Ngā Matapakinga | Discussion

    Deborah Newman
    Scratch
    7 November
    Public discussion Created by Deborah Newman

    In response to new year 9 students saying they have done Scratch, I trialed Python with a year 9 class in 2018 and so many struggled. I think currently the year 9's have only scratched the surface of Scratch at primary/intermediate and do not understand the coding concepts, so more in depth code and text-based editors gets them lost. Currently my year 9's are learning GameMaker, but many still struggle to use this, going in and out of objects to create events. I plan to revisit Scratch next year. 

    Kia ora @Deborah.Newman1, thanks for sharing your current reality. I think you'll find you're not alone in this scenario. 

    My 11yr son has programmed some simple games in Scratch and would tell you he has used Scratch 'heaps' (he hasn't). What he also probably couldn't tell you is, his understanding of what coding concepts are or what programming is - in terms of the six elements of programming:

    1. Sequence
    2. Input
    3. Output
    4. Selection/ IF statements
    5. Iteration/Loops
    6. Storage/Variables

    Taken from Pīkau 07: CTDT: What is programming?

    What we need our students to do, is develop a programming mindset that can be transferred into other text-based programming languages (in addition to Python). What we can do as teachers, is to make the language and meaning of the fundamental concepts and processes of Computational Thinking more overt (logic, algorithms, decomposition, patterns, abstraction, testing, debugging), as well as make correlations to six elements of programming above. These can then be transferred across to any programming language.

    I’m also thinking, if students show an understanding for what the blocks do in Scratch (control blocks, motion blocks operators, variables etc) then they might be more able to see the patterns/instructions required text-base coding might help too. Like this example illustrated in Pīkau 07: CTDT: What is programming?

    Scratch is a layered programme, we really can go as shallow or deep as our own knowledge allows. The wonderful thing about it, is the potential for students to code together to make something more complex. Mr Google has some resources to help teach segways from block coding in Scratch to Python. 

    Gamefroot screenshot 1 Gamefroot screenshot 2

     

    Also wondering if you Deborah (or anyone else) has dabbled with Gamefroot (NZ web based platform) that helps transition from Scratch blocks to blocks in Gamefroot? Love to hear more about how teachers are transitioning students from block coding to text-based coding language.

     

    - By Tessa Gray
    NOTE: You have to be a member of the group in order to reply to a discussion
      • Tessa Gray
        By Tessa Gray
        Nov 11

        Kia ora @Deborah.Newman1, thanks for sharing your current reality. I think you'll find you're not alone in this scenario. 

        My 11yr son has programmed some simple games in Scratch and would tell you he has used Scratch 'heaps' (he hasn't). What he also probably couldn't tell you is, his understanding of what coding concepts are or what programming is - in terms of the six elements of programming:

        1. Sequence
        2. Input
        3. Output
        4. Selection/ IF statements
        5. Iteration/Loops
        6. Storage/Variables

        Taken from Pīkau 07: CTDT: What is programming?

        What we need our students to do, is develop a programming mindset that can be transferred into other text-based programming languages (in addition to Python). What we can do as teachers, is to make the language and meaning of the fundamental concepts and processes of Computational Thinking more overt (logic, algorithms, decomposition, patterns, abstraction, testing, debugging), as well as make correlations to six elements of programming above. These can then be transferred across to any programming language.

        I’m also thinking, if students show an understanding for what the blocks do in Scratch (control blocks, motion blocks operators, variables etc) then they might be more able to see the patterns/instructions required text-base coding might help too. Like this example illustrated in Pīkau 07: CTDT: What is programming?

        Scratch is a layered programme, we really can go as shallow or deep as our own knowledge allows. The wonderful thing about it, is the potential for students to code together to make something more complex. Mr Google has some resources to help teach segways from block coding in Scratch to Python. 

        Gamefroot screenshot 1 Gamefroot screenshot 2

         

        Also wondering if you Deborah (or anyone else) has dabbled with Gamefroot (NZ web based platform) that helps transition from Scratch blocks to blocks in Gamefroot? Love to hear more about how teachers are transitioning students from block coding to text-based coding language.

         

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