Thursday, 14 April 2016

The celebration of not succeeding

At the Mind Lab on Tuesday we had a go at using Scratch. From the start I felt like a lab rat. I realised pretty quickly as a Scratch novice I didn't have the scaffolds in place to succeed for completing the task. I was also beginning to wonder if the task was actually to set us up to fail.

I was starting to enjoy myself because I knew a) I wouldn't complete the task in time and b) it wasn't worth worrying about because working in a limited time frame with 17 others having the same problem wasn't going to change anything fast. I also knew that I could come back to using Scratch in my own time at my own pace with an expert or online template.

Today I decided to use Scratch in class with 17 mixed ability (technology) children. I was armed with a projector, a few templates from the Scratch website, one child expert and bundles of enthusiasm. We were using Chrome Books for the first time so I spent a small amount of time on how to turn them on and then how to get to the Scratch website.
Using the projector I showed some basic parts to the site and then asked the child expert who was gagging to take over to share a few ideas. I also mentioned how I used a growth Mindset and I embraced failing to complete my Scratch project.
Mind Lab group notes
I watch Scratch being used at Code Club and I try to problem solve (without any actual knowledge) to assist the parent expert. The process of using the programme personally on Tuesday helped before using Scratch with my class. I had realised before setting the task that I couldn't assume what the children's ability would be. I did try to think about what I could do to limit the frustrations I felt by sharing my own experiences from Tuesday night.

I then let the children loose...

 The scaffolds were there but all of the children felt confident enough to create their own Sprites and backgrounds. I was amazed at the learning taking place. There were no comments of '"This is hard". At the end we talked about how to log in for future work. There were Scratch projects that sounded more like DJ mixes, High-tech interactions between Sprite characters,  and multiple back drops being used.

Having a few sessions where the children can build on skills will be my next step with a few more competitive challenges. There were a few smug faces when the children compared their efforts to mine.

Try out Scratch

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