Sunday 17 December 2017

Project 14: Programming in Scratch!

With the days getting colder it seemed a good time to stay in and learn a bit more about computers and coding, especially as Solomon hasn't done much programming since using Scratch Jr in Project 1.

We started by reminding ourselves of the computing and coding fundamentals with Usborne's lift-the-flap Computers and Coding, and Kids Get Coding: Algorithms & Bugs and Kids Get Coding: Learn to Program. We also used a computers and coding activity and sticker book. Usborne have been writing computer and coding books for kids since the 1980s, and I can't recommend them enough as an introduction to the topic. Nonetheless, combining Usborne books with books from another publisher allowed for the consolidation of certain ideas and concepts.

If you want to know what Usborne's computer coding books were like in the 1980s, they've made some of them available online as PDFs.

We used Usborne's Coding for Beginners using Scratch as the main focus of the week's project, working through the first few project's. Solomon's favourites so far have been: Dancing Sprites, and Boo!

Scratch was chosen as it's a drag-and-drop blocks programming language, and Coding for Beginners using Scratch provides a good introduction to the language with 15 increasingly complicated projects. We still have a number of projects left in the book, and some other Scratch programming project books, so we plan to incorporate coding into his regular weekly activities before introducing other languages later.

The problem these days is that with such a wide range of languages and tools available, it is difficult to choose which to introduce next. Our current thinking for next languages is:
- MakeCode For Minecraft
- AppInventor
- Python.

Next week's project: All About Christmas!

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