Beginning Scratch I had no idea what programming entailed, and to be honest, I’m still not really sure. It would be fair to say I was a .5 out of 10. Giving myself a starting .5 is pretty generous, but I did know that “codes make things happen in computers.” Yes, I knew that much (little).
I wasn’t exactly sure what my goals would be, but after seeing different projects that people had created in the Scratch galleries, I knew I wanted to create several types of projects rather than focus on one major project. I also wanted to include multi-level game play in one of my projects.
And after just over a month and many hours….
I am beginning to get comfortable using most blocks. I now understand creating and running several scripts simultaneously and can do so with success in most cases. However, merging scripts together to create longer, more complicated scripts has proven to be extremely difficult.
I did reach most of my goals, even if they were vague. I created two games (don’t touch the squares and pirate treasure), a game with multiple levels (Hungry Shark), an interactive game that can help users learn a new skill (play the drums), a story animation (name animation), added myself into a another Scratcher’s project (Add yourself at a disaster), created my own project that hoped to have additions made to it (Add yourself at a party), created a three part screen cast tutorial for creating the game Hungry Shark. The games can be found here and the tutorials are right here.
It would be tough to give myself a grade, but I am pleased with the progress I made, considering my lack of technological know how and mathematical shortcomings. I would say that this type of program is not something I would usually invest time into learning, and I doubt I will continue improving my Scratching now that the project is through. I do feel somewhat less intimidated by technology now though. It feels pretty good knowing that I can create games, puzzles, cartoons, etc. with Scratch.
Assessing my own learning is difficult. It’s been frustrating and enjoyable, though. And I really see Scratch as a great tool for elementary educators to help get kids understanding programming early on. Helping kids be technologically literate, not only in regards to using finished programs but understanding the creating of the products.