24 Jun

Start Scratching Session 8

Description

This session introduces the concept of variables through the specific example of keeping score in a game. The key concepts of variables in Scratch are explored using a simple game.

How is it tailored for 5-7 year olds?

  • The general concept of variables is not developed, rather a readily understandable use case is employed
  • Similarly with negative numbers, the specific use case is described (a way to make the score smaller) rather than the general concept
  • The game purposely starts in a very simple form that isolates the use of variables, but has many incremental improvements to suit a wide variety of ability

What is covered ?

  • Variables through a simple game
  • Resizing sprite

Click below for handout including step by step guide to completing the session.

StartScratching8

17 Jun

Start Scratching Session 7

Description

This session further develops the idea of conditional control, i.e. programs that can give a wide variety of results rather than simply going through a fixed flow of instructions. The specific goal of this session is to show the students how a sprites movement can be controlled using keys.

How is it tailored for 5-7 year olds?

More concise approach to movement using co-ordinates is not used, this would require both use of the co-ordinate system and negative numbers. This approach used does involve angles, however these can be ‘bypassed’ via the drop down menu

What is covered? 

  • Multiple Events (when left arrow clicked, when right arrow clicked…..)
  • Point in direction

Click below for handout including step by step guide to completing the session.

StartScratching7

03 Jun

Start Scratching Session 6

Description

The goal of this class is to introduce two new features, ‘if’ blocks that allow conditional control, and sensing blocks that allow the sprite to react to various events. Initially a basic sensing block is constructed for a single sprite, with emphasis placed on the need to sense ‘forever’. Next a second sprite is introduced and the first sprite senses it, and finally the sense colour function is suggested as an extra task. These building blocks allow the concept of conditionality to be used in programs, which has significant utility.

How is it tailored for 5-7 year olds?

  • Incremental approach, very simple example first and students given time to absorb the concept
  • No backgrounds used until the last example, these can be distracting

What is covered?  

  • Conditional control (if -> then)
  • Sensing (touching)

Click below for handout including step by step guide to completing the session.

StartScratching6

28 May

Start Scratching Session 5

Description 

This session is intended to allow student led exploration of the recent topics covered. Students are asked to put together a second movie, but this time to include animations using costumes.

What is covered?  

  • Review of costumes
  • Animation
  • Changing appearance

Click below for handout including step by step guide to completing the session.

StartScratching5

20 May

Start Scratching Session 4

Description

This session builds on the activity from the previous session, specifically the movie that the students created. It is not necessary for them to continue from the previous project, rather the goal is to build on the core concepts learned. The key new aspect of Scratch being introduced is costumes, and this is demonstrated in the context of animation.

What is covered?  

  • Costumes
  • Basic Animation

Click below for handout including step by step guide to completing the session.

StartScratching4

13 May

Start Scratching Session 3

Description

Class begins with students opening a new project that they will use to create a Scratch movie. A key idea for this session is to develop the concept of a sprite by creating two with different scripts. It also gives students an introduction to importing both sprites and backgrounds, and will lead on to animation in session 4.

How is it tailored for 5-7 year olds?  

Minimum wait time of 1 second used to avoid decimals – typically introduced in year 3 mathematics  Extra challenge allows for significant variation in ability, from incremental changes to creating a whole new program

What is covered?

  • Importing sprites
  • Scripts associated with particular sprites
  • Speaking/Thinking
  • Further Development of Control (wait)

Click below for handout including step by step guide to completing the session.

StartScratching3

06 May

Start Scratching Session 2

Description

Class begins with students logging into their Scratch accounts from the Scratch website, allowing them to start from the program that they created for session 1. One main focus of this class is to expand on two concepts from session 1, changing the sprites colour and events. It also introduces a new concept of waiting, which will be further developed in session 3.

How is it tailored for 5-7 year olds?

Minimum wait time of 1 second used to avoid decimals – typically introduced in year 3 mathematics  Negative numbers (e.g. to revert colour) avoided – typically introduced in year 4 mathematics

What is covered?

  •  Scratch account, login & saved project
  • Changing how a Sprite looks
  • Development of Events and Control (When key pressed, wait)

Click below for handout including step by step guide to completing the session.

StartScratching2

29 Apr

Start Scratching Session 1

scratch1im

Description

Class starts with Scratch website loaded and unique account open on each computer (login etc. covered in later session). Students start a new project, and then have a brief verbal introduction to the interface. Students create a simple program using movement, control loops and events. Strong emphasis is placed on interactive problem solving (in red bold) as an effective method for students to learn programming.

How is it tailored for 5-7 year olds?

  • Hands-on programming is introduced with minimal introduction (loading Scratch,logging in etc. is not covered in this session)
  • Formal progressions – steps from basic technique to more sophisticated use cases

What is covered?

  • Introduction to Scratch interface
  • Basic movement (move, if on edge bounce)
  • Basic Control Loops (repeat, forever) and Events

Click below for handout including step by step guide to completing the session.

StartScratching1_v0.1

01 Apr

Start Scratching

Start Scratching is a new club to introduce KS1 and KS2 children to computer programming using Scratch, see below for further details about Scratch. It began in the summer term at Haslingfield Primary School, Cambridgeshire. The club is only open to children attending the school.

We will be adding more details of the club, including tutorials to do at home for those not able to attend, on the Start Scratching website so check back soon. You will also be able to see some of the programs the children have created.

What is Scratch? Imagine, Program, Share.

Scratch is a program designed by MIT to introduce children to computer programming. It is used by students, teachers, and parents for a range of educational and entertainment purposes from maths and science projects, social sciences, animated stories and interactive art and music. Simple games may also be made with it.

You can find out more information about the Scratch at http://scratch.mit.edu/.