In addition to the presentations they are preparing for each of our Year 1 and Year 2 classes for next Term, today they immersed themselves in the free coding app, 'Scratch Jr'. Scratch Jr is a free app available for iPad and Android tablets. It's creators are currently working on an internet version as well. Our Year 5 and 6 students had experience with Scratch, the Middle School/High School version of Scratch Jr at their High School orientation, but they found Scratch Jr a challenge as well.
Scratch Jr uses block programming. Students choose, drag and drop directions or statements, the 'blocks', that are completely visual, as shown below. They use these to create a 'code block' that directs different elements within the frame or background they have chosen.
For example, a literacy project might require students to develop their imaginative and creative skills by extending a known story or creating one of their own using the variety of backgrounds and characters provided in Scratch Jr. To do this, students need to plan their story, sequence it, develop characters, type and/or record dialogue and problem solve the blocks they need to use, their timing and sequencing.
Students can also learn, practise and develop numeracy skills by creating games for their peers, like the one here.
Retrieved from: https://www.scratchjr.org/curricula/literacymath/cc-module-3.pdf
There are also lots of Scratch Jr project examples on Youtube. Here is just a couple:
So, have I convinced you to give Scratch Jr a try at home yet? I'd love to hear about your projects and activities using Scratch Jr, too.