I love coding and I have been looking for ways to make coding more authentic and "real world" for my first graders. We decided to dive into one of our favorite apps Scratch Jr. Our class decided to create a "touch and learn" game for our kindergarten buddies next door. We started with the app projected on our white board. and just brainstormed ways to code this game in the app. My students had already had a couple months to explore and play in the app! I am a huge believer in this practice. It truly does help. So the main point we kept focusing one was:
"How do the games you play behave? How do you know when something went wrong of right?"
It was amazing to see them talk and act like game designers. We decided to create a game that would reinforce the kindergarten learning goal of learning sums of 5. Finally an authentic task!!!
We then decided that wrong answers would simply disappear and that right answers would be coded to have a congratulation recording! We also figured out how the right answer could also be coded to move the game on to the next level! So cool! We also figured we only needed one character on each slide that would reinforce the games goal of "touching the math fact that equals 5" which we would need to code to have a speech bubble (for readers) and an audio prompt (for non-readers). Yes. All these ideas came from kids! Seriously :)
The project was awesome and the kids really enjoyed learning like game designers. This project really drove home the complexity of coding. Kids started to realize that behind every action in their favorite games is a coder and programmer :) And yes, I was totally geeking out this whole project!!
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