Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

It’s typical that things always take longer than expected in the Computer Lab. Take absent students, students learning to log-in to Google Apps, students learning to use the mouse, and more and you have delays in getting things done. The What’s Best About St. Martin’s presentation is no exception. It’s been a lot of fun watching students work on their slide. Their reactions when they realize that they can see where their classmates are working have been priceless.

Here’s a sneak peek at a few of the slides. Fingers crossed that this will be finished this coming week!

Sneak Peek!

2014-15 Beginning of the Year Projects

Each year, one of the very first projects that all K-8 students complete is drawing a self-portrait. It is really fun to track their progress and see what amazing artists they become as the years go by. Kindergarten hasn’t started this yet because they’re still practicing mouse skills and are learning to use the Tux Paint tools with an International Dot Day picture. Kindergarten through 3rd grade use Tux Paint to draw their portraits while 4th through 8th grades use a more sophisticated graphics program, Paint.NET, that allows for layers and other more advanced graphics editing.

Here are a few samples from 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 7th grade and 8th grade. Other students are still working on their portraits and we’ll be sharing all of them in a fun slideshow once they’re completed!

2014 Self Portrait Samples

Here’s what Kindergarten has started for International Dot Day. Using the mouse is still very new to most of them and they just used Tux Paint for the very first time today! Once their Dot Day pictures are created, they’ll start on their self-portraits!

Dot Day 2014 - Just 2!

Book Trailers in 5th Grade

5th grade did not participate in the Scratch projects at the end of the year because they were busy making Book Trailers! What’s a Book Trailer, you ask? Do you know what a Movie Trailer is – that preview you see of the movie? Well, a Book Trailer is the same thing but for a book!

Each 5th grader picked a favorite book and set to work writing out a storyboard for their trailer. Initially, the students were going to download images to illustrate the scenes they had written in their storyboard but after searching and not finding images they liked, the students ended up drawing their own pictures using Tux Paint. They did download an image of their book cover. Once the images were done, each student put their trailer together in Microsoft Photo Story 3. If they had time, after they had recorded their voice overs for each image, they also added music from Incompetech. Searching for music that enhances your message is always fun! There was a fairly major problem in one of the trailers so it’s not shared here but enjoy the others!

Leave a comment and let us know what you thought of these!

Scratch (& more) in 7th Grade

Shapes in Scratch

7th grade was part of the “let’s draw shapes in Scratch” crowd this year, too! Of course, they got less direction in how to calculate angles, etc. and had to go a bit further than just drawing some shapes. Rather than just designating which keys would draw specific shapes, 7th grade was required to ask the user which shape should be drawn or how many sides a shape should have and then they would draw the shape. The exceptions to this were the circle and some kind of “surprise” shape that they wanted to draw that wouldn’t follow the rules of a typical polygon. 7th also loves to make Scratch projects their own and most of them drew their own backgrounds and/or their own sprites and most used random numbers to generate the colors for the shapes that are drawn.

6 Word Memoirs

To end out the year, 7th grade each created an illustrated a 6 word memoir for their 7th grade year. The images they chose needed to be linked to their source and were to enhance the message of their memoir.

Scratch in 2nd Grade

2nd graders using Scratch? Definitely! After the Hour of Code, 2nd grade loved anything to do with coding so near the end of the year, they did a couple of projects in Scratch.

Just like 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades, 2nd grade also created a Shapes project in Scratch. Because most of the 2nd graders aren’t proficient in multiplication and can’t do division yet, the math part of this project became an estimating task along with knowledge of how many sides the shapes required had. After learning how to draw a square and talking about the degree of angles of turning, 2nd grade got to work programming their sprites to draw a square, a triangle, a circle, and one of a pentagon, hexagon or octagon. They knew that for a square, they had to repeat 4 times because a square has 4 sides and they knew that they would be turning 90 degrees because that’s how many degrees a right-angle has. They also knew that the repeat was the number of sides that the shape they wanted to draw has and they knew that the angle had to change when the repeat value changed. They also knew that if there was still a gap when they were done drawing, then the angle was too small and if the lines for the shape crossed then the angle was too big. Once again, the circle was the toughest. How do you draw something that really has no angles? They figured it out through trial and error. Oh, and they had to add code to let people running their project know how to draw the shapes, too. A couple of the 2nd grade students accidentally saved their next project over their shape project so they don’t have one to see but check out the rest:

As if that wasn’t enough, the final project for the year in 2nd grade was to create an All About Me project in Scratch. The project was supposed to include some kind of background which could be one from the Scratch library or one they drew, a sprite that represented them and that “talked” when the green flag was checked to introduce themselves and how the All About Me project worked. In addition to the main sprite, the project was supposed to include 3-5 additional sprites that would give more information about the student. Oh, and some of the sprites were supposed to do something in addition to “talking”. The end of the year came too fast and some students didn’t finish or barely got started. Here are the 2nd grade All About Me projects that have at least some of the project completed:

We’d love to know what you think about our Scratch projects. Please leave a comment and let us know! If you’re interested in all of the Scratch projects completed by St. Martin’s students this year, you can check them out in our StM 2013-2014 Studio.

Scratch in 3rd Grade

It wasn’t just 4th & 6th grades that got to create and show their knowledge in Scratch. 3rd grade also got involved.

First up for 3rd grade was a Shapes project. The goal of this project was to have Scratch the Cat draw a square, a circle, a triangle, and one of a pentagon, hexagon or octagon. Now, 3rd graders haven’t done much division yet but they can use multiplication to check if the times the loop is repeated multiplied by the angle the sprite turns equals 360. The most difficult shape to draw is a circle because you can’t just tell the sprite to turn at an angle of 360 degrees one time. Check out what the 3rd graders accomplished:

Once they were done drawing shapes, each 3rd grader then worked on an All About Me project in Scratch. The goal of this project was to have a sprite to represent you and then 5 (or more) additional sprites to tell more about you. In addition, at least some of the sprites were supposed to do more than just “say” something about the student. As you will see, the end of the year caught up with us and some students didn’t get this one finished. Check these out to learn more about our 3rd (now 4th) graders:

What did you think of the 3rd grade Scratch projects? Leave a comment and let us know! Check out all Scratch projects from this year in our StM 2013-2014 Studio for all of the projects completed by St. Martin’s students this year.

Scratch in 4th Grade

4th Grade started out their learning in Scratch with a challenging assignment – create something to educate about your mission in Scratch. Each year when 4th grade chooses their missions, they spend time during Computer classes learning about researching online and learning how to use EasyBib to cite their sources for their mission reports. This year in addition to the researching, each 4th grader also created a Mission Project in Scratch. Check them out and let us know what you think!

4th-Alexis-Mission 4th-Ciara-Mission
4th-Hallie-Mission 4th-Isabel-Mission
4th-Mariangel-Mission 4th-Miranda-Mission

Once the Scratch Mission Projects were complete, it was time to explore drawing in Scratch. The assignment was to have a sprite draw a square, a triangle, a circle, and at least one of a pentagon, hexagon, or octagon. If there was time, a “surprise” shape could also be drawn. Here’s what the girls came up with!

Now that the students knew that drawing was also possible in Scratch, they were challenged to create an All About Me project. In this project, the girls were to create a Scratch project to tell about themselves with a sprite to represent them and other sprites to tell more about them. Some of these got pretty creative – check them out!

What did you think of the 4th Grade Scratch projects? Leave a comment to let us know! Curious about what other grades at St. Martin’s did in Scratch this year? Check out all Scratch projects from this year in our StM 2013-2014 Studio.

Scratch in 6th Grade

After an introduction to coding during the Hour of Code, 6th grade spent some time learning and creating projects about Digital Citizenship. They got back to coding with Scratch to end out the year. Each student created three different projects in Scratch:

  1. First up was a shapes drawing project. The assignment was to program a sprite to draw a square, a triangle, a circle, at least one of a pentagon, hexagon, or octagon, and some kind of “surprise” shape. The 6th grades’ Scratch Shape projects are linked below or you can check them out in our StM2013-14 Shapes Studio and see what 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th grades did with the same assignment, too!
  2. Next, 6th grade was presented with a challenge to create a project using only the blocks below:
    How creative did they get? The 6th graders voted and thought Sean’s was the most creative. What do you think? Check out their projects at:

  3. Last, but certainly not least, 6th grade was challenged to create a game. They were given the directive that someone playing the game should know when they win the game and when they lose the game. There are some glitches in a few of the games and many of the students had more they wanted to do but they ran out of time. 6th grade voted for their favorite game and the winner was again Sean. Do you agree? Check out the games and let us know what your favorite is!

If you’re interested in all of the Scratch projects completed by St. Martin’s students this year, you can check them out in our StM 2013-2014 Studio.

What’s “hop”-ning in the lab

Happy Easter from the Computer Lab at St. Martin’s. Kindergarten and 1st Grade drew Easter pictures this week and played some Easter games. Check out Kindergarten’s Easter Eggs!

Some classes continued to work on ongoing projects this week:

  • 2nd & 3rd grades worked on drawing shapes in Scratch
  • 5th grade worked on their storyboards for book trailers
  • 6th grade finished up a Digital Citizenship lesson on giving credit
  • 7th grade finished up a lesson on paraphrasing
  • 8th grade continued to work on their Tech-lympics tutorials

4th grade continued to work on their Mission Project in Scratch with two of the students finishing their Scratch Mission projects this week! We will be sharing these later!