How I Use It
The program relies on the coordinate grid so tying it to classroom mathematics was a breeze. Program characters rotate by degrees making correlation to angles and geometric shapes simple. "The number of sides of a regular polygon (e.g. 9) times 'X' degree angle turn = 360" can be coded, checked and rechecked with ease. The programs can be based around a theme as well making good connections to humanities. Our theme "winter olympics" allowed games and designs to be created depending on student interest. Group instruction and small group work engaged students and kept everyone on task.
This app immediately captures student attention with interesting characters and easy to understand basic instructions. Students can quickly write their first program and are rewarded with immediate, positive reinforcement. The app introduces logical thinking and math based rotation and movement. Students can keep working with design using richer and more complex sprite movements. Students can also create interactive games involving variables, loop structures, character collisions and more. The website offers good introductory lesson plans for teachers with limited programming experience and individual student learning. However, students supporting each other helped build a community of coders. The Community tab for programs is an excellent way for new coders to get ideas. I was also very impressed with the immediate attention my questions received by the staff at Hopscotch.