End Script, Edit, Repeat

Well, Code Club Showcase #1 was a hit, I think.  The computer lab was completely packed with parents, grandparents, siblings…. Wow. Incredible turnout.  So much going on that I’m not really sure how it went.  I got an overall positive vibe in the midst of the chaos. I’m not sure anyone knew what to expect, myself included. I definitely will try a few things differently next time.

Animated story of Tenki Battle designed and created by a 4th grade Code Club member

Animated story of Tenki Battle designed and created by a 4th grade Code Club member

First, I must say I that I was impressed with each student. Not all the projects turned out as they had hoped.  Some didn’t present at the Showcase because they felt they didn’t finish. Some projects had technical difficulties.  The presentations were varied. Regardless, everyone worked hard and did their best to make something and show it off to their peers and parents.

Hero to the Rescue, an unfinished project.

Hero to the Rescue, an unfinished project.

I take responsibly for the chaos & technical difficulties. Those issues could have been minimized with some better planning. I need the students to finish their projects earlier so I have more time to get everything ready ( I thought I had, but they kept making changes to their projects.  I also need to give them time to prepare to present.  To me that means a re-engineering of the game design and review process. The deadline has to be defined and I need to be firm about it.  Every time I asked if a project was done, I invariably got, “not yet”.  Everyone was putting final touches on their projects up until the moment the parents arrived (or beyond). Then it was a scramble to make the project available to access while the creators were presenting it on the head computer.

Run for your Life game with code

Run for your Life game with code

I also need to remember that 4th graders should be given a chance to rehearse before speaking in front of a large crowd of parents and peers. I should’ve made a list of presenters, too. Then I would’ve known ahead of time that 2 groups didn’t want to present.

Showcase presentation

Showcase presentation

Finally, these projects need to be shared and enjoyed by the rest of the school.  Not that I need to drum up interest for Code Club, but it is quite remarkable what these students have accomplished in such a short time, and I think others in our school community should see and enjoy what they’ve done.  I’m very proud.

The Indespicable Giant Baby Head Game

The Indespicable Giant Baby Head Game

Even my high school student volunteer was impressed by some of the projects.  He especially liked and commented on The Indespicable Giant Baby Head Game makers’ unique way of coding for gravity.

Here’s the link to our Showcase studio on the Scratch website: Code Club Showcase #1

It’s Showtime

Tomorrow is our Code Club Showcase. I have invited the parents to come in and try out the games we have spent the last four weeks designing and building.  I think we just might pull it off.

Many of the projects came together last week, thank goodness.  By the end of Code Club, most were nearing completion and about four were deemed done.  Four others I’m still worried about.

One completed project

One completed project

As I discussed last week, I started a list for those who needed help on the whiteboard and between the three adults we were able to address a lot of student concerns. The hour was pretty productive.  Big sigh of relief.  Even those who were not finished did have some time during indoor recesses to work on their projects. There will even be time tomorrow at recess. Some still expect to get some final work done before the parents arrive. Yikes.  Makes me nervous.

Here’s an example of a project that is done. It’s been uploaded to the Scratch website.  It has instructions, notes & credits and even tags.  It just needs to be shared and it’s link added to the Code Club webpage.

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 9.56.09 PM

It’s a pretty cool game.  The special sound effect is such a big deal that the author coded this to highlight it’s awesomeness:

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 9.52.16 PM

I had planned to let the Showcase happen in an open house type format, but my parent volunteer emailed me with the suggestion that the students present and tell about their projects.  This is an awesome idea and so I’ve put together this presentation form.

Showcase present notes

Showcase present notes

So now I plan on having the parents sit in front of the computers with the webpage up and the students up in front where their project will be projected on the screen. Each group will explain their work and what they are most proud of – like the sound effect.  Then parents can try it out and we’ll move on to the next presenters. It might take a bit more than 1/2 hour to get through all 14 groups, but it will be worth it.