In week one we got most of the way through the first Code Club Scratch project, in week two we finished that and started project 2, in week 3...well you get the idea. By week 4 the kids were getting fairly staggered in where we were up to - a few had missed a week, and some were just generally working slower or struggling. Time to rethink how I managed the class.
By week 4 nearly all the kids had finished the first three projects which meant they could be awarded the Level 1 certificate:
This was a lovely occasion, and a chance to stop and review progress. It was also the time we realised we were a bit Scratch-ed out! So I decided to do something a little different for Week 5 onwards. They have all been given a letter to take home about how to download Scratch so they can carry on that way if they wish.
I attempted to start the session with a Game Show with prizes via Zondle (which was to allow me to gauge whether they had learned anything!). Zondle is an online tool to make games out of multiple choice questions, based on the neuroscience of learning. There was already a good set of 10 questions around Scratch I could use. However due to a technical issue I haven't figured out yet the voting via the school netbooks didn't work and I hadn't prepared a lower tech option so this activity will be parked until we meet again after half-term.
I introduced the software 2DIY from 2 Simple Software as the main activity for the session. It offers a selection of game templates (platform games, mazes, driving games) as well as other activities. Each is supported by about 3 introductory tutorial videos, well pitched to years 5 and 6, which makes your job as the teacher easy (I found time to take a photo at last)! The kids very quickly get to grips with designing their games. We made a platform game today and the support required from the adults was noticeably lower than with Scratch.
|A video introduction to 2DIY before we start|
The rest of the hour flew by and they had all just about managed to complete a game including an introductort instruction screen and a chance to play each others games on the whiteboard. A quick vote at the end of the session, and 5 very clearly preferred 2DIY to Scratch - it was easier, with less instructions to read. Only one voted that they preferred Scratch - interestingly because he had understood you were actually programming, and could make it do anything you wanted.
I will stick with 2DIY after half term for one more week, and introduce some of the more advanced action script programming to satisfy the true coders in the group! I've been pointed to some great resources for doing this with 2DIY written by @skinnyboyevans. Many thanks.
After this, I'm not sure. I do want the final three in my group to complete Level 1 Scratch and get their certificates. I also want to do something with video, which I know they are excited by. I'm considering a week making websites on Weebly too. Any other ideas welcomed (but I only have 5 weeks!).