I run a couple of after school clubs at Sandaig, today was the primary 7 computer club. The number are limited to 12 so that we don’t have to worry about resources and help. I usually have a lovely time. The primary sevens are working on Scratch. After one of the children’s nice flash movies produced last session I was tempted to stick with Flash, but Scratch is getting a lot of coverage so I though I’d try it.
We started exploring the scratch files on the projects page and watching one of the Scratch Videos. The next week the children worked through the Getting Started pdf. We missed the week after as I was at the Scottish Learning Festival and this week the children started on the Scratch cards. They are beginning to get comfortable with the interface and are having a ton of fun. It is lovely watching them find things out for themselves, some quickly found the record sound facility and gales of laughter echoed round the school. Some children quickly wanted to leave the introductory cards and explore ideas for themselves. Quite often these ideas seem pretty advanced and are leading up blind avenues but usually making interesting discoveries along the way. The children worked in pairs and sometimes one group has a solution the others need. I’ve not really explored scratch at all by myself, the children know this which hopefully will give them s sense of pride. I do have enough basic programming concepts to be able to give some help.
I a not sure if the children will be able to progress to the levels of some Scratchers (see for example munkeeb’s Stuff) in the time available, but I am sure they will have fun. I wonder how they would get on if they had an hour or two a day working with this stuff for a couple of weeks, could that work with the curriculum for excellence?