Friday, May 18, 2012

Computer programming....for kids?!?

First of all, shame on me for not posting in quite a while!  Let's just say that the "end of school year craziness" has definitely been taking over my spare time.  I am really looking forward to blogging a little more regularly this summer.

My students have been busy this quarter using a computer programing tool called Scratch to create their own computer game.  We started with learning some basics of programming and then we really took off from there!  It's amazing how Scratch takes such a complicated idea like computer programming and really brakes it down for students to understand and learn.  Scratch is a type of freeware that can be downloaded to any MAC or PC.  Scratch has a website, wiki, video tutorials, and much more for students who are looking for extra resources.  I love how Scratch really made my middle school classes problem-solve each stage of their game.  The entire project was trial and error.  My students were quite pleased when they would get some part of their game to work the way they wanted it to.

In the end, it was such a cool experience when we held our "game testers" day and students got to test play each others' games and offer feedback and praise.  Even though I did not have experience with Scratch before this year, I'm so glad I decided to dig in and give it a try.  I hope my students did, too. :-)

P.S. There are other great computer programming tools available  ( and Kodu) that I have not yet had the opportunity to explore, but would be anxious to see how they compare to Scratch.  If you have comments about this, feel free to drop one below!

My Scratch Unit

Until next time, (which is hopefully sooner than later) ;-)