Saturday, 31 May 2014

Pi Fun for All

Sway Grantham is running a great series of articles on using the Raspberry Pi. I love the fact that she is doing it with year 5's and as her introduction explains:
A few people have asked me about getting started with Raspberry Pis so I decided to blog about how I introduced them into my classroom. This was with a class of year 5s (9-10 year olds) but I intend to do this lesson in lower key stage one (7-9 year olds) as part of a ‘What is a Computer?’ unit of work, looking at a variety of devices including a focus explaining inputs and outputs.

Read the complete series as she takes on the Raspberry Pi in a cool, children friendly way!

Article 1

Article 2

Article 3

Friday, 23 May 2014

Shaun The Sheep Teaches Coding

Shaun The Sheep from Aardman Animations is now teaching coding!  This is a great innovation and I am pleased to see Aardman making cool characters and animations for children to use.

The resources are of very high quality and ideal for Gifted and Talented Key Stage 2 children and for general use in Key Stage 3.  If you want a simpler platform game, check out Making Your First Game>>  What makes this wonderful for classroom use is the combination of videos and printable resources. So everybody can have a go. Check out the full Shaun The Sheep Game Academy>>

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Using Scratch to Teach Key Stage 2 Computing

KS2 Curriculum

The new UK Key Stage 2 Curriculum Provides a wealth of opportunities for a large number of pieces of software, but Scratch is in an excellent place to meet many of the programming based learning Outcomes. This page may look incredibly simple, but I've tested every resource here and know that it can add real value to your teaching. If you are looking for more general resources, then don't forget the Websites With Scratch Resources

 Pupils should be taught to: Scratch Resources
design and write programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts
use sequence, selection, and repetition in programs; work with variables and various forms of input and output
use logical reasoning to explain how a simple algorithm works and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs
understand computer networks including the internet; how they can provide multiple services, such as the world-wide web; and the opportunities they offer for communication and collaboration
use search technologies effectively, appreciate how results are selected and ranked, and be discerning in evaluating digital content
use technology safely, respectfully and responsibly; know a range of ways to report concerns and inappropriate behaviour
  •  ThinkUknow (Important, before students go online and use Scratch Website)
select, use and combine a variety of software (including internet services) on a range of digital devices to accomplish given goals, including collecting, analysing, evaluating and presenting data and information.

CAS & TES Resource links generally need a free user account.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Making your first game

This fun tutorial shows you how to make your first game. a cute little platformer. 
1. First Game
Scratch is a fun platform to make games on.  Here is a silent video tutorial to show you 
how to make a very simple racing game. 


2. Making a Drum Kit
After you have made your first game, you might like to then have a go at making a drum kit.  
Make sure you freeze the first frame to check you have code to go left and right.  


3. Making some simple Platforms
Once you are able to go left and right, you can make some simple platforms. 


You might like to make those platforms move to make a simple Crazy Platforms game.


If you would like to see a more complete game, have a look at: 2 Player Platformer or 
you can make a life system. 

4. Adding Lives


Fun Ideas to extend your game


Other fun games to try and make

Putting the words of the Curriculum into the Language of Scratch

The jargon seems to me, to look a lot easier when it is put into context via Scratch. I hope this is useful! 

Top 5 Scratch Games

Let's start as we mean to go on, by showing the fun side of Computing!  Here are the top 5 games, I've created to show children what can be done on Scratch!

5. Space Rescue 2 
Tough, but cool game.
Proved to year 10's Scratch can make real games!

4. Witches Test
Cute game with inventory! Bit slow on older PCs.
3. Space Defender
A classic arcade brought back to life 

2.  2 Player Driving Flag Game
Just cool to play with a friend!

1. Platformer using VERY simple code 
Great, because every child can have a go at remixing the game.