Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Scratch Programming Challenges

Here are some interesting and fun program ideas to challenge your Scratch programming skills:

  1. Write a program that asks the player to guess a number between 1 and 20. After each guess, tell the player if the guess is correct, too high or too low.
  2. Write a program that tests the player’s knowledge of multiplication, up to 10 times 10. Have it ask them 10 questions. Make it so that every time the game is played, the questions are different. Tell the player at the end how many questions she got right.
  3. Write a program in Scratch in which a sprite draws a, square, equilateral triangle and a circle. 
  4. Pattern Studio, challenge #5 from EdTechExperience.
  5. Collect the Coins Game, challenge #6 from EdTechExperience.
  6. Cat and Mouse Game, challenge #7 from EdTechExperience.
  7. Magic 8 Ball, challenge #9 from EdTechExperience.

Choose Your Own Adventure

In support of the current unit's theme of stories, legends and fairy tales, the grade 3-4 class will be using Scratch to animate and write their own "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories.

Here are some examples of these types of stories:
Both of these stories are neat, but what they lack are pictures and animation! That's where the fun of Scratch comes in. Students will write their own short adventure stories (with choices) and provide pictures or animations.

Scratch is a great language for having characters have conversations. There are two basic methods, (1) using "wait" blocks and (2) using "broadcast" and "receive" blocks.

Each of these starter Scratch projects may be remixed to practise these techniques.
Before starting their original Choose Your Own Adventure stories, students will first complete a basic storyboard.

To get started in Scratch, here is a basic five page choose your own adventure story program. Remix this program, add your own story, and consider adding more choices with more pages. Look carefully at the scripts on the buttons to see how to control the story flow. Use the duplicate feature in Scratch to create new buttons - the scripts from the old buttons will be copied over, and will only need to be updated.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Making Quality Video Collages

I'm new to the world of video and image collage videos, and thought this blog post had some great tips, especially useful in the classroom.

Animoto's Five Tips for Good Videos

Copyright and Using Pictures from the Internet in School Projects

Teaching students that they must respect international copyright laws is an important part of any lesson I teach where students will be using images and videos they find on the internet. Here is a great blog post which comments on the legal issues involved, as well at lists several great sources of pictures that are in the public domain.

Copyrighted images and sources of images in the public domain

We need to remember that although students may use almost any image for educational purposes, if projects containing those images are then posted on-line, a definite grey-area is entered. Also, outside of the educational setting, in copyright laws must be respected, and creating good habits that will carry on into a students' adult life in the workforce is important.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Biodiversity Quiz

The current unit of the grade 3 - 4 class has a focus on biodiversity. Here is an interesting link about biodiversity from Wikipedia:

Students will use Hopscotch on the iPads to create a biodiversity quiz.