CS402 Portfolio - Spring 2018 - Volunteers Lex Olson Jack Ordman Pratham Desai - Van Hise Elementary School

CS402 Portfolio - Spring 2018
      Van Hise Elementary School

     Coordinator: Heather Gunderson

        Thursday 3:30pm-4:30pm


             Lex Olson

           Jack Ordman

          Pratham Desai

●   Most Van Hise kids are very enthusiastic and very eager to learn. Based on our
    discussions with other clubs, we feel that they are definitely more curious about
    scratch than other clubs.
●   We usually have a very high ratio of returning students to new students. It is
    important that the returning students have challenging work to do during the club.
    So we would recommend spending sufficient time preparing material for returning
●   They like unplugged activities.
●   The students are really good listeners.
Club History
Van Hise Elementary Catapult Club has a great group of amazing and
talented kids. They are great listeners and all seem to really enjoy learning
Scratch. The handouts and activities align well with the skill sets of both the
returning and new students and the addition of challenge activities kept the
returning Scratchers thinking about new facets of coding in Scratch.
Week-1: Introduction (8th Feb)
Absent: Emily and Axel

Lesson Script
   - Played an ice breaker
   - Introduced Scratch
   - Asked what the students thought computer science meant
   - Played the build a PB&J game by telling them to give us actions
   - Let the children explore Scratch
   - Gave them a “Hello World” activity

Link to Scratch Worksheet and possibly the Scratch Project that you used

Description of Unplugged Activity with possible link
   - Played the build a PB&J game by asking students for step by step actions

Each person’s reflection:

Lex:​ Overall, this week’s club at Van Hise Elementary went well. I was surprised with the
amount of information about Scratch some of the returning students knew, particularly a student
named Libby, who had already made several projects in her free time. I really enjoyed getting to
know the kids and help those who were less skilled in Scratch understand. Our group as a
whole were very good listeners and cooperated and followed directions well. There was barely a
need for a lesson plan as many of the students enjoyed experimenting with Scratch on their own
and using their own creativity to produce new projects.

Pratham: ​This was the first club meeting. We arrived at the school around 3:15pm. The school
ends at 3:27pm, and kids eat their snacks after that, so the site-coordinator recommended that it
would be better to start the club at around 3:35pm. So, we waited around that time. [ And plan to
do the same for the semester. ] ​What went well? ​The kids seemed to be attentive and they
obeyed most things we asked them to do. The site coordinator is very helpful, and she steps in
when it starts getting chaotic. We talked about Computer Science, showed them how basic
scratch works and some interesting projects on Scratch. They are curious and eager to learn.
What didn’t go well? ​Nothing in particular. The kids seemed to be having fun, learning to do
basic stuff on Scratch and it seems that we can move forward with the next lessons.
Specific story: ​Graham: He is a returning student. I talked to him about what all has he learnt so
far, and he showed me his cool projects. There are 17 students in total, and 7-8 of them are
returning. So I plan to meet each of the returning students individually next time, and discuss
about what all they know in Scratch. Then it will be easier to develop custom content for them.
Week-2 Coordinate System (15th Feb)

   - The club coordinator informed us that from now on, there will be 18 kids. 16 of them
      were present.
   - Absent: Josh and Ethan

Lesson Script
   - Introducing XY coordinate system to students, with unplugged activity 1.
   - Working with XY grid in Scratch, using unplugged activity 2.
   - Show kids a demo of drawing an animal on scratch grid.
   - Ask kids to draw their favorite animal on scratch.

Link to Scratch Worksheet and possibly the Scratch Project that you used
   - Link to the project for unplugged activity 2: ​https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/202664479/
   - Handout given to the kids:
   - Drawing a dog: ​https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/204168571/
   - xy grid:

Description of Unplugged Activity with possible link

   ●    Activity 1:
   -    One of us was acting like a robot. The mission was to draw a square on the XY-grid
        projected on screen using the prometheus pen. The kids were giving “commands” to the

   ●    Activity 2:
   -    Kids were given printed XY-grid of scratch. We pulled up this project on scratch:
        https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/202664479/​ . The program drew certain objects on the
        scratch screen. The kids did the same on their paper using markers.

Each person’s reflection


Lex: ​Today we met two new members of our club Emily and Axel who were not present on the
first day. The students seemed to be more comfortable with us and felt more inclined to ask
questions if they were confused. Some were still a little timid but when asked if they needed
help they were confident enough to say yes, such as Lily and Colin. Our group started club with
a coordinates lesson which may have lasted a little too long for their attention span but the
children all did a great job of listening and being respectful. Based on my experience today I feel
that I will need to further familiarize myself with Scratch in order to be more prepared to answer
questions because many of the students are returning and have built fairly advanced programs.

Pratham:​ ​What went well? ​I believe that the explanation of XY coordinate system went well. We
opened scratch on the projector, and made a sprite draw some things using a script. We also
gave printed XY coordinate sheets to every kid, and asked them to draw the same thing on it
using markers. So we are positive that the kids got a good idea of what they are doing.
What did not go well? Why not? ​When we are explaining concepts to students, we usually try to
make it interactive. We ask them questions. Since this class has 7 returning students out of 17,
it so happens that the returning kids keep answering questions. So I am a bit concerned about
the new kids, who are doing scratch for the first time. ​What will you do next time based on your
experiences today? ​We need to make sure that new kids are picking up the concepts. For that, I
plan to keep in mind who the new kids are, and encourage them to answer the questions.
Share a story about one or more students.​ Faith: she is quiet, doesn’t participate much in the
class. But she is very creative! :)
Week-3 Loops (22 Feb)
   - Two children were absent, 16 students were present

Lesson Script:
   - Goal: teach loops and random numbers
   - Explain loop blocks - repeat until, forever, repeat
   - Loops first - unplugged activity get loopy
   - Stamp loops on Scratch
   - Random numbers
         - Show on scratch
   - Have them practice on computers
         - Returning: star stamping activity
         - Non-returning: bat stamping activity

Link to Scratch Worksheet and possibly the Scratch Project that you used
Project-1: ​https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/205627763/
Challenge: ​https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/205651532/

Description of Unplugged Activity
   - Played Get Loopy​ ​https://code.org/curriculum/course2/5/Teacher.pdf
   - Die: ​http://a.teall.info/dice/

Each person’s reflection:
Pratham: ​What went well? ​I believe that the explanation of loops + random numbers went well.
We had fun unplugged activities for both these concepts. I felt that unplugged activities are
absolutely necessary for conveying concepts effectively. The kids are really attentive and
enthusiastic. ​What did not go well? Why not? ​I believe that it may be better to spend some
more time doing “demo” of things on scratch. Students sometimes get confused about where to
find the blocks, what are the parameters, what they do etc. One shouldn’t expect that they
remember everything on the first go. ​What will you do next time based on your experiences
today? ​The returning students really liked the challenge. We asked new students to do all the
questions on the worksheet and returning students to only do the challenge. This gave them a
good revision of the concept, and gave them extra time to work on their own projects. Will spend
more time on creating good challenges from next time. ​Share a story about one or more
students. ​Josh was here for the first time. He did not come to the last class, so he didn’t have
an idea about the coordinate system. So he was having some difficulty with “the stamping
randomly on the screen” question. I explained the coordinate system to him and pointed him to
the previous week’s worksheet to get him up to speed.
Lex: ​My site is Van Hise Elementary and we meet on Thursday afternoon. This week we
were teaching a lesson on loops and random numbers and began by introducing loop
blocks and then playing the get loopy game. We then used a random dice roller to
explain random numbers. Overall, this week went better than last week, unfortunately
Jack was sick but Pratham and I ran the lesson well together. One of our students,
Josh, was being quite negative about the assignments and the activities and has a bit of
a sarcastic personality but thankfully the other children did not follow in his suit. The
problem was resolved fairly quickly when Josh realized the quality of the projects he
could make when he worked through the handout. The kids had a lot of fun with the
unplugged activity, get loopy, and I think next time we will try to implement something
active like that next time.
Week-4 Broadcast and Receive (1 March)
   - Two children were absent, 16 students were present

Lesson Script
   - Unplugged activity: students were given a piece of paper: “When I receive … I do…”.
   - Explained broadcast and receive in Scratch
   - Show them the story project in scratch
   - Short explanation about the challenge
   - screen time

Link to Scratch Worksheet and possibly the Scratch Project that you used
   - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jTzfR-bwpCNqb9bNJr_Ur7PgiRRQIjPMY8nr
   - Basic: ​https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/206956210/
   - Challenge: ​https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/206940851/

Description of Unplugged Activity with possible link
   - We provided all new students with pieces of paper, and had some things mentioned on
      them. For example, “When I hear X, I do y.” and then it would trigger a chain of events.

Each person’s reflection
Pratham: ​What went well? ​the explanation of broadcast and receive went well. We started with
a fun unplugged activity, for which we chose all “new” (non-returning) students as volunteers.
They picked it up well. The challenge was a bit difficult this time. Returning students indeed
learnt something. ​What did not go well? Why not? ​Some returning students found the challenge
difficult. Instead of working on it to learn a new concept, they just wanted to work on their “cool”
projects. ​What will you do next time based on your experiences today? ​I plan to talk briefly
about why CS is also about understanding and applying complex concepts, and not just making
“cool” games ​Share a story about one or more students. ​Peter is a returning student, but he is
always keen to work on the problems that we provide. He tries things himself and asks for help
when required. He is one of those students who wants to learn and knows how to learn.

Lex: ​My site is Van Hise Elementary and we meet on Thursday afternoons. This week
our unplugged activity went pretty well. Jack handed out note cards with directions on
them that were signaled by directions on other students note cards in order to
demonstrate the broadcast command. The students had fun following the instructions
on the note cards and were excited to participate in the activity. Our challenge activity
did not go very well for several students because many were very stressed out and
confused. Luca began to cry because he felt he was the only one that didn't understand
the topic but the situation was resolved when I pretended to not understand the topic as
well and had Jack explain it to both of us. Based on our experiences I would probably
ensure that the challenge activity is well explain in the handout and in our presentation
prior to sending them to computers.
                                  Week-5 Variables (8 March)
   - Two absent students.

Lesson Script
   - Started with the unplugged activity
   - Explained variables in scratch
   - Clicking game introduced
   - Sent kids to computers

Link to Scratch Worksheet and possibly the Scratch Project that you used
   - Worksheet:
   - Basic: ​https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/208738797/#player
   - Challenge: ​https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/208507099/#editor

Description of Unplugged Activity with possible link
   - Our unplugged activity included giving four students different job titles, firefighter, movie
      star, sports star, and president to represent a variable. The kids were then given
      different commands to add or subtract individuals from each job but the student holding
      the sign stayed the same throughout. The student with the job sign was the variable and
      the students switching in and out of jobs were the values being changed.

Each person’s reflection
Pratham: ​What went well? ​This week we taught “variables” to the kids. We started with an
unplugged activity that went well. The student got an idea of how to add/change variables. We
then explained the same thing on Scratch. And the asked them to make a click-game with
scores. ​What did not go well? Why not? ​I felt that the session was well-balanced for new and
returning students. I noticed that students don’t use the worksheet that much. Should do
something about it. ​What will you do next time based on your experiences today? ​May be put
some blanks to fill on the worksheet. ​Share a story about one or more students. ​Peter: as
always, he understood the challenge, tried to understand the working of all the necessary blocks
he needed and proceeded methodically to program a solution. I really like his problem-solving
Lex: ​My site is Van Hise Elementary and we meet Thursday afternoon. This week our
unplugged activity went particularly well. We used signs to label four children as
different dream jobs like firefighter, movie star, sports star, and president. The kids had
fun switching from one job, or variable, to another and were able to conceptualize the
game and the idea of adding values to variables. The kids were excessively hyper today
which was fine until we had to work on Scratch where several students refused to do
the activities on our handouts. This week Olivia, who is very interested in adding sounds
to her project, taught Lily how to record her voice and use it in her stories. Based on my
experience today I think we will try some more step-by-step handouts for next time so it
is easier for the non-returning students to comprehend and understand.
Week-6 IF blocks (15 March)
   - 3 kids absent

Lesson Script
     - Dancing Game to introduce basic if statements
     - Explain if statements on Scratch
     - Basic number guessing game to intro project motivation
     - Step by Step implementation in worksheet
(1) Pick a ​random​ number and store in a variable (meaningful name)
(2) Ask for the guess, get ​answer​, Store in different variable (with a meaningful name)
(3) Handle these 3 cases:
        - if too ​high​ / If too ​low​ / If ​correct
(4) ​repeat​ until the number is correct (may get a bug with “answer”)
(5) count the number of guesses and show on the screen
(6) stop the game when the user gets it correct
(7) say the number of guesses it took using “​join​”
(8) end the game if too many guesses…..say “you lose, you had more than ___ guesses”

Link to Scratch Worksheet and possibly the Scratch Project that you used
    - Worksheet:
    - Basic: ​https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/25337297/#player
    - Challenge: reverse-number guessing
Description of Unplugged Activity with possible link
We have two. One is a quick game where each student gets a card with a if statement and
instructions. One of us will dance and if it contains the statement on their card, they will do

The basic number guessing game will have the students try to guess a number and we'll tell
them too high or too low for each guess. This will serve as motivation behind their activities and
we can also have them consider what the best guess is and why.

Each person’s reflection
Pratham: ​What went well? ​This week we taught “if-else” blocks to kids. We were able to teach
the concept well. We had an unplugged activity to introduce the concept, and then we showed
them how to use these blocks in Scratch. ​What did not go well? Why not? ​Some returning
students are very enthusiastic. Sometimes, they are extremely excited during “teaching time”.
When I was speaking, one of the kids asked me if he could show something to the class on
Scratch. And I couldn’t deny him given his enthusiasm levels. And it kind of disrupted my flow.
What will you do next time based on your experiences today? ​Figure out a way to continue my
talk even when this (mentioned above) happens, without discouraging the student.
Share a story about one or more students. ​we had a simple version of binary search as our
challenge​ this time, and some returning students were attempting it. Axel was one of them. He
was thinking about the problem, discussing with me and Jack, proceeding well. But then he felt
that he is not able to figure this out, and was too frustrated, almost started crying.
Lex:​ Not in club. Had a midterm.
Week 7 (22 March)
   - 2 students absent
Lesson Script:
   - Catch up day
         - Students just had the day to work on old projects and ask questions

Pratham: ​Didn't go to the club because had a midterm.
Lex: ​My site is Van Hise elementary on Thursday afternoons. Today we just let the kids work on
old projects to make sure that the non-returning students were moving at similar pace as the
returning ones. Today’s club overall went really well and the kids enjoyed just having time to
work on old projects or practice new things on Scratch. Today Colin was really curious as to
how to make stamps and had a lot of questions for us. I think next time we will have some
check-ins with the students sooner rather than this late in the semester because a few were
very confused on previous projects but were too nervous to speak up when we taught the
concepts the first time.
Week 8 (5 April)
   - 2 students were absent
Lesson Script:
   - Introduce Artificial Intelligence
   - Unplugged Activity: made Akinator.com guess Spongebob squarepants
   - Unplugged Activity: play rock-paper scissors
   - Showed them “cheat version of Rock-paper scissors”
   - Computer time: they made rock paper scissors on scratch
   - show trivia game

Link to Scratch Worksheet and possibly the Scratch Project that you used
   - Rock paper scissors: ​https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/214174652/
   - www.akinator.com
   - handout:

Pratham:​ ​What went well?​ We discussed artificial intelligence this time. We explained briefly
some important points about AI, and discussed games like Akinator and rock-paper-scissors. I
feel that it motivated students to learn more about AI. ​What did not go well? Why not? ​It felt like
a well-balance lecture, a good mix of theory and practical. I was really happy with it. In the last
10 minutes though, the Scratch website was having problems, which was unfortunate.
What will you do next time based on your experiences today? ​Think of a fun activity for times
like these when scratch stops working. ​Share a story about one or more students. ​ Josh: He
usually doesn’t want to work, and says mean things if someone forces him too. I spent some
more time with him today and encouraged him to make a “trivia game” on scratch step-by-step. I
feel that he accomplished more than he usually does.
Lex:​ My site is Van Hise elementary on Thursday afternoons. Today we went over artificial
intelligence. The students like playing the game Akinator and we also showed them a rock,
paper, scissors game. The lecture was overall well structured today and we kept the kids
attention really well. Unfortunately, Scratch was glitching and having trouble saving the projects,
which the kids were really upset about after working all afternoon. I think next time we should
maybe have a back up plan incase Scratch does crash again or maybe even a way to save the
projects. Today Emily had a lot of questions how to make her trivia game and how to add new
sprites to say different questions. The kids had a good time just catching up on projects and
experimenting with Scratch.
Week 9 (19 April)
    - 1 student was absent
Lesson Script:
    - Introduced final projects
    - Showed an example final project
    - Handed out papers for students to explain to us what their final projects were
    - handout:
    - project:
Pratham: ​What went well? ​This week we started the kids off with the project. We showed them
a basic example project and talked to them briefly about what they can make. I mainly dealt with
kept the two students who are not active enough in the club, and made sure that they made
enough progress with their project. ​What did not go well? Why not? ​We also had them write
and draw their project ideas on a sheet. Not everyone did that well. ​What will you do next time
based on your experiences today? ​We would ask students to write something meaningful about
their project on the same sheet, if they haven’t done it already. ​Share a story about one or more
students. ​Faith: She has been giving up on the worksheets very quickly, so I spent significant
time with her, and helped her start off with the project. At the end, she had a sprite moving and
jumping around, which was good to see.
Lex: ​My site is Van Hise Elementary we meet on Thursday afternoons. Today we began the
final projects. Our demonstration of Pratham's project went well and the students were very
excited about it. It helped the students see what they could make on Scratch and they were
eager to begin on their own. There were a few students who were not incredibly motivated to
begin a final project but once we mentioned there might be a competition at the end and
winners would receive candy the kids were much more motivated. One of our students, Josh,
previously showed very little interest in Scratch but today he seemed incredibly interested and
had a lot of questions on how to get his final project started. Next time I think we will begin with
another example project to help students think of ways to add to their own or figure out different
projects they may not have considered but might want to attempt.
Week 10 (26 April)
    - 2 students absent
Lesson Script:
    - Let students work on their projects
    - Show a ping-pong game made by Lex
Pratham: ​Kids continued to work on the projects. I mainly helped Josh, Colin and Faith, who
usually lag behind in classes. It seems that they are very excited about finishing their project.
Lex: ​My site is Van Hise Elementary on Thursday afternoons. Today we continued to work on
final projects and showed the students an example of a pong project I created. The students
responded really well to the example program and were eager to get to their computers and
attempt it themselves. Colin was trying to attempt to make a Mario-like program, which was
advanced for him but he was determined to figure it out before final project presentations. There
were no problems in club today and the students really enjoyed having the freedom to create
what they wanted. If we could have done something differently we might have shown my project
example a week sooner.
Week 11 (3 May)
   - Three students absent
Lesson Script:
   - Final project presentations
   - Gave kids 15-20 minutes for last minute touches to the projects
   - Gallery style: half the class shared their project first, the other half walked around and
      look at others projects and then we switched. Parents were also invited.
   - we distributed certificates and oreo-cookies. :D

Pratham: ​It was a very pleasant ending to the club. Everyone showed off their projects. Great
work with the Certificates by Lex! :) Check it out below.
Lex: ​Awesome club end the parents all came and the kids were super excited to show their
Midterm evaluation: Strengths and Area of Improvement

Our strengths:
   - In my opinion, we have been able to do well with the explanation of content.
   - The unplugged activities seem to be interesting for students.
   - The challenges seem to be at the correct difficulty level for returning students
Areas to improve:
   - some kids seem disinterested, and don’t work on the given scratch assignment. We can
       do something about that.

Our strengths:
   - Our unplugged time seems to be going really well. The kids are really great listeners and
       enjoy learning about the ways we can apply computer science aside from just coding on
   - I feel that the kids are actually learning the weekly lessons and understanding concepts
       like variables, loops, and if statements.
   - Our students enjoy having the directions given in the handout and I feel that requiring
       the children to finish the handout activity first keeps the new students in pace with the
       returning ones.
Areas to improve:
   - Some children get overwhelmed by our challenge activities so we could improve by
       better explaining those before sending the students to computers.
   - Also, some students are less interested in learning Scratch and more interested in
       playing games on Scratch so we need to work on a way to get them to create their own
       Scratch projects instead of just playing games.

Formative Assessment:
   - Our team conducted brief student interviews to understand aspects of the club that the
      students were understanding and what they enjoyed about the club. It allowed us to
      recognize our strengths and what we should continue doing with our club, along with our
      areas in need of improvement. Our students retention of the topics was generally good
      from not only returning students but also new kids. I feel that this truly helped us better
      understand our club.

Student Evaluations:
Olivia:​ Olivia is a returning student and is very interested in making story games. She loves to
add sounds to her programs and has even learned how to make sounds happen when different
keys are hit. She is energetic and loves to share her programs with anyone who is willing to take
the time to watch them.
Lily:​ Lily is a new student but is picking up on Scratch quickly. She likes to make stories and use
the sprites to draw pictures. Lily also likes to record and add her own sounds into her art stories
to give them more life.
Josh:​ Josh is a new student and is not very motivated to learn Scratch. He has basic knowledge
of simple commands but lacks the discipline and interest to go into greater depth with his
programs. He barely completes the bare minimum of projects and is more interested in
pre-made Scratch games rather than his own code.
Mary N.:​ Mary N. is a new student and seems to be picking up on Scratch very quickly. She has
even gone out of her way to help her friends figure out their projects. Mary is enthusiastic about
learning and likes to make games and stories to share with others.
Sam:​ Sam is a returning student that has extensive knowledge of Scratch. He has been working
on games that use multiple advanced commands and is even teaching others how to do the
same. Even though Sam is returning he is not afraid to ask for help if a command in Scratch is
not working as he intended it to.
Ethan:​ Ethan is a new student and does not seem incredibly motivated to learn the given
Scratch material. He knows simple commands and has completed a few of the assigned
programs but his time has been primarily spent playing other games on Scratch rather than
attempting to figure out how to make some of his own programs.

Axel: ​Axel is always very keen and ser completing the challenges. So much that he gets
frustrated if he can’t get it. Usually he finishes them on time, but he had hard time with the
binary search problem (reverse number guessing game), and got very emotional. I will make
sure in the coming lessons that he doesn’t get discouraged by this small hiccup and continues
to be interested in programming.
Peter:​ Peter has done Scratch before and it shows in the way he addresses problems. He is
good at programming, especially debugging. I look forward to seeing his final project.
Graham: ​an enthusiastic kid. He actively takes part in floor activities. While one of us is
explaining stuff to kids, he asks if he could show a small example of that concept on Scratch to
the class. He is usually very eager to work on his own thing. But since last 3-4 classes, he
started taking the challenge seriously.
Luca: ​Actively participates in class, and takes the problem sheet seriously. Tries to do
everything in a creative way. He likes to show off his projects, and also likes helping others with
their assignments.
Kelly: ​He is enthusiastic about learning scratch, but but seems to lack attention at times. He
usually starts working on the challenge seriously, but then gets distracted and starts playing
games or doing silly stuff on Scratch.
Mary S.: ​She doesn’t speak much in the class, but seems to be always attentive, with very good
grasping. She usually finishes all the assignments with no or little help from one of us. I believe
that she could easily pick up on the challenges too, so plan to encourage her in that direction in
the upcoming sessions.

Certificate of Completion:
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