Tag Archives: scratch jr

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.

Computing resources to use at home

It was great to see so many parents and carers last night taking such an active interest in computing. A number of people asked me how they could help support learning at home, and which apps or websites to use. Here is a quick summary of the tools I use with the children in school. Where possible I like to use apps which are free, however there are some where there is a small charge.

Key Stage One:

Bee-bot
We have a set of Bee-bots in Foundation Stage, so by the time the children get to year one they are familiar with these great little robots. There is an app which mirrors the physical robots and is a good introduction into how computers need algorithms (instructions) to function.
IOS Bee-bot app (free)

Blue-bot
This is an extension to Bee-bot and lets you see the algorithm as a whole. We will shortly have a set of Blue-bots in school. They do the same as Bee-bots, but can be controlled from an iPad via Bluetooth.
IOS Blue-bot app (free)
Android Blue-bot app (free)

A.L.E.X.
Another free app, which build on the skills learned in Bee-bot. A.L.E.X. is also based on controlling a robot, but with this app you can also build and design your own levels.
A.L.E.X IOS app (free)
A.L.E.X. Android app (free)

Scratch Jr
ScratchJr is a fantastic entry point for children to explore more open ended programming. It introduces characters, background, more movements, repeat loops and basic if/then routines and offers children the opportunity to experiment and play. There are lots of great ideas for projects on the ScratchJr website.
Scratch Jr IOS app (free)
Scratch Jr Android app (free)

Key Stage Two:

Scratch
The logical next step from ScratchJr, Scratch is a brilliant platform for children to broaden their skills, and to become part of a wider community, sharing their own ideas and borrowing from others. It is a block based platform which all children in Key Stage two will use at Lowerplace. Please see this post for instructions on how to register a Scratch account and why it is a great project to be involved in.

Scratch is web based and needs to be run on a PC or Mac with flash player installed.

Lightbot
Available online, an IOS app or on Android, this is a great too for developing logical thinking and introducing processes into programming. Lightbot also shows that there can be more than one solution to a problem and that some are more efficient than others. There is a free version with a limited number of levels and then paid versions for more levels and challenges.

Lightbot is part of Microsoft’s Hour of Code project, have a look at their website for lots of other great games and activities.
Lightbot free (IOS)
Lightbot full version (IOS)
Lightbot free (Android)
Lightbot full version (Android) – £2.33

CargoBot
Another app to develop logic and reasoning, but more challenging than Lightbot. The aim is to move pallets around using a crane which you program with loops and repeats. Make sure you start with the easiest levels!
Cargobot IOS (free)
Cargobot Android (free)
Erase All Kittens
This is great fun. There is a free demo version, or for £4 you can buy the full version. Erase All Kittens is a good way of progressing from block based tools such as Scratch to coding using characters, in this case with HTML. It’s a great activity to do with your child, you’ll be surprised what you can learn too.

Swift Playgrounds
This is a new app which has been developed by Apple for iPads. It is based on the Swift programming language which is used to develop many populart iPad apps. It’s not one I have much experience of yet, but I will be introducing it to children in Key Stage two next term.

Physical Computing

In addition to all these great apps and online tools, you can also experience physical computing at home for a reasonably modest outlay.

Codebug
Starting from about £10, codebugs are great little devices which you can program from a computer using a Scratch like interface. It has a set of LED lights which you can control from your computer as well as input and output ports for connecting peripheral devices.

BBC Microbit
Again starting from about £10 the Microbit is similar to the Codebug, but with more resources online.

Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi is a fully functioning computer which fits in the palm of your hand. you can buy one with a Linux operating system for about £45. Once you have connected a monitor, keyboard and mouse you can do pretty much anything you can do on a £1000+ PC or laptop. There are masses of online resources and accessories which you can add to Raspberry Pis such as cameras, sensors and motors – the possibilities are endless.

Crumble Kit
The Crumble is another cheap microcomputer which can perform a variety of functions. The kit comes with the main motherboard, an LED light, a power supply, a servo motor and an ultrasonic sensor. It also has all the wires and connectors you need for basic projects. Once you get familiar with it, you can combine elements, so you could make the light illuminate when the ultrasonic sensor is triggered. This is also programmed through a simple Scratch type interface.

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)

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.

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 Jr

KS1 are using Scratch Jr to develop their programming skills.

What is ScratchJr?

ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young children (ages 5-7) to create their own interactive stories and games. Children snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Children 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 was inspired by the popular Scratch programming language (http://scratch.mit.edu), used by millions of young people (ages 8 and up) around the world. In creating ScratchJr, they redesigned the interface and programming language to make them developmentally appropriate for younger children, carefully designing features to match young children’s cognitive, personal, social, and emotional development.

ScratchJr is now available as a free iPad app or Android app. You can download it from the App Store, or Google Play.

ScratchJr Website Video from Mitchel Resnick on Vimeo.

Scratch Jr now available on Android

Hi everyone, I’m happy to let you know that Scratch Jr is now available on Android platforms as well as IOS. This is great news as it opens it up to lots more young programmers. If you have an Android tablet at home download Scratch Jr over the holidays and let me know how you get on with it.

Here is a like to Scratch Jr on the Google Play store.

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Coding in KS1 with Scratch Jr

Aun and Adam from 1A completed this using movement and loop blocks:

If you would like to use Scratch Jr at home, you can download it for free from the Apple App Store. At the moment it will only work on IOS devices and specifically iPads. There are plans for an Android version which is expected soon, and a web based version by the middle of this year.

Scratch Jr in KS1

KS1 are beginning to program computers using Scratch Jr.

What is ScratchJr?

ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young children (ages 5-7) to create their own interactive stories and games. Children snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Children 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 was inspired by the popular Scratch programming language (http://scratch.mit.edu), used by millions of young people (ages 8 and up) around the world. In creating ScratchJr, we redesigned the interface and programming language to make them developmentally appropriate for younger children, carefully designing features to match young children’s cognitive, personal, social, and emotional development.

ScratchJr is now available as a free iPad app. There is planned to be an Android version at the end of March and a web-based version later in 2015.

ScratchJr Website Video from Mitchel Resnick on Vimeo.