This class provides a powerful learning tool for budding programmers. Using an advanced block coding format, Scratch teaches fundamental programming concepts.
Students learn these critical concepts by creating animations and computer games with interacting characters. Students will apply problem solving skills to debug programs, make customizations and bring their imaginations to life!
Key Skills students will build in class:
Level 1: Apply fundamental concepts to build animations, Sequencing, Use motion and looks blocks
Level 2: Create own variables and functions, Program with event and control blocks
Level 3: Learn prototyping and design more advanced games using constructors and variables. Use broadcasts, explore graphics and sound, use of all types of blocks at a more advanced level.
Create your own baseball match with multiple teams, Interactive Magic 8 Ball, Design a drawing app using math basics, Escape room puzzle, Dueling dragons
In This House, We Make Magic….Coding Magic! Join us in this fun-filled adventure – your child can learn about loops, variables, and functions – all while exploring their favorites characters and moments from Encanto! Every class is a magical journey that allows students to apply coding concepts to create Encanto-themed animations and projects! Join us as we travel the world of magic (and coding) with the Family Madrigal!
*These are recommended age ranges. We can adjust based on your child’s needs and abilities.
Scratch is a programming language designed specifically for children. Invented by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it’s one of the most popular kids’ VPLs (Visual Programming Languages). It introduces children to coding principles and even teaches them how to create a 2D world. Designed for older children (8-16), younger children can still reap the benefits of scratch because it doesn’t rely on typing skills. Sequences of drag-and-drop blocks are the ticket to connecting the conceptual programming dots for children. The key to programming insights is the fact that each block has a code associated with it. The combination results are displayed live on the screen, so that students can see the impact and effects of their actions.
Kids begin coding with a limited base of backgrounds and graphical images (characters) called sprites. The background and sprites form a 2D world once children combine the blocks.
Scratch’s workspace is laid out for children to easily comprehend and sequence the tasks. A command palette lies on the left. A central pane houses the writing for the script for the particular sprite or background that has been selected. The “Stage” on the top right displays the code live. On the bottom right a list of the project’s sprites and backgrounds appears. Because the Scratch program operates in a single-window interface, children can synthesize all elements of the program at once. The multi-tasking skills that would be required by multiple windows are not a factor in their learning coding principles.
The command palette lets children animate their stage. The tab named “Code” houses color-coded sections. They are Motion, Sound, Control, Events and Variables. Each section contains blocks organized by utility and simplicity. To build the code, students only need to click and drag the blocks to the central section. Best of all, each block allows users to test the block’s function according to default parameters. However, the block’s values are modifiable, allowing children to change the background or the sprite’s behavior. Because the interface is streamlined, the palette is basic and organized and the language and commands are simple, Scratch is ideal for children. Long lists of concepts and difficult programming jargon be gone! Better yet, the “Costumes” and “Sounds” tabs let children add their own creative flare to their sprites and backgrounds.
The blocks in scratch combine only in certain patterns according to their shapes. If the blocks can’t attach to one another, children eventually learn that combining those blocks isn’t possible computationally. Using this principle to educate kids was inspired by Lego. Take, for example, Boolean blocks, which have a hexagonal shape and can only slide into matching gaps. Meanwhile, the “repeat” block is in the shape of a “C”, which shows that other blocks have to go inside it in order for it to work. A white highlight appears when dragging a block to indicate where it ought to attach. Errors are indicated by a red border around the sequence of blocks that’s problematic. This identifier facilitates finding and fixing the problem.
The top-right stage comes into play by illustrating the code. Switching blocks is not difficult, so children avoid long, precise scripts just to view the results of the combination. Encouraging exploration and trials of different combinations is one the attributes of Scratch, because kids learn by playing and trying different things.
Although Scratch is very streamlined, kids enjoy the wide variety of projects they can create with Scratch. With more variety comes a more personal connection to their coding project. Usually, a sense of pride and accomplishment follows. Games, interactive stories and puzzles can be the result of using Scratch. Children can also create tutorials, presentations, art and music. Scratch is gaining popularity in scholastic settings. Teachers use it in ICT curriculums for its original purpose, and also to invigorate learning in other classes.
Not only does the Scratch offer a plethora of designing options, Scratch coding for kids also allows them to upload sprites and backgrounds. Audio and visual files can be integrated into Sprite too. That’s a lot of possibilities that are accessed without typing skills.
Scratch 3.0 is the latest version. New sections of blocks are housed in a new extension system. Children can program physical devices like motors and lights in micro:bit, or LEGO MINDSTORMS robotic kits. Through the Google Translate extension, Sprites can become more international by speaking another language. They talk aloud through the Amazon-Text-to-Speech extension. Movements sensed through a web camera can induce Sprites to respond with the Video Sensing Extension.
The Scratch website offers tutorials that assist with a wide range of projects. Tutorials are housed in the platform, or they can download coding cards.
Peer-sharing is one of the best parts of Scratch. Inspiration abounds when thousands of new projects appear on the website each day. Likewise, instruction should never be only top-down when possible. Therefore, other users can encourage and support new coders when they upload their projects. On the other hand, ‘remixing’ others’ projects helps them learn new techniques and understand the ethics of online materials. Working on a project with another coder is a possibility, as is hosting a contest.
Scratch is free of charge. It works on most browsers on Apple and Windows. Version 3.0 can be used on phones and tablets. Scratch desktop works without an internet connection. The Scratch website offers all downloads.
A more basic version of scratch, Scratch Jr, is geared toward 5–7-year-olds. They can build simpler stories and animations which teach them the basics through block combinations. It’s free and works on Chromebooks as well as Android and Apple tables.
Future Opportunities with Scratch
Scratch builds skills transferable from VPL’s to text-based coding languages. It’s not just a simple game but rather encourages children to create advanced projects. This self-propulsion can continue into a lifelong hobby or a paid career somedays!