This Month in Programming (英語版)


Session 1

We started off the Autumn 2018 Programming course with an introduction to the Scratch programming environment. We will be using Scratch along with various other offline and online resources to explore a concept called “creative computing” and develop the skills necessary for students to make their own app.

With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.

Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.

Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.

Before we can begin developing our own apps, it is necessary for us to register a Scratch account so we can save our work between sessions. If you haven’t already, please be sure to fill out and return the Scratch account permission slip to English Village.

In this week’s session we covered the following vocabulary and structures:

  • First, …
  • Then, …
  • Next, …
  • Last, …
  • go forward
  • turn right
  • turn left
  • when [ green flag ] clicked
  • move [   ] steps
  • point in direction [   ]
    • up [ 0 degrees ]
    • down [ 180 degrees ]
    • left [ 90 degrees ]
    • right [ -90 degrees ]
  • repeat [   ] times

Session 2

We warmed up with a fun “paper programming” lesson where students guided a character through a LEGO maze. The idea and resources for this activity came from Research Parent – Coding a LEGO Maze. Please, take a look and try it with your children at home. It’s a great way to learn basic programming skills and English at the same time.

The main focus of this week’s session was to create a Scratch account with a safe and secure username and password. It may seem quite basic, but learning how to select a safe username and a secure password is a very important skill. We spent most of this week’s session talking about creating usernames/passwords and then actually registering an account on the Scratch site. We will keep a copy of the paper-based account information and send a copy home with your child. The accounts are all registered to the English Village email address, but if you would like to take control of the account at any time, please let us know and we will hand it over to you.

In this week’s session we covered the following vocabulary and structures:

  • username
  • password
  • email
  • safe
  • secure
  • personal information
  • register
  • type
  • login

Session 3

In moving toward our final goal of creating an app, we introduced the concept of controlling the various parts of our program. Each element displayed on the screen is called a sprite. Sprites cannot move or interact with the user unless the students build a system of controls. The most basic set of controls uses the up, down, left and right arrow keys to move the sprite in the corresponding direction. Here is an example of a very simple control setup that will allow for basic movement.

For higher level students we will introduce smoother motion using the forever block and if statements. We can further improve the motion of the sprite by introducing the switch costume block and create different costumes to display for motion in different direction.

Here is an example of a more advanced control scheme:

In this week’s session we covered the following vocabulary and structures:

  • when [   ] key pressed
    • up arrow
    • down arrow
    • left arrow
    • right arrow
  • repeat [   ]
  • switch costume to [   ]
  • forever
  • if [   ]
    • key [   ] pressed? then
      • up arrow
      • down arrow
      • left arrow
      • right arrow

Open Computer Lab

We are starting open computer lab hours every Thursday afternoon from 15:00 ~ 16:30. You can drop by during that time and use the computer lab for the following activities:

  • working on your Scratch project
  • practicing your typing skills using Typing Club
  • doing Online Practice from the Let’s Go or Oxford Discover series

Happy programming!