Lightbot in year 3

3A and 3B have been applying their programming and problem solving skills which they developed during their Scratch projects. Problem solving is a fantastic skill, not only for computing, but across the whole curriculum and is a great way to encourage higher order thinking in children.

We used the brilliant Lightbot Hour of Code app to practice simple instructions, repeats and loops. The app is free and is available to download from the App Store for IOS devices or Google Play for Android devices.

Please support your child’s learning by using these apps with them, you will be amazed how skilled they are!

Scratch Jr with Year 1 & 2

Following on from our work with Bee-bot and Blue-bot last term, Year 1 and 2 are now moving onto Scratch Jr. This introduces more opportunities for developing computational thinking, programming and coding skills in a more creative environment. This half term we will be working towards animating a short story.

Like Blue-bot and Bee-bot, Scratch Jr is available free on both the App Store for IOS and Google Play for Android devices.

Women in STEM – learning log ideas

This week many of the children’s learning logs are themed around Ada Lovelace Day, and the contribution of women to science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Here are some significant women in STEM you could research:

Ada Lovelace – computing pioneer & mathematician
Katherine Johnson – NASA space scientist
Roberta Bondar – Astronaut and neurologist
Grace Hopper – Computer scientist and Rear Admiral

Would you like to be involved in science technology, engineering or maths when you’re older? Here are some exciting STEM related careers:

– Computer scientist
– Engineer (including Formula 1!)
– Astronaut
– Doctor

And there are many more! Here’s a link to where STEM can take you.

Can I draw shapes in Scratch?

Step 1 – Predict…Which blocks do you think you will need? Have a look at the blocks available and make a prediction.

Step 2 – Build…Start putting your blocks together – how do you think they need to be connected?

Step 3 – Test…Has your program worked?

Step 4 – Improve…If it worked, how can you improve it? If it didn’t how will you fix it?

Creating a countdown timer with year 5

Following on from last week, this week we are going to look at variables in more depth. You will have the chance to remind yourselves of what variables are and how you can add them to a game.

We will then look at how we can add more complex variables, such as a countdown timer, and make things happen as a result using conditional blocks.

To begin with we will use the same base project as last time:

Pong without scoring

Tip – for all instructions, think about when you want them to happen.

Mild: Create a timer variable and set time to 20

Medium: Use a wait block to and a change block to change the time:

Hot: Use an if/then conditional block (and others) to make something happen when the timer reaches zero.

Introducing Scratch to year 3

LO: Can I tinker with Scratch projects?

After last week’s visit from the Sandwich Bot, class 3B are using Scratch for the first time this afternoon.

After an introduction to the Scratch we interface, we will start by looking at four Scratch projects aimed at those just starting on their Scratch journey. To begin with we will ‘tinker’ with these projects. For those new to the word, tinker means to mend or change something by playing and experimenting. This is a great way to start with Scratch, as all projects are completely open source and can be changed by anyone.

Below are links to four projects – start by reading the instructions for each project and see if you can work out what they do.

Dance Party
Paint with Gobo
Maze starter
Piano

Then try the following challenges:
– Click on ‘see inside’, what happens if you change some of the blocks?
– Can you make the project do something different?
– Can you add something new to the project?