Recent Popular Posts

May 18, 2014

Programming (3): Acclimatization, First Movement

The classes more or less followed an opening and closing pattern i.e. alternating open activity and focused activity 

Acclimatization: It was important to get children not be intimidated with scratch and as a first step we installed the starter projects along with Scratch2. In the first class I asked the children to play as many of the programs as possible and see if they can figure out what the programs do. This gave some idea of the capacity of scratch.

Making the cat move: In the next class I focused on just a few things under Motion (go to (0,0), move 20), Events (start) , Looks (switch costume to)  and Control (wait 1 sec). The demo is the one that should come up below of making a cat walk forward and then back using these steps repeatedly.

I asked the children to see if they could repeat the exercise on their own, but without changing the costume (simplification of the program). Most children were able to make the cat move a few steps.

I realized that in a way we were introducing the entire Cartesian system for children and reminded the children in the 7th grade about their graphs and algebra. Working on this can be great reminder for children who have had some introduction to positive and negative numbers.

I found a couple of things interesting:
1) Initialization of location was missed by most kids and every time they ran the program the cat went away :).
2) One of the children noticed (and others had done the same) that the cat was moving one step less than the number of steps he had put in. This was great as it helped clarify the need for the wait statement and that the computer can do things really fast and the wait statements are there for us to be able to see them.

For the 7th graders I felt that I needed to up the challenge and asked them to make a pendulum that would swing back and forth. They needed to figure out that there was a rotation they could use. They all made the pendulum swing just once :).

I've tried to embed the first program below. If you can't see it (install flash and) go to this link. The link also gives you direct access to the source code (look inside) which is awesome about scratch. 

No comments: