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scratch Archives - CoderDojo Toronto

Session Debrief Minutes: May 14th

By | blog, Volunteers

After each session, we hold a quick (<10min) mentor debrief to see what wins were made that day, introduce any new ideas to work on, and examine what didn’t work.

BIG WINS:
The greatest take away from this session was not a coding win, but a breakthrough with a smarter than average student. This young coder had been to 3 sessions, and brought his C++ coding manual to work through. His heart was already committed to the language, but he was having a struggle advancing quickly. His friends, family, and teachers were not equipped to teach him the language – and likewise – he was having little luck finding his coding community, unable to convince his friends to take on the task of hard-core coding. That few mentors were able to help in meaningful ways was getting the team down – how do we support this coder before he loses interest? The solution was in asking what they wanted to do. The answer was surprising. This young person felt they were letting people down by not having a project that was showing progress. We unpacked, over cake, how important it is to find your coding peers, as they will help push you along in projects – but we also unpacked that C++ is daunting for many programmers – and that even though Scratch might seem like a step backward, that learning to use the programming functions there can help communicate progress to others much more quickly. From beginning to end, we can make a game that people can play in an hour. After a big sigh about what it meant to take that step to a more junior programming language we went back to the computer and got programming. Looking forward to big things from this keen and altruistic learner who wants to learn code to improve his life, and to share it with friends and loved ones.

Other notes from mentors to keep improving our events and program:

BEFORE THE EVENT:
☐ Have a formalized “setup” and “teardown” list to ensure we don’t miss anything when setting up
☐ Update the table layouts guide with the correct layouts
☐ Add question about coding interest area to Eventbrite registration
☐ Print out attendee info from Eventbrite
☐ Convert Scratch activities to Python

DURING THE EVENT:
☐ Have “Activity of the Day” table fully set up and demoing before learners arrive
☐ Have lessons folders set out on the pods before learners arrive

 

By: M. Leslie Bent

ScratchEd and Harvard research teams guide to Introduction to Computing Using Scratch

By | blog, Scratch, tips & tricks, tutorial

CoderDojos across the world use Scratch as a way to introduce young people to fundamental coding concepts. The Scratch team have created AN INTRODUCTORY COMPUTING CURRICULUM USING SCRATCH. It consists of a teaching guide and student workbook. It was developed by members of the ScratchEd research team at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

WHAT IS CREATIVE COMPUTING?

Creative computing is… creativity.

Computer science and computing-related fields have long been introduced to young people in a way that is disconnected from their interests and values – emphasizing technical detail over creative potential. Creative computing supports the development of personal connections to computing, by drawing upon creativity, imagination, and interests.

Creative computing is… empowerment.

Many young people with access to computers participate as consumers, rather than designers or creators. Creative computing emphasizes the knowledge, practices, and fundamental literacies that young people need to create the types of dynamic and interactive computational media that they enjoy in their daily lives.

Creative computing is… computing.

Engaging in the creation of computational artifacts prepares young people for more than careers as computer scientists or programmers. It supports young people’s development as computational thinkers – individuals who can draw on computational concepts, practices, and perspectives in all aspects of their lives, across disciplines and contexts.

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Gifts For Kids Who Love To Code

By | blog
Below are some other ideas of gifts for kids who love code.
Thanks tomoderndaydonnareed for adding to this list!

Scratch & Scratch Jr.

Download the free Scratch Jr iPad app, or visit the web site armed with these Scratch worksheets to learn the basics of programming.

Minecraft

It’s a common fact that kids who like to code also love Minecraft. You can download computer versions or purchase console versions of the game on their website.

Snap Circuits Jr.

Give your child an exciting, hands-on introduction to electronics with Elenco Electronics Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100. This innovative kit contains over 30 color-coded, real circuit components that snap together to create working electronic circuits and devices. Recommended for children 8 and older, this set offers 101 do-it-yourself projects that will give your child an entertaining, concrete education on how electronics work.

Goldie Blox and The Movie Machine

GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine teaches kids how to make their own movies. A story + construction kit—in GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine, Goldie and her gang of friends team up to invent a solution and save the Bloxtown Film Festival from being canceled. Kids learn how to build a zoetrope, a pre-cinema animation device, while learning about illustration and animation. New characters + pieces! GoldieBlox and the Movie Machine introduces Li Gravity and Valentina Voltz, the series first male and Latina characters, as well as newly engineered pieces that are compatible with all GoldieBlox sets.

Robot Turtles Game

Robot Turtles is the most-backed board game in Kickstarter history. It sneakily teaches programming fundamentals to kids ages 4 and up. Inspired by the Logo programming language. the game lets kids write programs with playing cards. For 2-5 players. Invented by Dan Shapiro and seen on NPR, Bloomberg, Make: Magazine, Boing boing, TechCrunch, Reddit, Geekmom, Geekdad and more.

Innovation First Hexbug Hive Playset

Unfold the Hexbug Nano Hive Habitat Set from Innovation First and send your Hexbug Nano Mutant Specimen skittering through a series of build-your-own mazes. With 35 included construction pieces, you can build a series of different environments for your Nano to explore. Simply fold up the habitat to take it wherever you go!

Mastermind

Test your code-cracking prowess with Mastermind, “the challenging game of logic and deduction.” The codemaker sets a code of four colored pegs–choosing from yellow, red, orange, blue, green, or white–and conceals it behind a flip-up shield. Your mission: replicate the code in 10 moves or fewer. With each of the codebreaker’s attempts, the codemaker uses red and white key pegs to offer cryptic clues about color and position. Make the game even more difficult by using multiple pegs of the same color or by leaving one or more peg holes empty. With more than 2,000 possible code combinations, every game is guaranteed to be a brain-bender. All of Mastermind’s components can be stored in the game board. Mastermind is for two players.

Code Monkey Island

Code Monkey Island is a family-friendly board game that introduces kids ages 8 and up to programming concepts used by real programmers. It takes about a minute to learn the rules and 45 minutes to play, and exposes kids to fundamental programming concepts like control structures, data structures, Boolean logic and operators, and assignment and mathematical operations.

Dash and Dot

Playtime just got smarter with Dash & Dot. Dash & Dot are part friend, part pet, and part robot ready to play and learn with you. Learn to code as you play with your new robot friends.Use free Wonder Workshop applications on the iPad, iPhone, and Android devices to program Dash & Dot to do anything you imagine!

Romo Robotic Pet

Romo is a curious digital creature who lives in your phone and explores your world on his roving base. Just download the app and dock your iPod touch (5th gen.) or iPhone device. Let him explore your world and snap photos of what he sees. Program him to respond and adapt to his environment. You can even control Romo remotely via web browser or other iOS devices – from anywhere in the world! (There is also a Romo available for the iPhone 4 & 4S.)

To continue exploring the world of coding, exploring and/or getting memberships to these great websites are also a great gift idea:

What are you getting YOUR up-and-coming coder for the holidays?