Let the scratch begin!

Moving on from the basic commands that I learnt how to do (see previous blog), I was actually excited to use my creativity to produce something more advanced from what I have learnt.  I found a shark eating game when looking through the already produced scratched programs and I decided to have a go at making a simple fish eating game.  The objective is to control the main character which is a shark with the mouse to move around the aquarium eating fish.

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 My 4 year old son loves this game.  Here is how to produce it. 

1. Click on the ‘Stage’. In the central column click on the Background tab. Click the edit button. Use the toolbar to create a suitable underwater background. Then click on ok.

How to make the Shark

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1. click on the folder button. Then choose the animals folder select shark 1-a and click ok.

2. While on shark 1-a click on the costumes tab. Then import and select shark 1-band click ok. (If you have done this correctly you will have one ‘sprite’ but that one sprite will have two costumes.)

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3. Give your shark the script shown above. A TIP:  click the double headed arrow button or the shark will go upside down.

Inserting an Edible Fish

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1. click on the folder button. Choose a suitable fish, and click ok. You can then you the tool bar to resize the fish.

2. Insert the following script

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3. When inserting the orange variable command, you will need to create the variable yourself. The variable name will appear on the scoring system. I did something simple like “eaten”.

Duplicating Fish

1. right click on a fish with a script and duplicate. This will save you re-doing the code every time. I also changed the number in the step part of the code to make the fish swim quicker or slower depending on the number.

Adding an Octopus 

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1. I used the above script for my octopus. I also included that when the octopus is eaten the points will set to zero.I made the octopus move around randomly, by pointing in a set direction and added in bubble sound as well.

 

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Scratch

Don’t get confused by the title. I don’t mean itchy scratch, i mean the program called Scratch.  This programming tool allows students to create interactive stories, games, music and art and share them online. As part of my EDP4130 Technology Curriculum and Pedagogy subject, we had to produce simple activities in Scratch.

During weeks one-three, we completed introduction  activities to Scratch in which provided the basics commands for using Scratch. I have never used Scratch before and didn’t know it existed.  I am loving the range of technology available to implement in the classroom and discovering how to use it.

The first activity was just simple repeat commands of making the scratch cat walk, change colour and add a beat of music. (sorry my movie upload of my changing colour scratch cat won’t upload: If anybody knows how to upload a shockwave file, please let me know!)

  repeat command

The next activity involved  more programming and would be suitable for upper grades due to the complexity of getting the angles correct.  Within the next activity we had to design a simple and very basic ping pong game.  After a couple of tries of getting the ball to move, i managed to successfully create the ping pong game. My 4year old loves playing the game i created.

pingpong

The final activity I have successfully completed was a racing car game.  Again, this would be more suitable for the higher grades or high school students due to the complexity.  Getting the angles correct and the timer to restart once you cross the finish line or go off the track was tricky. This is my son’s favourite game.

Car race

I am not sure if I can see myself implement this tool in the classroom. I think it would take a very long time to teach the students the basic commands.  I did however find it fun and enjoyable. More activities on scratch to come soon.

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Implementing Technology with Story telling

Technology is becoming vitally important in our children’s lives and is the “hype
at the moment. I honestly thought i was tech savvy up until now. My own daughter (6yrs), knows more than me! With this in mind, i felt the need to research how I can incorporate technology within my classroom.

I have decided to focus on literacy, as it is a very important main curriculum area.  It is important for teachers to implement literacy skills in a holistic way. With my fears of technology pushed aside, I found a fantastic collaborative story telling tool, Storybird that provides students with opportunities to be creative and inspire to write.

This fantastic resource allows teachers to create individual accounts and students can publish and collaboratively share their stories with classmates, parents and other students from around the world.  Storybird allows for you to share the story on a blog, wiki or website as well allowing students to incorporate their story for a multi-modal presentation. However you do need to pay to enable faster moderation which will enable the embedding feature. The free version allows you to share the link and email only.

Storybird is extremely easy to use and provides a focus on content rather than images. As you can see my daughter wrote a story this afternoon all by herself, with no help. Can’t wait to actually try this in a classroom environment.

Please view the story that my 6yr old daughter produced, call My Weird Dream.

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Technology, changing how I teach

With our ever changing society so are they ways we learn and teach. Technology is a tool that can be used to help students develop 21st Century Skills and helps to connect their learning to the real world within their individual learning styles.  Students have opportunities to engage in online activities and social networking such as email, blogs, wikis, social bookmarking enhance their learning.   We know the use of online digital resources enhance students life long learning, however, I often wondered though, are we over using technology? Let’s think literacy, does technology change the way we read or view texts?

iPads, iPods, Kindles and other technology can all be used to read different texts. I know personally, I need to have a physical book in front of me otherwise I cannot concentrate (or I could just be getting old and like the smell of books).  This semester at uni, I have given myself the challenge to go paperless and step out of my comfort zone and use technology to it’s full advantages.  I want to be able to understand how I can successfully utilise technology within my classroom to enhance all student’s learning and skills. Whilst researching, I found a great article that explains how technology enhances children’s development by means of cognitive skills, technology skills and social skills. 

Over the semester, I will be researching how I can use technology to enhance literacy skills. Stay tuned for some great resources!

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Twitter

We all have to take a step out of our comfort zone, right? Well, this semester I am studying a subject on technology and need to create a PLN. I thought I should step away from my comfort zone of Facebook for social networking to something different and more accessible and usable around the world. So, twitter,  it is.

If you use twitter, your welcome to follow me @Mrs_K_Elliott

Stay in touch to see how my journey unfolds.

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Why am I blogging?

There has been alot of questions asking why I have started blogging.  Today, I want to share with you the reasons.

I am studying an ICT & Pedagogy subject this semester and one of the activities set by our course examiner was to start a blog. So that is the first reason. The second reason, is with all this new technology that I am learning, I want to reflect on my experiences to help with assignments and my memory (which can be pretty bad!) for when i go to teach in classrooms. I also want to sure these amazing tools to help you as well!

These past 2 weeks of this course, i have learnt more about technology and communication tools than ever.  I thought i was already pretty tech savvy! Well, guess what….Turns out I wasn’t!  I didn’t even know what Web 2.0 was.  Do you?  I was amazed at the amount of Web 2.0 tools there actually is.  Some we are using without even know they are Web 2.0 tools!

I began searching and experimenting with different Web 2.0 tools…Let me show you some. I will show you my very first attempt at a prezi. Your probably thinking, what the hell is a prezi, right? Don’t worry, so was I! Check it out and why not give it a go yourself. They are lots of fun! http://prezi.com/pqfr-ozzus7r/edc3100-ict-pedagogy/

Next i did a glogster.  These are an awesome tool to use within the classroom!  Will definitely be using this when i teach!!!! http://www.glogster.com/chrisokato/unfinished-glog-1/g-6lmv7tk4ebtreb24l5r5va0?s=imgglog

Next, I attempted a Voki. Just saying the name cracks me up!  Your all thinking I am weird now aren’t you? Well, listen to this lol. http://www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=5532535&height=267&width=200. I love it!!! Ok, yeh I am weird aren’t I. But seriously, I think this would be a great tool to gain students attentions, plus it’s something different to use within the classroom!

Ok, that will do showing you some of my master pieces.  There is so many more than can be explored! There is sliderocket, blogging, twitter (yuk!), popplet, wiki (which most of you should know what this is) and that’s only a very small list!  Enough of that, I just wanted to show you all what i have learnt so far and just how fantastic our technology is and how we can enhance students learning by using these technology and communications.  I am so excited learning about all these amazing tools I can use in the classroom.  I am really enjoying this course so far and it is only end of Week 2!

Off to experiment more with these very cool tools 🙂 and assignments blahh 😦

p.s ok i maybe getting a little fan of blogging 🙂

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Well I gave in!

Well….I always said I don’t like blogging or tweeting..Guess who gave in…Me! Everybody else is giving it a go, I guess I should too. So here I am.

I spent a few hours today googling how to write a blog.  How silly do I feel, not knowing how to write one.  But i guess i can write about anything here. I feel as though people know enough about my life and I personally feel nosey reading other people’s blogs.  Surely I am not alone in this feeling?

I guess you would like to know things about me? Well, my name is Katrina and I am 25years old (boy do I feel older than 25!).  I have a wonderful hubby and 2 gorgeous children.  I study full-time and have just started working as a independent partylite consultant (couldn’t resist giving myself a plug :P).  My husband owns a personal training company that I am also his secretary.  I have one busy life! But i wouldn’t change it for the world!

I am studying my Bachelor of Education-primary and am in my 3rd year.  I should hopefully be graduating after semester 1, 2014 and can’t wait!!! I had planned to graduate by end of 2013 but things always don’t work out the way you want them too.  I sometimes wonder if I am silly studying and ask myself WHY???? Why, do i put myself through all the stress and long hours to complete my studies. There is only 1 reason…The love of helping children.  My heart melts when i see a child suddenly click and get excited when they have learnt something new.

Because of this love, that is why my life is stressful and exhausting at the moment.  If we find something we love, we must do what ever it takes for us to get there!

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