After writing last night's post, I changed my lesson for today. Last night I made a simple "guess the number" in Scratch. (If I can figure out how to post it I will!) Using one of the figures, I had the program choose a number and the girls had to guess the number. It then told them how many guesses they took. Once they played a few times, I had the class go back and figure out how I programmed the game.
We walked through the program with some guiding questions. First they thought I had a list of numbers for the computer to use. When I said no, they looked and someone found the random number block. Then, I was able to then explain the concept of a variable as storage place since we had to store the random number. We talked about how the variables can be for the individual sprite or for the whole program briefly. I need to find a way to revisit this, as they start their games. We were able to discuss built in variables such as answer for input. In addition, I was also able to discuss conditionals with if statements and the difference between the repeat if and repeat until blocks.
At first it was quiet in the classroom when I asked questions, they were thinking and looking at what Scratch could do. But they did start trying various items; many of them had great ideas of what they needed to do. They would try something and if it worked a big I know came out. As the game slowly came to life, the excitement in the room began to rise. That was really cool. They loved that they programmed the game!
My main goal was to get them to start thinking about variables they might need, as I want them included in the storyboards we will start next.
We did have some difficulty when some of the code was on the background and other parts on the sprite. This led the conversation about what needs to control the game the background or sprite. So it has begun to get them thinking about objects and how to control various parts of their games.
My weekend will be to finish reading the outlines, and to work on the rubric for the storyboard.