Blog the World Cup

We’re going to head across to the blog which we’re running with 32 other schools. Follow the link at

http://www.argentina.blogtheworldcup.net

to see what has already been created whilst you were writing your exams. There is a project to start off with, but besides all signing up as contributors so that we can comment on and write posts which will be published, students should explore all aspects of the Year 7 football blog.

You are encouraged to visit other country’s blogs and comment on the work they’re doing. Our Head, Mr Fear has already made several contributions, so it’s time to catch up, even take over and make the blog your own.

We’ll be doing several fun things alongside the more formal tasks. The first one is to create a video of everyone shouting, “GGGOOOOAAAAAALLLLL” for an online competition. We need to perhaps wait until GCSE and Sixth Form exams are over before we attempt this!

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World Cup Football Blog Report

The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the 19th FIFA World Cup, the premier international football tournament. It is scheduled to take place between 11 June and 11 July 2010 in South Africa. The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be the culmination of a qualification process that began in August 2007 and involved 204 of the 208 FIFA national teams. As such, it matches the 2008 Summer Olympics as the sports event with the most competing nations.

This will be the first time that the tournament has been hosted by an African nation, after South Africa beat Morocco and Egypt in an all-African bidding process.

Italy are the defending champions. (Wikipedia)

1. Each student needs to choose a team who will be playing in this year’s world cup. There are 32 nations playing.

2. Find out as much as you can about the team. (If football doesn’t interest you, then find out as much as you can about the country.)

3. Topics you might wish to include are: squad profiles, maps, match reports, man of the match votes and any other football related information. Equally, you might also like to include research about the culture of your nation, tourism, history, local celebrities, music and so on.

4. All information will be written up on your blog. Take care NOT to copy and paste information directly from the internet. Always credit your sources, especially images.

5. Have fun!

(Image: Wikipedia)

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Week 5: Blogging our Scratch Games

Students will be putting the finishing touches to their Scratch games and writing up their blogs. I think we need a little guidance on writing up the entry. Consider these points:

  • Which two games have you completed? (If you completed one game, state how you enhanced the original game)
  • How does one play your game – or games?
  • What aspects of constructing the game did you find enjoyable?
  • What aspects did you find difficult, or chose not to include in your game – and why?
  • Do you think others should learn Scratch?
  • Would you like to continue with programming and animation in your lessons?

(Image from sourcecreative.co.uk)

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Week 4: Blogging about Scratch

As well as finishing off their games, students should start thinking about writing a blog post about their Scratch experience. This is a list of what each student should have completed by the end of our next lesson:

1. At least two Scratch games.

2. If you have spent time on perfecting and developing one game, you need to be able to document this process on your blog.

3. Ensure that you have signed up to the Scratch website and have uploaded your completed game or games.

4. Create a link from your blog post to your Scratch web page so that I can assess your games.

5. If you wish to explore more free programming languages, why not try Alice or Kodu? Don’t forget to write about what you’ve done on your blog!

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Week 3: Evaluating Scratch

Students will continue to work on the Scratch projects they started last week.  It is important that we regularly connect back to similar concepts in computer programming such as: • Loops • If/Then conditions • Sequences • Variables • Coordination and Synchronization • Random numbers • Trial and Error. Look at this document to see the skills you’re currently learning.

By studying the skill sets for each of the games, students can check on their learning progress. You are encouraged to move onto the different games so as to learn new skills.

Each game has an extension exercise which you’re encouraged to complete as this ensures that you think a little on your own time – instead of simply copying chunks of code.   Once you’ve completed two of the games from: Shooting, Racing and Pong, as well as the PacMan game, you are to complete the evaluation form. The form encourages you to check the skill boxes where you feel most confident and thereby flags up those skills on which you need to spend more time.

I would also encourage students to expand their horizons and produce a Scratch project which is not a game. Why not try some digital storytelling? Select some examples from the Scratch database of files.

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Week 2: More Scratch

April 20, 2010 Leave a comment

More Scratch this week! We’ll be covering the creation of sprites (sharks) which bite and swallow their prey and then counting the total number consumed.  Students have made excellent progress thus far. Don’t forget to sign onto the Scratch website and download some projects. Study the scripts and experiment with them in your own projects. Use the support option from the website if you need help when you’re working from home.

For further experimentation, there are several good tutorials from the learnscratch website. Three main PDF tutorials cover working with sprites, movement and some advanced projects. The site has good video help.

Students should move on now and attempt to create several different types of games. All the games cover basic building blocks in Scratch programming, but in completing several of them, you will be consolidating what you’ve learnt as well as learning new “code” blocks.

1. There a three videos on making a shooting game, a top down racing game and pong and although they are optional, students should at least try one or two of these. 

2. Students may also follow these instructions for making a PacMan game within a maze. The PDF files are quite large, so be patient when they open. (A big thanks to Mr Williams from Perins School for the tutorial.) Have fun and experiment! 

                                                                                                    

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Summer Term: Week 1

April 13, 2010 Leave a comment

This week we’ll begin working with SCRATCH. Scratch is a software application which allows us to make simple and complex programmes for animating objects on screen.

To enable us to experience how prgramming instructions work, we’ll discuss the steps to make a cup of tea. Students should see that there is much careful “step planning” in order to produce this seemingly simple procedure. Scratch works with “building blocks” of instructions which are dragged and droppped into place in order to build up a programme. We’ll look at some examples of Scratch so that we can see what one can create. (Students can log onto the Scratch website and create their own collection of favourite programmes at home. These can also be downloaded and added to.) 

1. Look at this presentation on the concepts of Scratch.

 2. Study the basic Scratch interface.  

3. Once we’ve understood the Scratch interface we’ll construct an aquarium.

4. Next we’ll try some other ideas in the aquarium.

5. Experiment!

(Thanks to Margaret Low & Jean Bodycote for the tutorials.)

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