Intro and Welcome

Welcome to the Spring 2017 season of CoderDojo NOVA! The Dojo is maturing into the true CoderDojo model as envisioned by the founders at CoderDojo. That is the Dojo is a place for kids to come be with their friends and learn to code through self directed and peer learning. This year we will split into essentially 2 groups: a Novice group who is new to programming or new to the Scratch programming language and everybody else. When a novice is ready, they are welcome to join everybody else! The novice group will get a little more direction and guidance from mentors. Everybody else will be working in groups or independently on a project of their choosing with the goal of earning their next belt.

Here is a copy of the slides I presented when I gave some opening remarks for the season.

Parents keep in mind you should not leave your child’s side until they are successfully logged in and ready to code.

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.

Today we are going to work through the Getting Started With Scratch tutorial. This will familiarize the coders with the Scratch interface and give you a basic sense of how the programming environment works.

After you have finished that tutorial, it is time to move on to the next one, Step by Step. This tutorial teaches you how to make your sprite move around. Have fun with this one. See what you can make your sprite do!

A fun part of the Scratch programming environment is the ability to share your work and have others “remix” it. I’ve created a studio to help facilitate sharing our work. Check out our Spring studio. After you’ve made some good progress on your Step by Step project, share it and go ahead and add it to our fall studio. Don’t know how to do it? Ask a fellow coder. Ask three, then ask me. 🙂 You might need help from your parent for this step. Parents have to confirm that a coder can share projects on the web site.

Now that you have shared your project, look and see what other projects are in our studio. Find another Step by Step. See what they did. Remix it and add your own personal flair. Make it your own.

With the time remaining, look at some of the Feature Projects on the Scratch main page. Find any you like? What did you like about it?

Everyone Else

This season the focus will be on earning your next belt. If you don’t have a white belt yet take a look at the White Belt Requirements. If you know how to do all of the challenges in the requirements, you are ready to take the White Belt Test. If you want to practice the test, you can by practicing with the actual testing tool found here.

Already have your White Belt? Your Yellow Belt? Good Work. Now to earn your next one. After White we go Yellow. After Yellow we go Green. After Green we go Blue. In addition to your project to earn higher than White belts, you will also need to demonstrate a higher level of skill in the programming language or system that you developed your project in. So if you are working in Scratch, we’ll ask you some tougher Scratch challenges. Working in a different language? We’ll ask you some challenges geared for that language (we might have to learn it first though!).

You get the idea. Good luck and have fun. Next session if you haven’t figured out what type of project you want to work on, we’ll give you some ideas that will help you get started.