Programming: create and debug simple programs; use logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs.
Links and Resources
This introduction to using the Bee-Bot, introduces students to creating simple programs. They learn the importance of sequences of accurate instructions, and test their sequences out using a 'fakebot' or paper-robot.
This activity uses a Bee-Bot to show how algorithms are executed as stored programs on digital devices. Simple sequences of instructions are given to the Bee-Bot to 'write' numbers.
This activity for introduces algorithms and algorithmic thinking. After first planning how to draw numbers using the simple commands available, students then program a Bee-Bot to create the shapes.
A set of flashcards based on characters and scenes from the Gingerbread Man. These cards are 15x15cm and so are ideal for using with a Bee-Bot.
A printable pirate themed programmable robot mat on a grid. Students can program a Bee-Bot to visit several sites on the pirate island and reach a treasure chest.
ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young students to create their own interactive stories and games. Students snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Students can modify characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, even insert photos of themselves -- then use the programming blocks to make their characters come to life. ScratchJr is available as a free app for both iPad and Android tablets.
• A series of guides to the ScratchJr interface that can be downloaded and used as reminders for the students or as part of a classroom display.
o Interface Guide – a guide to the buttons on the ScratchJr interface
o Paint Editor Guide – a guide to the buttons when in paint editor mode
o Block Descriptions – a guide to what each block does and their parameters
• A series of activities to introduce ScratchJr and to learn how to use it to create interactive games and stories. The complexity of the activities and concepts gets progressively more difficult:
1. Drive Across the City. Students pick a background and a character, and use a motion block to make a car drive across the city.
2. Run a Race. Students use the speed block to speed up or slow down a character.
3. Sunset. Students learn how to make a character disappear.
4. Moonrise after sunset. Students learn how to add a new page to change scene.
5. Spooky forest. Students make multiple characters with their own scripts.
6. Dribble a basketball. Students learn how to use the repeat block to dribble a basketball.
7. Dance party. Students use sound and motion blocks and a start again block to make characters dance.
8. Meet and Greet. Students use the envelope to send a message from one character to another.
9. Conversation. Students send multiple messages among characters using different coloured envelopes.
• A very useful set of all the ScratchJr command blocks that can be printed off and used with the students as an unplugged activity to ensure that they understand what each block does. They could also be used as part of a classroom display.
• 3 suggested cross curricula projects that use ScratchJr:
• animated genres
o This series of 8 lessons and 3 projects which provide the students with the opportunity to learn all the concepts in ScratchJr and apply these concepts in their own personal creations.
• re-creating playground games
o This is a series of 8 lessons in which students learn how to use ScratchJr as they re-create familiar playground games.
• reinforcing literacy and mathematical concepts
o These curricular modules describe ScratchJr projects that reinforce literacy and mathematic principles of uppercase and lowercase letters and cardinality of number.
2 simple summative assessment ideas that could be used to help determine the depth of students' understanding of the relationship between the programming blocks and their associated behaviours.
o Circle the blocks
• In this basic assessment, students identify which programming blocks were used in each ScratchJr project, but the students do not sequence the blocks.
o Reverse Engineer Blocks
• In this more in-depth assessment, students view a ScratchJr project and then reconstruct the scripts of the project using pre-printed blocks
This Barefoot activity for young programmers exploits the sequencing and timing of joke-telling to help students learn good programming techniques.
After planning an animation using a storyboard technique they then code it using the ScratchJr app, and debug it.
This Barefoot Computing activity challenges lower-primary students to debug simple Scratch programs that assemble pizzas on-screen. A simple four-step process for systematic debugging is demonstrated.
The resource includes Scratch blocks which can be printed and laminated to allow children to create block algorithms visually and in a hands-on way.
A great resource to introduce the idea of Scratch blocks to Key Stage One students in the hope that they will become familiar with the system when they reach Key Stage Two and begin using Scratch in school.
The blank blocks can be adapted to allow children to think of their own “command” blocks to create programs to control partners or events in class.
Alec Jackson is the author of the Scratch block cutouts resource.
James Holmes, Gary Setchell, Keith Madderson and Cobie van de Ven are authors of the remaining files.