Sunday, June 12, 2016

How to use Scratchjr as a multimedia presentation tool for your K-2 students!

I can't believe it's been over 6 months since my last blog post! The adventures in library rolled on, but a brand new adventure in fatherhood eclipsed the blogging time! When we last left off, I had blogged about my decision to use Scratchjr during Hour of Code month in December. The posting explained how Scratchjr goes beyond introducing the concepts of coding to early readers, by empowering students to share their learning, and create and publish their own interactive multimedia projects. With Scratchjr, you don't just learn to code, you code to learn. Today's post picks up where we left off, at the end of the Hour of Code month.


By the end of the month, after 6 brief library visits, the Kindergartners were presenting their creative wordless fiction stories that they coded, while the 2nd graders were coding interactive presentations that taught the kindergartners about an animal they researched. These students had never used Scratchjr before, and now they were harnessing its power to share their learning with their peers in a breakout event. 

Some examples of student work and our breakout event:
2nd grade students present their animal projects that they coded in Scratchjr. They are presenting to a kindergarten class that has library at the same time, and had not yet begun their coding unit.

A kindergartner teaches his peers how to code at a breakout event in our library. He is teaching fellow kindergartners from a separate library class that had not yet begun their coding unit.

These are some more samples of  the animal projects created by our 2nd grade students at the end of their 6 library visits.  

I was blown away by how the students picked up programming in Scratchjr, and harnessed its power to create authentic and meaningful work that they shared with their peers. 
Here's how we got there:

Lesson 1 (20 minutes): Before handing out the iPads, I used SMART notebook to introduce the concept of coding in Scratchjr. I placed images of the some basic movement blocks on the notebook page, and turned on the "infinite cloner", so that students could add the blocks to a line of code by dragging the image with their finger on the SMART Board (see below). We discussed what programming is, and reviewed the meaning of the movement blocks. Students raised their hands to come up to the SMART board, and create a line of code for the teacher to act out. Students then volunteered to act out the code themselves. After this initiation activity, students received their iPads and were directed to the app. I walked them through this basic intro lesson lesson from these Scrathjr playrgound resources. 

The SMART notebook page mentioned above. The blue movement blocks have the "infinite cloner" turned on.

Lesson 2 (20 minutes): We played the same SMART board initiation activity from last class, "program the teacher", and I acted out movements that students selected on the board. Students then volunteered to act out new code as well. I then walked the students through the second basic lesson from the Scrathjr playrgound

Lesson 3 (20 minutes): I introduced my students to their main goals for this coding project. K-1 students would create their own wordless picture book stories using Scratchjr. 2nd grade students would create an interactive presentation about an animal that they were already researching that month. Before coding, I shared the wordless picture book Flora and the Flamingo with my K-1 students. 2nd graders watched student work samples on YouTube posted by Jacob Lee. I introduced some new Scrachjr blocks to students and let them begin their projects. 

Instruction slides from the SMART notebook file

Some new blocks I previewed

Lessons 4-6 (about 1 1/2 hours total): I reviewed the project goals at the start of each class (see images below) with K-1 and grade 2 on the SMART Board. I reviewed some various coding blocks with each class, and created some examples of what students could do in Scratchjr by mirroring my iPad (using an Apple TV). K-1 students also read some additional wordless picture books. Mostly, I stepped off the stage and gave the students time to work.

SMART Board slide with goals for 2nd graders

SMART Board slide with goals for K-1 students

Lesson 7: The break out event! My students presented their projects to the students from the other library class (we have two library media specialists each teaching at the same time, but not always to the same grade level). My colleagues' students had not yet begun learning to code in Scratchjr (we have only one iPad cart). Her students learned about Scratchr from mine, while enjoying their fiction stories (K-1) and presentations about animals (2nd grade).

Learn more about Scratchjr online, and post below with any comments or questions!

1 comment:

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