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May 18, 2014

Programming (5): Sounds, etc

Between attendance and the very varied age group the difference between what the children were doing quickly escalated. Also once the children found that there was a library of characters to choose from the children spent a lot of time on that. Once some of the children found sound and recording all bets were off!

Though scratch is a wonderful program to introduce children to the idea of programming there is a fair bit that can be done without scripting and it is hard to keep children focused. I just accepted that different children were going to do different things e.g. the 2nd grader was quite happy with using scratch as a paint program. Some of the vector graphics stuff is pretty neat. What I did do was try to figure out what each child was doing and pick up the level and keep asking them to show me what happens when I click the green flag (play button). This I found was one thing that got their attention back to what happens on its own. Here is one that came up from this line of questioning:

I also asked the 7th graders to build a calculator which they tried and introduced them to searching for existing programs and modifying them. In all honesty, most people modify programs rather than write it from scratch (pun intended) and I wanted them to be aware of this as well. Here is the last one that uses conversation and sounds along with a simple visual.

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