Monday, 30 April 2018

Computational Thinking

The new digital technologies curriculum is not simply about screens and being digital. One of the strands - computational thinking, can be tackled in a very analogue fashion.
We've decided as a school that Scratch will be our coding "mother tongue". It is cross platform and simple enough even for our New Entrants. (and their teachers)
In DaBlock this term, a group of 30 year 4s and 1 year 3 are learning all about coding using Scratch.

We started the session signing into our classroom group and creating some simple avatars. We then began looking at the blocks and using them to control the cat sprite using our mouse and arrow keys. Some students even went ahead to learn about costumes and costume changes. Great self directed learning.

The next step was to introduce angles and turns. None of the students had heard about angles, degrees or knew much difference between left or right. A quick whiteboard lesson introducing the missing pieces and a quick game of Simon Says involving angle turns and degree turns, quickly filled in some missing gaps.
We then took chalk outside to draw their own circles and label the degrees, where the children then played their own Simon Says games with their friends.

Once the kids were back inside with their Chromebooks, Scratch angle turns made sense and heaps of quick knowledge learning could be applied to some fun animations.