Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Scratch Club Review

What went well in Scratch Club at my local primary school?

Reading back to my first post on Scratch Club Plans, I had in mind myself as a teacher, someone who would deliver lessons and impart knowledge to the students. I spend a fair bit of time looking at what to teach the kids next, and working out ways to present this info in bite sized chunks.

But later I recognised that the students had their own interests and agendas, and that these provided their motivation to learn, with each student preferring their own path.

Recognising this, I created the Scratch Club Badges as a way to explain the many aspects to Scratch programming and provide a way for each student to pick their own way through the subject. This worked as a way of giving each individual something to aim for that interested them, but it had a side effect of producing some competition/arguments amongst the students with them spending a bit too much time comparing themselves to each other.

Things that worked well

  • Students can work on anything that interests them, and spend as long as they like on any area of Scratch
  • Students can talk to each other, walk around to see what others are doing, copy ideas as they wish
  • Students are encouraged to help each other
  • Final demos, at the author's request, of their work
  • Initial demos of ideas from me at the start of sessions, e.g. to show something new and inspire them to try

What I'd do differently next time

  • Kick off with the rules, or rather lack of the usual school rules … e.g. OK to explore your own interests, walk around, talk to each other, copy ideas
  • Try to get at least an hour, or preferable hour and a half for each session
  • There's no need to prepare so many lesson plans, but get some feature demos ready for each lesson

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