Fall 2016: Workout #4


Welcome back coders!

Just a couple reminders:

  • Parents make sure you don’t leave your child’s side until they are successfully logged in and ready to code.
  • Also remember you need to stay on the premises.
  • And I hope everyone who has earned a belt wears it with pride!

Novice Coders

These are coders who are just getting started. If you are new to coding in general or just new to Scratch (the language we use to get started) this is the group for you. If you’ve started to feel more comfortable and want to see what the Intermediate crew is doing, read down below and see if that appeals to you. You can move between groups to find the best match for you.

We have been coding in Scratch for three sessions this fall. Now it’s time to start thinking about demonstrating how much you have learned! We like to do this by using a belt system similar to how things are done in a martial arts Dojo. So today for the first half of our workout we will be playing with the Rainbow Challenge! The white belt test uses the first few challenges from each Scratch block color as potential source material for the test. The actual test we use is this Scratch Project. Take it for a spin! The full Rainbow Challenge is

In the second half of our time together, let’s have a show and tell and share the projects that we have been working on this Fall session!

Intermediate Coders

Who are intermediate coders? Coders who have done some scratch coding before and who don’t need quite as much supervision. Sound like you? Great! Let’s get going.

Are you a hardware fan? I’m going to bring some Arduino’s and some gizmos. See what you can do with them!

If you’d rather just keep going with Scratch, do you remember the Rainbow Challenge? It was a series of challenges to see how well you knew how to program in Scratch. Here are the complete set of challenges. How many can you do? Want to divide into teams and make a relay game out of completing the challenges? I will be taking these challenges and making a yellow belt tester which will be like the White Belt Tester Scratch Project.

Advanced Coders

What is the difference between an advanced coder and an intermediate coder? A couple of things. First an advanced coder knows Scratch or some other programming language pretty well. Second, and this is pretty important, an advanced coder is able to stay motivated and on task on their own. If you find yourself unable to resist the call of the latest web game, the intermediate coders are your people. If you forget to eat because you are still trying to figure out how to get the next feature to work in your project, you are probably an advanced coder. Now go eat!

Let’s keep working on our mentoring skills. So first, go and see if anyone needs help. Once they’ve gotten started, wish them luck and get your coding on!

I’m looking for someone who might want to take on the project of translating the Rainbow challenge from Scratch to Scratch Jr. Anyone interested?

Other things I looked at this week was setting up a git repository on GitHub. Along the way I found out you can set up your own webpage there, too! Check it out if you are interested in learning how to keep track of your code in a project. Best for text based languages, but I’m using it to share mBlock projects!

As advanced coders, you are the top dogs of the Dojo. You get to help set what direction we go. Anyone want to work on a Scratch Jr version of the getting started with Scratch tutorial? Want to figure out what you need to run Scratchx on your computer? Scratchx is a version of scratch that lets you talk to a micro controller (a super tiny “computer” if you will) that can run small programs and is good at interacting with sensors. Do you want to help me get the yellow belt scratch project ready? Do you want to plan your own super fun project? The choice is yours! Make the most of your time.