Scratch Beginners

This unit of six lessons does not assume any prior programming knowledge and covers the following guidelines in the National Curriculum:

*Design - write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts.

*Use sequence - selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output.

*Use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs.

It is suitable for students with no experience of programming.

Each lesson includes a placemat with different learning activities, such as word-searches and comprehension questions.

A teacher presentation file is also included with each lesson, and several example Scratch files are provided (for the offline Scratch editor).

An answer book accompanies the teaching materials, providing quick guidance to the teacher. A self-assessment sheet for students, and a teacher marksheet in Excel are also supplied.

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    This planning could be adapted to include prediction of what the code does before the code is copied. This would meet further objectives of the NC would be met and also would help children develop code reading skills. There is research evidence from older learners that teaching learners to READ and predict what code does before running it increases progress in learning to program. (Novice programmers need to be able to read at least 50% of their code before they can confidently write similar code - from research by Raymond Lister).
    Predict first then run...