The third lesson of the coding class

The third lesson went more organized than the previous, but still, a lot of things need to be improved.

My intention for that lesson was to show how we can interact with a program or user input. We could have made a simple game that uses the keyboard for controls.

I came in 20 minutes in advance, prepared the tables, the laptops, and the mice. The kids showed up in 10 minutes before the lesson. That wasn’t expected, but ok.

I started by asking if the two of the most skilled students wanted to create a game for others. They agreed and I gave them a pack of Scratch cards.

Then I started explaining how to load the previous project, but the synchronization didn’t work again. InSync failed to update the license. I tried to fix the issue but without success.

While I was struggling with inSync, several students started making Christmas cards. The others were impressed and started making cards too.

I remembered the advice that one friend gave me another day, – “Seek what kids are interested in and integrate that in the lessons.”. So, I dropped the project I prepared and we all started making Christmas cards.

For the cards, we used a snowy background, with sprites we made a “Marry Christmas” sign. Now I thought, how we can interact with that. I remembered that in Scratch cards there’s an activity with letters. I took it we made several from it:

  • Changing color on sprite clicked event. I explained how event handlers work and how to make the program start doing something.
  • Rotating the sprites. I explained what is angle, how to use a loop, why we need 180° as a result of multiplying 18º x 10 times.

For the remaining time, we added some decorations.

  • My takeaways from that lesson:
  • Keep in mind all the upcoming celebrations. Use them as context for lessons.
  • Always leave enough space for creativity.
  • Regularly check if file synchronization is working.
  • Invest more time in English speaking skills. Yeah, I still struggle explaining something in English.