Tag Archives: computing

The Three Little Pigs in Scratch Jr

For the last couple of weeks, year 2 have been developing their skills in Scratch Jr. They have been working towards retelling the story of The Three Little Pigs (which they have been reading in English) by coding it in Scratch. You can see form the videos below that the children tackled the task in different ways and reached different stages, however, they all used planning, coding and problem solving skills to complete their projects.

Today, we focussed on debugging to correct errors in our programs.

Here are some examples of their work:

Yusuf and Harry (2E)

Leo and Fatima (2E)

Kienna and Redwan (2R)

Bethany and Esa (2R)

iPad skills with year 3

3P and 3B have been learning some new skills on the iPads. We have been using the ‘Once in a Lifetime’ video (which you can see at the bottom of this post) as a prompt. The children have been taking screenshots from the film to retell the story in comic life. We focussed on the following skills:

– Finding a web page using the URL
– Taking a screenshot
– importing pictures from the camera roll in to another app

Here are some examples of their work in progress:

Once in a Lifetime from John Gulledge on Vimeo.

Sonic Pi

Year 6 have spent the first part of this term honing their programming skills using Scratch on the iMacs and the Cargo-Bot iPad app, which are both freely available if you have suitable equipment to run them. Both of these, and all the other tools I have used with them prior to this year are block based. This means the children can apply computational thinking to create programs without having to type any physical code.

This week, I have introduced Sonic Pi to bridge the gap between block based and text based programming. Sonic Pi is another free application which was initially developed for Raspberry Pis computers, but proved so successful it has also been ported to Macs and PCs. You can download it from the link on this post.

In simple terms, Sonic Pi creates music using computer code. The music can be as simple as individual notes or as complex as complete songs with multiple instruments and loops. You can either create your own music from scratch or adapt and modify other people’s projects.

We began by looking at some existing code and changing parameters to change the pitch and tempo of a beat – here is a quick video to show how this works:

The children then began to experiment with their own sounds. Here is Robert and Ayesha’s from 6C – can you recognise the tune?

Year 1’s Scratch Jr projects

Year 1 have been using the skills they have gained in Scratch Jr over the last few weeks to create their own project. Their task was to make algorithms which would create an animation. The three levels of challenge were as follows:

Here some examples of their projects

Eilyah from 1H completed the medium challenge. She added three characters and got one of them to move when she clicked on the green flag…

Sahim from 1H completed the hot challenge. He added three characters and got them all to move at different speeds using the repeat end block.

Haider from 1H also attempted the hot challenge. He added three characters, and got one of them to move at a different speed. He also used the repeat end block

Zahra from 1H also completed the hot challenge…

Nicole from 1H completed the medium challenge and was working towards the hot challenge when this was filmed.

Finally, from 1H Eiliyah completed the hot challenge.

From 1L, Harry completed the hot challenge.

Jennifer from 1L completed the mild challenge and was working on the medium challenge when this video was taken.

Liam from 1L completed the hot challenge and added an additional character.

Jaiden from 1L also completed the hot challenge.

Kaylum from 1L completed the mild challenge, and was looking to get all his characters moving.

Finally, from 1L Aysha also completed the mild challenge and was working towards medium.

Cargo Bot with year 6

Year 6 have also been developing their problem solving skills after creating some fantastic times tables games in Scratch. They have been using the CargoBot app, which really tests their ability to think through solutions to complex problems using logical thinking.

Despite not having used this or any similar app before, the children were willing accept and learn from their mistakes and improve their skills. The sound around the room progressed from initial groans as solutions did not work, to moments of elation as breakthroughs were made. It’s great that the children have the determination to keep going – this will serve the well not just in computing, but across the rest of the curriculum too.

As with most of the apps and websites I use, Cargo-Bot is free and available now to download from the App Store for IOS devices or from Google Play for Android devices. Please download it if you can and play the game with your child, you will see that it’s addictive and frustrating in equal measure!

Here is a link to a video of Cameron’s optimum solution to one of the trickier levels and pictures of the children attempting some of the other levels.


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Lightbot with class 4L

4L 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!

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Scratch Jr Projects

I have now completed 3 lessons of Scratch Jr activities with year 1. It’s great to see that a number of children have already downloaded Scratch Jr onto their devices at home. If you haven’t yet you can download it free from the App Store, or Google Play.

If you would like to have a go at some projects over half term, please click on the link below to access some activities on the Scratch Jr website. They are ordered from easiest to hardest, so it’s best to work through them in order.

If you try any of these, please leave me a comment to tell me how you got on.

Scratch Jr activities

Scratch for Year 3!

This afternoon, year 3 will be using Scratch for the first time.

You are all familiar with Scratch Jr. Scratch Jr is a block based programming interface which gives you the opportunity to create characters and backgrounds and get them to move and interact with each other.

This year we will move on to the full version of Scratch.

In today’s lesson we will learn how to get on to Scratch, using tabs in a browser and how to create a character or sprite and a background.

You can access Scratch by clicking on the links in this post or the permanent link on the right hand side of this blog.

Python – week 2

If you need help getting on to Python, go back to this post from last week.

Last week, year 5 programmed their first lines of code in Python. This week, we will learn how we can use repeat commands to make patterns.

Have a look at Step 4 of your handout – ASCII patterns, see if you can create your own pattern in Python. Please do not use a repeat number higher than 50 – last week this was causing Python to crash on some computers.

Extension – can you run a program which will calculate your age in the year 2025?