Introducing the concept of variables using Scratch

September 22, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This week I introduced the concept of variables. Teaching variables in Scratch is very different from teaching variables using C++ or Java. I taught the concept that a variable holds data and that the values could be changed, but the similarities stopped there. I could not really talk about the different types of variables. Scratch, while limiting, is helpful in getting students to use variables in simple programs.

I gave the student two assignments: to design a sprite that draws a spiral and to do a Shape Robot Tutorial. The challenge went off well. A nice spin-off from this assignment was students designing different patterns using the “Pen” palette control.
For the rest of this week and for the early part of next week, students will be designing a game. I have suggested “rock-paper-scissors”, but they can do any game that is approved by me. They have to work on it alone and then create a plan on how to test their game. The test plan is a separate assignment. If all goes well on Wednesday, students should be testing each other’s games using the test plan/test cases provided to them.

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