Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Scratch Club 24 Apr 2013


Notes from second Scratch club...

What went well?

  • Some of the kids are already developing quite advanced games
  • Still lots of enthusiasm and excitement about the club
  • Demos still a real motivation

What could be improved?

  • What we learnt last time hasn't stuck for many kids
  • Still lots of dependence on me, frequently kids stuck waiting for me to answer a question
  • Sometimes excitement spills over and kids find it hard to settle back to the task
  • A few kids find it challenging to concentrate for more than a few minutes.

Ideas for improvements

  1. Plan each lesson with some overlap on the last lesson: build on things already covered to reinforce learning.
  2. Visit every kid in rotation for Q&A, stop kids shouting out for answers and encourage them to try to find solutions first while they wait for me to come round.
  3. Some cheat sheets or tips for common tasks and reinforce things we've covered, such as: getting a sprite to follow the mouse, getting a sprite to bounce around the screen, using the cursor keys to move a sprite.
  4. Try answering individual's questions to the whole group, e.g. on the white board so that everyone can see the answer.
  5. Nominate a random helper each week to help the group?
  6. Send some resources to parents to help kids be practice at home, e.g. starting out with Scratch. 
  7. Create some tasks to practice at home.

Programming concepts discovered:

Bear in mind that many things covered last week had been forgotten!
  • If-statements and events such as speech bubbles and sounds
  • Some of the sensing instructions, such as touching another sprite
  • Broadcasting messages to change the background, e.g. to "You've won!"
As before, not all children got all of these.

What next?

I think next week it should be less about learning new things, and more about creating a better learning experience (see above).

Later:

  • If-statements to make things happen (e.g. killed by a monster)
  • Sequencing and nesting commands, what difference does it make?
  • 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

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