Code Club Week 2

An ongoing attempt to keep track of my Code Club volunteering, so that if I do it again, I’ll do it better.

Rather than crack on with the second project, I wanted to use today to finish off the Felix & Herbert game from last week, and I’m pleased to say that everybody managed it. Well within the time in fact, so pretty much everyone also managed to tweak their characters a bit.

We picked up from the point where Felix is successfully chasing Herbert, so only had to drop in a few simple bits in order to register points and when the mouse gets caught. In theory, doing that doesn’t take very long at all, but I took a lot of time (possibly too much, they are children after all), to explain the reasoning behind introducing variables in our game. That and if statements (or rather, the if code block). I like to think that next week when I mention variables, they’ll all know what I’m talking about but we’ll see how that pans out.

At the very least, they seem to be comfortable with the contents of the first lesson, to the point where some were already building upon it and thinking about how to add things like making the cat grow every time he ‘eats’ the mouse. Allowing them to customise the character costumes proved to be popular too, and I can tell that reigning that in in future lessons will be tricky. Curse their creativity(!)

Everybody finished the game so when I gave out the worksheets, it was really only as a refresher in case they need to look back. I don’t know if anyone has access to Scratch at home yet, but I got the impression that they don’t have a lot of access in school so any ‘homework’ type of activity will be limited.

I think we’re at a nice stable point ready to move onto the next game next week. I’m still not 100% confident that they’ll work through the sheets alone (without me leading the session from the front) but I’ve got to let go at some point, because walking through the whole game isn’t ideal for a range of a reasons. I’ll probably kick it off for 10 minutes and see how it goes from there.

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