Every year, Ms. Loya, the Jones EL library media specialist, offers a coding club to the students of Jones Elementary, but instead of meeting in the library this year, students are meeting online. Students in grades 3-6 were invited to participate through an optional Canvas Course.
The students are learning how to create games using nothing but blocks of code on a program called Scratch. Terms that students have already learned are loops, variables, bugs, events and algorithms.
Every morning, Ms. Loya posts new videos walking students through different levels of projects. The first project the students worked on was a basic catch game. First, students had to code a “sprite” to fall from the top of the screen in random areas. Then, students had to code a second “sprite” to respond to arrow keys in order to move and catch the falling object. In this first project, students also learned how to incorporate backgrounds, sounds and variables such as scores.
The students are currently working on one of two options: following a new set of instructions for a chase and catch game with Ms. Loya, or creating their own game and posting questions on the discussion board when they need help.
The coding club meets on Zoom once a week after school. During the meeting, students ask questions, present what they have created and get tips and tricks from Ms. Loya.