Summer STEAM Camp & remainder of school
Hello! I wanted to share a summer STEAM camp that will be held at Columbia College. There are scholarships available if you are interested. Please go to the website listed on the flyer that is attached. It will be a lot of fun and educational for your student as they are making homemade robots and much more. www.ccis.edu/day/summercamps.aspx
I have a session to expose students to a game designer (that I personally know) and his website. Students can ask him questions that I will email to him after viewing the video of him talking with 6th grade in their classroom a couple of weeks ago. Students will brain storm and design a game on paper with a partner starting this Wednesday and next week along with making a robotic arm with cardstock.
Our last week of school together I would like to have a good-bye celebration with my students. If everyone would like to bring a treat to share and their favorite game during the week of May 13-16th, that would be great! I will have the students organize their party and send out the list on Dojo and email.
If you have any question, please don't hesitate to ask.
Students viewed videos from a family friend who is a game designer. They asked questions about the game process and where to play his games. See below the sites to view and download his games.
Students began designing/creating a game with a partner or group. The ideas were just flowing and it was exciting to see all of there design ideas being worked out on paper!
Searchlight Games by Cregg Hancock. Check out his website, sign up by email and follow him as he grows.
To purchase game:
Steam Page: http://store.steampowered.com/app/847230/TurnBased_Champion/
Xbox Store Page: https://bit.ly/2Zkw7hP
Cregg Hancock (Owner, Lead Developer)
Interview with The Indiegamer Magazin!
Our last day of class will be next Monday. Students were asked to create a list of what they wanted to bring for our last day celebration with Ms. Love, but that didn't happen with all of the creativity pouring out. Parents, if you would like start a list on Dojo of what you would like to share with the class, please add it in the comment below. Also,student may bring a game to play as well, but no electronics.
Thanks so much!
4th grade is enjoying their "game day" today. We still had our computers by accidnet today and they are able to enjoy learning with TurtleBlocks, Tinker.com, Scratch and Tinkercad.com today.
The 3D printing is in process and will be completed soon. Students will take home their projects after I show them off to the school.
All of their research projects are completed. You will be able to view their work on the Google Docs Drive from home. Just sign in through the school website and take a look! I am proud of their work and determination to complete the research project.
Thanks so much,
Writing prompt this week was to write a creative story about a character named Olive/Oliver Littlebig. We shared our stories and realized how fun it is to freely write about something without any set rules other than the characters name and to have 5-7 sentences in the story. We discussed how cool it would be to put everyone's stories into one book and calle it "The Life and Times of Olive and Oliver." All of the stories were unique to each person and I loved hearing them read aloud to the class. Maybe one day they could all put their stories together and send it to the press!
After writing, we started on the TurtleBlocks coding. Students learned how to design a shape using mathmatical elements such as angles, degrees and more to code their turtle to make a shape. Once completed, students learned how to Export their image to their files and then Import their image into Tinkercad. The coded image was embedded into Tinkercad and students were asked to add symbols, letters and designs to their shape. Most of the shapes are of a plus/cross shape. Many of the students completed the project and Ms. Love has began priting the 3D designs on the Makerbot printer. YES, it is fixed! Thank you to Kevin our IT person for working with me to get the machine fixed in time!
We will finish up our 3D projects and writing next week as we will not have any computers in the classroom from the 22nd of April to May 1st, due to MAP testing. I have a project ready for them during this week to make in class.
Our time is limited as the school year is closing in. We will meet through April 29th to the 16th of May as our last week of school, May 22-24th, will probably be focused in the core classrooms.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
Writing this week was to create a story all your own about a character named Oliver/Olive Littlebit. We had many different types of stories that were creative and exspressive. Ms. Love taught the 2nd graders the "spoons." card game on Monday and last Thursday to the 1st graders. Have your student play the game with you. All you need is a deck of cards and five spoons or forks or straws.
After our game, students continued to another level on Tyker.com coding simulations. Students are quizzed at the end of the level about the block coding that they used in each lesson.
Lesson 5: Variables
In this lesson students learn how to use variables to label a number in their program or save a randomly generated value. Students begin the lesson with a very basic description of the purpose of a variable. Students then complete a level progression that reinforces the model of a variable as a way to label or name a number. Students use variables to save a random number to see that variables actually store or save their values, allowing them to use the same random number multiple times in their programs.
Lesson 6: Sprites
In order to create more interesting and detailed images, students are introduced to the sprite object. Every sprite can be assigned an image to show, and sprites also keep track of multiple values about themselves, which will prove useful down the road when making animations.
Lesson 7: The Draw Loop
In this lesson students are introduced to the draw loop, one of the core programming paradigms in Game Lab. To begin the lesson students look at some physical flipbooks to see that having many frames with different images creates the impression of motion. Students then watch a video explaining how the draw loop in Game Lab helps to create this same impression in their programs. Students combine the draw loop with random numbers to manipulate some simple animations with dots and then with sprites. At the end of the lesson students use what they learned to update their sprite scene from the previous lesson.
Lesson 8: The Counter Pattern Unplugged
Students explore the underlying behavior of variables through an unplugged activity. Using notecards and string to simulate variables within a program, students implement a few short programs. Once comfortable with this syntax, students use the same process with sprite properties, tracking a sprite's progress across the screen.
Lesson 9: Sprite Movement
By combining the Draw Loop and the Counter Pattern, students write programs that move sprites across the screen, as well as animate other sprite properties.
Lesson 10: Booleans Unplugged
In this lesson, students are introduced to boolean values and logic, as well as conditional statements. The class starts by playing a simple game of Stand Up, Sit Down in which the boolean (true/false) statements describe personal properties (hair or eye color, clothing type, age, etc). This gets students thinking about how they can frame a property with multiple potential values (such as age) with a binary question.From there students are provided a group of objects with similar, yet varying, physical properties. With a partner they group those objects based on increasingly complex boolean statements, including compound booleans with AND and OR.Finally we reveal Conditionals as a tool to make decisions or impact the flow of a program using boolean statements as input.
Lesson 11: Conditionals
Students start by using booleans to compare the current value of a sprite property with a target value, using that comparison to determine when a sprite has reached a point on the screen, grown to a given size, or otherwise reached a value using the counter pattern. After using booleans directly to investigate the values or sprite properties, students add conditional if statements to write code that responds to those boolean comparisons.
Lesson 12: Keyboard Input
Following the introduction to booleans and if statements in the previous lesson, students are introduced to a new block called keyDown() which returns a boolean and can be used in conditionals statements to move sprites around the screen. By the end of this lesson students will have written programs that take keyboard input from the user to control sprites on the screen.
Lesson 13: Other Forms of Input
In this lesson students continue to explore ways to use conditional statements to take user input. In addition to the simple keyDown() command learned yesterday, students will learn about several other keyboard input commands as well as ways to take mouse input.
Lesson 14: Project - Interactive Card
In this cumulative project for Chapter 1, students plan for and develop an interactive greeting card using all of the programming techniques they've learned to this point.
Lesson 15: Velocity
After a brief review of how they used the counter pattern to move sprites in previous lessons, students are introduced to the properties that set velocity and rotation speed directly. As they use these new properties in different ways, they build up the skills they need to create a basic side scroller game.
Lesson 16: Collision Detection
Students learn about collision detection on the computer. Working in pairs, they explore how a computer could use sprite location and size properties and math to detect whether two sprites are touching. They then use the isTouching() block to create different effects when sprites collide, including playing sounds. Last, they use their new skills to improve the sidescroller game that they started in the last lesson.
Lesson 17: Complex Sprite Movement
Students learn to combine the velocity properties of sprites with the counter pattern to create more complex sprite movement. In particular students will learn how to simulate gravity, make a sprite jump, and allow a sprite to float left or right. In the final levels of the Code Studio progression students combine these movements to animate and control a single sprite and build a simple game in which a character flies around and collects a coin. Students are encouraged to make their own additions to the game in the final level.
Lesson 18: Collisions
Students program their sprites to interact in new ways. After a brief review of how they used the isTouching block, students brainstorm other ways that two sprites could interact. They then use isTouching to make one sprite push another across the screen before practicing with the four collision blocks (collide, displace, bounce, and bounceOff).
Lesson 19: Functions
Students learn how to create functions to organize their code, make it more readable, and remove repeated blocks of code. An unplugged warmup explores how directions at different levels of detail can be useful depending on context. Students learn that higher level or more abstract steps make it easier to understand and reason about steps. Afterwards students learn to create functions in Game Lab. They will use functions to remove long blocks of code from their draw loop and to replace repeated pieces of code with a single function. At the end of the lesson students use these skills to organize and add functionality to the final version of their side scroller game.
Lesson 20: The Game Design Process
This lesson introduces students to the process they will use to design games for the remainder of the unit. This process is centered around a project guide which asks students to define their sprites, variables, and functions before they begin programming their game. In this lesson students begin by playing a game on Game Lab where the code is hidden. They discuss what they think the sprites, variables, and functions would need to be to make the game. They are then given a completed project guide which shows one way to implement the game. Students are then walked through this process through a series of levels. As part of this lesson students also briefly learn to use multi-frame animations in Game Lab. At the end of the lesson students have an opportunity to make improvements to the game to make it their own.
1st Grade today begin their day learning about "trash to treasure."
Writing prompt, write a story about what trash to treasure means to you and if you have ever seen someone change something old into something new or if you were ever given something that someone no longer wanted.
We played a card game called "spoons." We learned that we are getting others "trash" that may help us with the winning outcome. The game is fast pace and it was a challenge to locate what we needed to win a complete match of four. Have your student play the game with you. All you need is a deck of cards and five spoons or forks or straws.
After our game, students solved challenges in a group coding the mouse and programming the circuits. Working as a team is not always easy and we are learning to work together instead of alone to solve problems.
The last 30 minutes of class, students continued to another level on Tyker.com. Students are quizzed at the end of the level about what they learned.
It was a great day today and I look forward to next week.
Have a wonderful day,
Warm up and Discussion:
One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. What do you think this saying means? Write a real or imaginary story about a time that someone’s trash became your treasure.
Exploratory time: Robot Center time
A fun filled day exploring a variety of differentrobots in a center time atmosphere. Every 10 minutes studentsswitched to a new robot.
Finish research paper, move on to Tynker.com, Tinkercad.com, or Scratch.com