As well as teaching Scratch to 12 and thirteen year olds for about 3 years, I've also recently started running a club for primary school children.
I tend to teach with a lot of freedom so that it will pick up different interests that children have, and different levels of understanding - there is no point dragging a child through an advanced project if they have no idea how they did anything or why they are doing it.
It seems to me I need projects for these groups of children:
- Beginner (Those who have little idea of the concepts / skills ahead of them)
Improver who wants to be led or Exploring Improver
Advanced who wants to be led or Exploring Advanced
- Designer (Those who have enough knowledge of skills /concepts available and of their own abilities within that)
Once learners get beyond beginner, there seem to be two types of learner.
Learns who want to be led
Those who want every step to be given to them, and they then (hopefully) begin to see patterns and can develop into designers.
Those who do not want to be given step-by-step projects, but do need projects splitting into manageable parts.
Time and again I see some learners (often girls) who want to be given a project, and enjoy following the steps. These projects can become longer, more complex, and involve new and harder concepts, but they like to know when they've done it. Tick list kind of stuff.
Other learners (often boys) want a 'kind of...', 'sort of...'. They prefer to take little jumps. They don't want to be hemmed in. These are the tricky ones to look after. They don't know what they can do yet, but have ideas of projects that would interest them.
This last group are the really tricky ones. Some of them enjoy tech, and naturally want to step around a bit. Others are the ones in the classroom who never stick to anything. They just always get bored quickly with anything they do. I would suggest this lot need redirecting to the resources for those who want to be led, but with shorter, less advanced projects.
I'm looking for really good resources from a range of sources to suit the different levels and learning needs of the students. There's an un-sorted list of things I've found today:
I love these, and I'd really like to make some of my own in this style. Great stuff:
I plan to share this one with some of the more advanced users
Space Invaders! - I've downloaded the sprites ready for it!
This shows how to program falling objects in scratch
And showing how to make three different types of falling object
I've not looked through these, but it's the ideas bulletin board for Scratch
Finally, for really advanced users, dn those who want something different, there's the Pico board.