Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Scratch Club 17 Apr 2013

I've just completed my first Scratch Programming Club and here's a quick retrospective...

What went well?

  • Kids' enthusiasm for learning
  • Scratch is a great environment, it's easy, safe and encourages exploration
  • Kids are fast learners and have great imagination
  • Games are great inspiration for the kids to try out programming
  • Then end of lesson demo was fun.

Programming concepts discovered:

  • Sprites, Script and other Scratch things
  • Movement controlled by some input, e.g. pressing a letter
  • Loops to repeat movement, and infinite loops
  • Turning and bouncing off the edges
  • Chasing: one sprite chasing another
  • Using the pen to leave trails
Not all children got all of these, but most got most of them.

What next?

  • If-statements to make things happen (e.g. killed by a monster)
  • Logic: one thing and another happening, 'or', 'not', etc.
  • Moving along more interesting paths, e.g. spirals, random paths
  • Variables to control aspects of the game

What could be improved?

  • I tried to give the kids the option of a Game project vs an Art project—they all showed interest in both, but we all ended up doing just the Game project as it was hard enough giving guidance on one thing.
  • Most of the children learnt alone (no one shared a computer) and they saw me as the goto person for problems. It would be good to get them working together more.
  • I had from 12:20 to 13:00, and 40 mins is not much time, but that's all we have as this is a lunch club. Is there some way to join up sessions so that kids can make progress one week to the next?

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