LFI Super Coders Program
What do we do in the group? It’s a busy hour!
THE AIM is have a fun and positive learning experience, where the children can learn coding and enjoy using the computer, by making their own games and playing together on the network.
They have to learn some Maths making their sprites move around and hopefully this coding programme will encourage them to enjoy science at a broader level.
There is a variety of activities for them to choose from so that the children can work together or at their own pace as it suits them and there are lots of stickers, certificates and prizes to recognize all the skills they are learning and games they create.
Scratch is the main program used and with it your child can program their own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share the creations with others in the online community. 27 million projects have already been shared globally.
Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.
Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the prestigious MIT Media Lab.
What is done at the various LEVELS?
There are various courses for the children to work through at their own pace, depending on their level of skills.
1 Beginner Level
Scratch Skills Card Sheet
<– See a completed progress card on the left
This is an online professional site with programming skills for 6 years upwards. It teaches real beginners how to click and drag, and various skills like looping, with fashionable games like Star Wars. Each student has their own login, where their work is recorded.
On completion of 500 lines of code they get a certificate presented to them in class.
2 Intermediate Level
Scratch Games & Code.org
- They can start making games in Scratch, putting together the 12 skills they have learnt by copying the coding from game sheets.
- Then they start making their own games using their new skills, incorporating a few items stipulated like a variable and a score.
Other Skills learnt:
They have to learn some maths to plot the position of their animations and make them move:
- X, Y axis and coordinates
- angles … move 90 degrees south
- Compass directions (north, south, east and west).
OTHER FUN ACTIVITIES
Bracelets made for a loved one or themselves using 2 different coloured glass beads to spell out their name
There are some short stunning YouTube videos on the projector about space. There are beautiful photos of nebulae and galaxies courtesy of the Hubble telescope, which I hope will encourage a wider interest in science.
Many are enjoying practicing their touch typing using the popular award winning BBC Dance Mat. They get a certificate on completion of the 12 levels of the 4 stages.
There’s a big difference in the keyboard skills of those that do this course and those that don’t.
Sonic Pi – electronic music
Minecraft Pi Version
Techie Stuff –
- upgrading the Raspian Operating System,
- customising their Pi
- trouble shooting computers assembly.
How is the class time structured?
1 The first 15 minutes we assemble the Raspberry Pis.
- This gives the children the chance to learn about the hardware, and how to trouble shoot any of their technical problems …
2 For the next 30 minutes the children work through various activity sheets of different levels.
- They get a sticker on completion of each activity, and a certificate on completion of the sheet.
- This means that they and I can see their learning progress
3 Show and tell …. the students can show their games on the projector to the class and describe how they made it.
4 The last 15 minutes is ‘Free Time’, for them to do what they like on the computer.
- Many love playing Minecraft on the network together, building and destroying their worlds they create together. [Minecraft Pi version comes with the Raspberry Pi.]
*** Scratch MIT
*** Pi version of Minecraft
*** Raspberry Pi.org
*** 20 Games to Create with Scratch by Max Wainewright
* Code Your Own Space Adventure by Max Wainewright (a bit wordy, students say)
* Minecraft Medieval Fortesses by Mojang AJ