Scratch (Javascript)

Scratch was initially designed as a downloadable program from MIT. Developed exclusively by Graduate Students, the aim of Scratch was to provide a simple to use Flash Animation and coding utility. Since the programs launch, MIT has continued to support and enrich the material and resources allocated to using Scratch in the Classroom. My first year as a Tech Director, I was working with a school in Denver that made a considerable investment in third party curriculum for Scratch. You can find those resources on this page (reproduced with permission by the authors).

 

The Program (Sign-Up):

Recently, Scratch transitioned from a downloadable program to a simple online interface (that looks and reacts exactly like the original UI). In order to use the program, you must go to http://scratch.mit.edu/. Once you are on the site, either login (if you have an account already) or follow the short tutorial below to get setup with a new account.

On the homepage, click “Join Now”

Screen_Shot_2014-01-20_at_10_55_38_AM

A little window will pop-up and ask you to fill in some information:

SignUp1

When you sign up, make sure you use your School Email Address, so that your teachers can easily find your programs.

SignUp2

Your setup is complete and you have your Scratch Account! 

SignUp3

 

Getting Started:

Okay! Now that you have your account, you can immediately begin coding (and you can start your battle against the Java Beast), or you can begin by editing existing Scratcher Files. Before you face the Ja Beast, you must take some time to level  your coding skills and complete some basic challenges. With all games, you must put in the work and make hard choices and work together to successfully defeat the boss.

Introduction to Scratch:

In Scratch Class you must progress to Level 1 and show documented evidence (in your Evernote Coding Notebook) that you have completed all requirements. You will demonstrate those requirements by reading, following instructions, and taking notes in the Level 1 Powerpoint. You will also be required to complete the Level 1 Quiz – which you will be given when you demonstrate your proficiency in Scratch (think you are ready? Ask your instructor).

Your First Program:

In order to progress to the final boss (which you must do to pass this class) you must complete one of quests in Level 2. Completion will be demonstrated by following the selected quest and doing all of the “Evernote Portfolio” steps. Select your quest from the table below:

Quest Options
TitleDescription
Greeting Cards Use Scratch to create your own E-Card. This project allows you to complete your first coding assignment while still following written instructions (Recommended for newer programmers).
Intermediate Scratch Want to pick up right where Level 1 Finished up? Start intermediate coding to learn more about Scratch and complete your own program.
Not for the Weak

In the third quest in this series, you are given lines to choose from. If you wish to make to the Java Beast, you must work with other members of your class. Each quest will reward you and your work with a unique title. Select your quest, and your new title from the list below (hint: it pays to look at the Java Beast requirements on Level 4 before you determine your path):

Quest Options
Quest Title GrantedDescription
Game Design Gamer Not for the feint of heart – this quest will test  your ability to engage your users and create a simple yet addictive video game.
Computer Animation Animator More interested in manipulating the Scratch Environment? This quest is for those that seek to develop their skills in using and manipulating Sprites.
Computer Modeling Modeler Science Kid? That is great! Lets put some of that science knowledge to use and program a scientific simulation.
Challenge… Accepted?

In order to accept the challenge of the Ja Beast, you must queue for the Battle. Inform your instructor that you want to participate. If you queue in a group, you will be more likely to immediately enter the Battle. In order for the Battle to begin and successfully create a group, you need the following group members: Two Animators, One Gamer, and One Modeler. Battles must also have a Leader, when your team of four is ready, designate one leader from your company. In order to succeed, you must have skills in Animation, Coding, Debugging, Audio, Scientific Modeling, and Game Design. Inform your instructor when your team is ready!

(Ja Beast may or may not be based upon one of the design samples found here. Perhaps your team should try them before you get into the queue.)

 

Resources:

Last but not least, here are some wonderful resources for you to get some inspiration from the Nets – before  you face Ja Beast. All of these link to Youtube, so make sure you stay focused… (Down with the Beasties)…

An Overview of Scratch

The Purpose of Scratch by MIT

Scratch: An Easier Way to Learn Programming

The Basic Scratch User Interface

Creating a Scorekeeper for Games

Drawing Your First Sprite

Create Interactions Using Variables

Creating a Simple Pong Game (Part 1)

Creating a Simple Pong Game (Part 2)

Special Effects for Pictures

Creating Your First Animation

Learn How to Make a Game

The Rainbow Fish

How to Make a Sprite that Shoots

Learning to Use Variables in Scratch

 

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