You can find the blog post here -> http://ereadafrica.com/2015/08/12/eread-africa-summer-program-day-8/
Today was a continuation of yesterday. We did the Launcher Game from the Google CS First Game Design section. Having completed the basic program yesterday, today was shaped around them completing the game.
The students opened their Scratch program and I explained what to do and got out of the way. Then the moment of truth. A class usually quietens once the students are engaged and as a teacher, you get to observe the process of creation as logic turns to code.
Some students solved the problems while others needed help. Overall, I am impressed with the progress the kids are making in class.
Maybe because they are making games this week.
Welcome to a new week. My experience in organizing training programs have shown that the hardest week is usually the first week.
This is because the environment is just forming and the kids are getting used to the new environment and each other. After the first week, everyone has an expectation level set and it is easy to prepare mentally for classes because you now have an idea of what to expect.
Today we created a Launcher game in Scratch. It is a project from the Google CS First Game Design curriculum. Thanks to the introduction to Scratch last week, my only task was to give them the notes and get out of their way.
I was truly impressed to see the kids work with the information given to them and could complete the assigned task without too much help.
At the end of the day, the kids were successful in creating their games and solving some of the problems given to them. I was truly impressed.
Today was presentation day. As a rule, we decided that Fridays would be the day set aside for the kids to present their work.
The kids really impressed me with the quality of their presentations. You spend the whole week talking wondering if the concepts you teach are being understood but to actually see them implemented is truly gratifying.
They made use of variables and used their creativity to compensate for their lack of knowledge. At the end of the day, I judged the projects based on technical complexity, aesthetics and understanding of concepts taught in class.
After the class, the kids went on break with Genie who you can see in the above image.
Today we moved out of the classroom. The day started with Storytelling with Radio Personality Aunty Bibs. The kids got to play and learn with Aunty Bibs. It was fun to see the kids in play mode as they learned etiquette in a fun environment.
After the session with Aunty Bibs, it was time for yours truly to teach Scratch. Today I introduced the kids to the concept of variables. The material from the Google CS First Art Section called Paint with Tera was used to teach the kids how to paint using the computer.
Controlling a class up to a point before the excitement hits is easy. Once the program starts working, the kids generally exclaim with glee. That moment when the magic hits is the most exciting moment as a teacher. It means that your class gets it.
Once they do, self directed learning becomes a possibility and all the teacher needs to do is get out of the way and let the creativity flow.
Today was a continuation of yesterday. As a class we created our first animation project using the backdrops in Scratch.
Teaching kids is really hectic. Its amazing that the kids have the desire to create but don’t really know how to create. The energy is there. The desire is evident. My job is to ensure that I channel that into the creative process and rein in their energies so that they channel it into creation.
Today the class grew. Kids seem to come out of the woodwork until before you know it the class was full. I checked the homework for yesterday which was the creation of a flip book and I was impressed to see that the kids understood the concept enough to create the project.
We started with a simple animation project and I took them through how to create an animation based on frames. I used the animation project from the Google CS First program as a guide for the entire project.
The students were supposed to do exercises but we ran out of time. We will do that tomorrow. I hope I can teach them to use alternating backdrops for a movie.