In order to better teach Class 2, Chika and I chose to do a demonstration (his idea) which would get the kids playing with the commands in a real world situation.
Scratch is setup in three columns: on the left are possible commands in natural language (move 10 steps, play sound “miau” (meow in Portuguese), wait 2 seconds, etc.). In the center is the commands window where you construct the operations you would like your sprite to perform. On the right is the viewing window to see what your animation does and below you can switch to different sprites. Chika and I drew similar screens on the chalkboard and asked the kids to give us commands.
We started with the kids giving me the, “move 10 steps” command. I wrote it down and did nothing. I then explained that they need to tell me when to do it and we added the, “when you clap your hands:” command. When they clapped their hands, I moved 10 steps. We added more commands and then added a second sprite, Chika. Chika received his own set of separate commands but we both started when they clapped their hands. We had the kids running us into walls, putting on glasses, saying “Ola!” and other movements which had them interested and constructing.
The switch to using the program was easier than the previous day but it is still difficult to get the kids to remember how to click and drag. Pretty soon the kids were able to get their animations moving and we finished what we had accomplished the previous day in just over half the time. We were able to explain how to paint and change backgrounds to the second class and, because of time, we are going to let that diffuse to the other class.
There is a very fine line between being a good teacher and a bad teacher. We were lucky to have a second chance at the program but it is difficult to know what works and what doesn’t before trying it. Danielle will be using a similar demonstration lesson to teach Memorize (a flash card game and learning tool when you make your own flash cards).