our school Code Club page in preparation for our final meetings this week when the parents come to see what we have been up to.
Chatbot and Pong game in one project
There are some pretty impressive projects. And the students’ hard work is evident. Maze games, Chatbots, Races, Survivor games, Pong types:
Space Pong – hit the portal that matches the ball color.
Then there’s The Epic Game where there are 4 games in one project. The two girls working on this one came in at recess to work on it and were really motivated to meet their goal of finishing it.
The Epic Game – it took epic effort.
They learned a lot about game flow, how to use broadcast effectively and how making one seemly insignificant change can break everything. And about testing, testing, testing. I thought I would need to show them Rik Cross’s Cheat Codes, but their chatbot like game flow let us quickly get to the game that was having issues.
I’m really proud of all of these projects and coders, even the two, possibly three, Try Not To Laugh projects. Yes, it seems we have a dancing llama infection. The first TNTL project was a dancing llama project from Showcase #2 called Super Awesome Llama Man. I wasn’t that impressed with the project makers plan or effort, but it fit his personality and every single 4th grader who sees it seems to think it is hilarious in it’s absurdity. This year the llama man Sprite is back in a couple of Try Not to Laugh projects. Also is a walking taco and troll face.
Llama is back – TNTL
I okayed one TNTL project but when two students project derailed because they couldn’t agree on how to proceed with their joint project, I okayed their change to a TNTL project.
So many llamas
I tried to find funny gifs other than the llama, but they all love the llama. Really, it’s not funny anymore.
This week both code clubs did the same project – Code Club World’s Chatbot. I like this one because it is not a game and students can be very creative at asking questions for the user to answer. My goal was for them to learn about 1) user input, 2) if-then-else and 3) operators. That’s a lot. At a minimum, I think most everyone was able to use the “ask and answer” blocks, the “join” block and try one “if-then-else” block.
Some were able to add animations at the end which I thought was pretty cool. Some went back to their previous maze game and added some talking. Also cool.
The Wednesday club wore out my high school student with their needs, despite my call for them to ask a neighbor for help first before you ask an adult.
Thursday’s club figured out that if the answer is not typed exactly, then the “else” clause runs. So if the user types “sure” instead of “yes” the program will think it is wrong. One student had an extra space in the operator clause, as in answer = “yes “. That bug took a bit to fix. Another student was looking for a really big number:
One of the tricky parts to this lesson is a defining variable and setting the answer to it. The students can follow the directions, but I don’t know that they understand why they are doing that or what it going on. I have to remember these are pre-pre-algebra students. Still, they will most likely want to keep track of a score or timer, so for now, they will try it and later we will come back to this concept when they need it in their projects.
While I love the creativity and extensions this project allows for, you do have to set expectations for appropriateness. I had to ask a few students to change their responses to the questions. I like to go around and test out their programs, putting my name in as the answer to “What’s your name?”. When the response is “That’s a dumb name” or something equally as inappropriate, I get a bit disappointed and tell them to change it to something appropriate. One student responded, “I didn’t think you’d play the game.” He obviously knew he was being inappropriate but was, at least, embarrassed by it.
Here’s one more creative take on Chatbot: