Novice Coders: Overview [Room 320]

  • If you don’t have a Scratch login, set one up at scratch.edu.mit
  • Share your 10 Block project in our Fall studio
  • Check out other coder’s 10 Block project
  • Work on the Build a Band project
  • Share your Build a Band project in our Fall Studio
  • Check out other coder’s Build a Band project
  • Work on debugging some Scratch code (see the details)

Novice Coders: Details

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 everyone else is doing, read down below and see if that appeals to you. You can move between groups to find the best match for you.

Last session we worked on the 10 Blocks project. After you finished your project, I wanted you to share it by putting it in our Fall studio. If you haven’t already done so, please share your project by putting it in the studio. Don’t know how? Ask another coder to see how they did it. Now that you’ve shared your project, check out what your fellow coders have done. Have questions how they did something? Search them out and ask! This is an important part of our Dojo experience. Don’t skip it!

Today we are going to continue to work on our Scratch skills. The focus will be on making sounds! The instructions are very simple. Create a Sprite. Add sound blocks. Experiment with ways to make your project interactive! So get to it! Find the Sound block section. Figure out what the blocks do. Remember if you want to know more about a block go to the Tips pull down and then click on the blocks tab in the tips section. How can you make your project more interactive? Can you make it respond based on a key the user presses on the keyboard? How about if the user clicks a sprite with the mouse? These types of control blocks are found in the Events block section. Want an advanced challenge? See if you can figure out how to use your video input to make your project interactive. The video sensing blocks are in the light blue Sensing Blocks section.

After you have played around with your Band, go ahead and share it by clicking the share button on the top right of the screen. Make sure you give it a name and somehow indicate it is a Build a Band project. Next link it to our Spring studio. Ask around if you are having trouble doing this. Once you have your project linked into the Studio, wait for other people to get theirs up. Better yet, go help them! Feel free to check out other band projects in the studio later. Today we are going to do a gallery walk. That means that we set up our project and have other coders walk by and try out your project. Everybody should feel free to ask questions and offer constructive criticism (advice) about each other’s work. Good luck and have fun!

Sometimes when we write code it doesn’t behave like we expect. The process of finding these problems and fixing them is called debugging. Want to know the origin of this expression? Read this! And this! Let’s do some debugging. Another thing coders do is work in pairs. Let’s give that a try. Pair up and try to figure out what’s wrong with any of these buggy projects:

With the time remaining, have fun and code up whatever you like. Make some noise, splashes of color, be silly, be serious. Whatever you want.

Everybody Else

This season the focus will be on a long term project. When I say long term, I mean all season! You can use this project to enter into the Cool Code Awards event or as part of the requirement for your next belt or both! Because you will be spending a bit of time working on this project, it’s good to put some thought into it up front. Make a roadmap so you have some idea all the pieces that you are going to have to work out. It might help to brainstorm with a friend.

Still looking for an idea? Look at the suggestions I wrote up in Workout #2.

The other thing that I would like you to do is get some feedback from your fellow coders. Are you stuck? Do you want some suggestions on how to make your project better? Show your project to your fellow coders and see what they think.