Sunday 26 September 2021

Programming 203: Programming with Game Builder Garage

We're always trying to find innovative ways of introducing programming concepts to the kids (see Project 190: Turing Tumble and Programming), and this week's project made use of Nintendo's Game Builder  Garage, a way to create your own games on the Switch. 

It's a 'blocks' programming language and as the eldest two (aged 7 and 8) are already programming in Python it might be considered a bit of a backwards step, but it nonetheless gave them the opportunity to solidify programming concepts and get a bit more creative. The main thing is, they all really enjoyed it. 

Next project: Spain

Project 202: Rivers

Following on from the success of the previous week's fishing project we decided to continue with the riparian theme and have a project on rivers. 

We went through a very comprehensive introduction to rivers book from the library, and did a Rivers reading comprehension from Twinkl. The book also included a number of activities to try, and we attempted to build a dam, although it turned out to be trickier than we imagined!

We also had our first family fishing trip, although unlike the previous week, it poured with rain and we didn't manage to catch anything!
Nonetheless the licence and local club membership last for a year, so we'll be trying again!

Next Project: Programming with Game Builder Garage

Project 201: Fishing!

This week's project was selected because we had signed up for a fishing session from the Canal and Rivers Trust

We started the week with a closer look at fish, reading, watching videos, and doing some Twinkl worksheets about parts of the fish.:

The first of two fishing trips this week was to a local stream where we could catch some minnows with nets:

The big event of the week, however was the children's first rod fishing experience, at one of the Hampton lakes:

The children all loved the experience. They all caught lots of fish, although Monica caught the most with 33 in 50 minutes! They held fish and maggots, and all expressed the desire to do it again. 

Next project: Rivers. 

Project 200: Cats!

 As it was another week with lots of meet-ups we needed to have another focused project, so we picked the film Cats! as there were appropriate resources at Into Film

As well as watching the film, we read the book and explored some of the more difficult words:

Finally the children made some wanted posters for Macavity.

Next Project: Fishing! 

Project 199: Little Lord Fauntleroy

Little Lord Fauntleroy is a name that is often taken in vain, but was a story we didn't know. We picked a book project, as it was a very busy week with lots of meet-ups and trips planned, and we wanted to make sure we didn't pick a project that got overlooked. 

It was a really enjoyable story, and Little Lord Fauntleroy is a much nicer character than you would expect. 

Next project: Cats!

Project 198: Magic!

It was a bit of a left-field suggestion for this week's project, but Solomon suggested 'Magic' and we decided to go with it. 

As their mother was away for the first half of the week (it was August - we're a bit behind with the blogposts!), the children were tasked with putting on a magic show for her return using an old magic set from the back of the cupboard.

It was definitely not a high quality magic set, but the children managed to put together sufficient tricks to put on a good show: card tricks, mind reading, and even pulling a rabbit out of a hat! It was a good opportunity for them to practice some less 'academic' skills. 

They also learnt about magic more broadly with videos and the Children's Book of Magic, which included both more tricks (e.g., 'cutting a person in half'') and a history of magic and some of the most famous magicians.

Next project: Little Lord Fauntleroy