Well, I am going into this blog post with very little knowledge on this topic! Before this class I had never really heard of the concept of coding. So I first have to answer the question… What is Coding?
In order to show how I understood the process of coding, I have decided to use a series of “The Office” gifs. Only because it’s an awesome show, they make me laugh, and they really show how I felt when learning how to code.
I decided to jump right in and look at Scratch in hopes that I could figure out how to use it. I was able to download this app from the App Store directly to my computer, and was good to go! I decided to play around with the Scratch cat at first, but got no where! I turned to my trusty friend Youtube in search of another video to find out what Scratch really is.
This was all fine and dandy, but I still wasn’t convinced that I could do it. I then found a Youtube tutorial that taught you how to make a PacMan game. “I need to make this” was the first thing that came to my mind. I tried to follow the mans instructions but quickly hit a dead end because I could not find a specific block. I then discovered that I was working with an newer version of the app and was the least bit happy. Following this attempt, I found a tutorial of creating your name on Scratch. I inserted all of my letters and then had no idea what to do after. It looked like someone had taken my name, threw it in a blender, and dumped it on my computer screen. I was left at square one once again.
I revisited the scratch website in search of some sort of guidance or clarity. I stumbled upon a list of starter projects. I immediately new that this was more my style and that I could complete this. I scrolled through the lists of starter projects and chose to create a maze. These starter packs allow you to look inside and see the steps the person took in order to create the Scratch, from there you can change and add anything you like. I decided to start from the beginning and use the maze as a guide to follow. I went back and forth between my maze, and the maze starter project and screen casted as I went along. It took me a total of 20 minutes, however I edited parts of my video out in order post a shorter video. Enjoy!
It was a very long process, and I need to spend more time figuring out what each block does. I know that I have only seen the beginning of what Scratch is capable of! Below is a screencast of my final maze! 🙂
Click HERE to try my maze!
Overall I think that my scratch project was a success! It took a lot of trial and error, but I will definitely try to create another project in the future!
Should you teach coding in the classroom?
Yes! Absolutely! I felt very challenged throughout this whole process. It allowed me to think hard, research ideas, and move outside of my comfort zone. I found articles to support my ideas including: 5 Reasons to Teach Kids to Code, Coding for Kindergarteners, & 15 Ways of Teaching Every Student to Code. On the Scratch website they also include an information page for both parents and teachers (check out ScratchEd). These pages explain what Scratch is, how to use Scratch, and the benefits of this tool. Students can create animations, stories, games, and almost anything else they can imagine. While creating these they think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. This coding tool gives students skills that they can take beyond the classroom, and into the real world!
Have you used Scratch before? If not, check it out!