Waiting For.... The Perfect App!
1 Attention Getter
Teacher should direct students to the code.org website and allow them to work thru the basic code tutorial. This activity will take about 15- 20 min, depending on student speed. Teacher should circulate to troubleshoot and provide support for students who have never experienced coding before. (It is my experience that students have an extremely wide variety of coding abilities.)
Teacher should ask students to brainstorm a list of human experiences which require waiting. Teacher may give some examples (i.e. trying to get a table in a crowded restaurant, or a delayed flight.)
Once students have identified several issues, each student (or group of students) should choose one issue to tackle. Briefly, students should describe the issue, list emotions associated with the waiting, and propose a technological solution (in the form of an app) to the issue. This app may be practical (i.e. an app that syncs to all restaurants so that they can just ping your phone when your table is ready--- no buzzer required) or more playful (i.e. a new version of "Candy Crush" to play while you wait.)
3 Guided Instruction
Yesterday we got a basic taste of coding using the Hour of Code program under Code.Org. Let’s kick things into high gear using a new program-- Scratch!
Access Scratch app creation at: https://scratch.mit.edu/
Click on the cat icon to “TRY IT OUT.
Your screen will now be split into three sections--- your canvas, a bank of codes, and your script space.
Under the bank of codes choose Events. Click “when [flag icon] clicked.” This will need to be your first piece of code regardless of where you go next.
Experiment with the bank of codes:
Add a motion.
Add a look.
Add a sound.
6. Experiment with backdrops. Under the canvas you will be able to choose a New backdrop. Click the mountain icon and select a backdrop.
7. Your bank of codes has now switched to highlight things you can make the backdrop do. Is there anything you would like to code with the backdrop? (Don’t forget to set your event first!!)
8. On the canvas side, return to your sprite (character) by clicking on the cat. Then, try to add a new sprite.
9. Do you want to do code anything for your new character to do?
10. See how your program is coming by clicking the Green Flag above the canvas. When you are happy with your program, share it with me by emailing me a link to your project.
4 Independent Practice
Teacher will now challenge students to create the app they proposed, using their new coding skills.
I find this to be an exercise in trying. I encourage students to wrestle with the coding programs but to understand the limits of basic code. Grades tend to be based on effort over product.