Dress Up for Showcase #5

Tomorrow is our fifth Code Club Showcase.  We have eleven projects to present.  They are solid projects.

Over the last two weeks I wasn’t sure if we were going to be ready, but here we are.  I’m actually impressed with the variety and the effort.  Many students choose to work with a partner and those partnerships worked well.  I would have liked to have seen more coding effort and algorithmic thinking but everyone seemed to have fun each week working on their projects.

New this time are projects like dress up. I haven’t seen a dress up project before in Code Club, but I think these two turned out well.  The idea is simple.  Pick the clothes for the Sprite and then decide on the Stage.

Most of the time was spent designing clothes, which has got to be the most fun in the mind of these two girls.  Each of the clothing Sprites have the same code behind them.

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The code sets the initial conditions and then makes a decision not to disappear if the Sprite (named Kate) is wearing the piece of clothing.

I can see improvements to the scripting to allow the Sprite to move in the chosen outfit. As well as other ideas that turns the Dress Up project into more of a Virtual Pet project.

We did a Virtual Pet project one week this session and one student decided to make a full blown virtual pet project for her individual project.

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It is really cute and well coded.  I find the directions she gives quite funny.


Showcase #2

Last week in Code Club we held a showcase of our projects for the parents. It went rather smoothly and I actually was able to enjoy it. Quite a change from the first showcase at the end of the first term! I felt prepared and felt the students were, too. Plenty of factors contributed to the improvements from round one.

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Maze Game

This time a majority of the 17 projects were ready to go by the end of the Code Club meeting prior to the showcase. Most projects were turned in so I could upload them to the online Scratch Studio ahead of time. I credit a number of reasons why this happened. First, some of coders had been through the process before, which helped. I think those students had a better idea of how big of a project could be accomplished and set better goals. Projects from Showcase #1 were good models for what could be done. With the help of two high school volunteers and self-designated expert code members, much progress was made in the time available.

I was more organized. I kept track of the projects and checked in with groups during the last weeks. I knew that the projects needed to be wrapped up a week before and was able to encourage most groups and individuals to keep to this timetable. I had a shared folder for students to save their projects to. I used time during the week to touch base with code members about their Scratch project page and to get the Code Club website ready for parents to navigate to.

Little Airport

Little Airport

I also helped troubleshoot some last minute bugs, found a lost project and let one student have some recess time because he had been absent.

The results of this effect meant that when the students got to Code Club on the day of the showcase they had 40 minutes before the parents arrived. We used this time for them to write their presentation -which they all did rather quickly. Then, once I had their presentation notes, they were free to test each other’s projects until the parents arrived.

Presentation outline

Presentation outline

Giving them time to play test each other’s projects before hand really helped the code club members enjoy the presentations they gave to the parents. I did error in the order of presentations and a new-to-Scratch student presented first. He was nervous, but he did fine. The students were not loud enough for the whole room to hear – but it was a very busy room.


I was pleased with the turn out of parents. We filled the room and had to bring in extra chairs. The students were so proud of their work and I am so proud of them. It was a lot of work to get ready, but it was so much more enjoyable the day of.

Afterwards I took my two high school volunteers out to dinner to celebrate a job well done. I was grateful to have them help out each week. They both expressed how much they enjoyed helping out. I think they might be back next year.

I have plans to continue to my code club journal periodically until the next round of Code Club starts in the fall, but I may be just kidding myself.

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.

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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:

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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.