Janet Piehl's Blog (17)

Scratch Day @ WPL

Hey everyone,

We had a Scratch Day celebration this Saturday.Some good stuff came out of it and I want to tell you about it! I had help from our teen/tween volunteers and also Jeff Sweeton from the computer clubhouse (Brian's worked with him before) and Ricarose Roque, a computer program developer at Northwestern who's going to work on the Scratch team at MIT next year.

We had about 40-50 people there, kids and adults. A few librarians from local libraries stopped by, looking for… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on May 25, 2010 at 11:31am — 1 Comment

Scratch Contest, part deux

Voting is now open in WPL's Scratch contest. You guys can vote, too! See what the kids did here:

So...we had three real entries and one "exhibition" entry that was made by a kid and his dad (but the dad did all the programming). I would've liked more, but hey, you have to start somewhere.

Added by Janet Piehl on February 9, 2010 at 2:06pm — 2 Comments

Let It Snow! Scratch Contest

As promised, here's the story about WPL's Scratch contest. (This actually has nothing to do with the grant, but I thought you'd be interested nonetheless!) Kids are invited to make a project featuring snow--snowflakes, a snowball game, a ski race, falling snow, etc. They give their projects to me and, in February, I'll post them on the Scratch website. The project with the most Love Its wins. The winner gets a gift card for Borders and their project will be posted on our website.

The… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on January 6, 2010 at 11:25am — 3 Comments

Last Scratch!

On Saturday I had my last Scratch program for this grant! After this Brian has one more program and then WPL will be done.

So...on Saturday I ran an open studio. Unfortunately all of our teen volunteers were busy, so I had to run it by myself. I'm starting to think we need a bigger pool of volunteers, but that's another story. Anyhow, it was a full program with a waiting list. We ended up with 11 kids, about half new people and half repeat attendees. We made winter… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on December 8, 2009 at 3:21pm — 1 Comment

Turkey Hunt and Rambling

This past week we had a two-part workshop. Most of the kids in Wilmette were off school for the whole week before Thanksgiving, so we had a full class with a waiting list. Unfortunately, the high school students were in school, so I didn't have a teen volunteer to help out.

Our project was making a Turkey Hunt game (see my last post for the project). I think the project is cool, and in general the kids liked it. But I have to say it was a little long and challenging for this group,… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on November 28, 2009 at 12:27pm — 2 Comments

Turkey Hunt

Just in time for Thanksgiving...a turkey hunt game! It's from a two-part program that's still in progress, but I just sent the game and the directions to Sabrina to post, in case anyone needs a pre-Thanksgiving project. It's posted here.

The game is a simplified version of Duck Hunt. And if you're a vegetarian, you can think of it as Tofurkey Hunt.

Added by Janet Piehl on November 23, 2009 at 8:43pm — 1 Comment

But the cookies were so small...

We had an open studio here at Wilmette last night. Even though I only fed them a small amount of small cookies, the kids were totally hopped up on goofballs.

I worked with our trusty teen volunteer, Stephen. Nine kids showed up--almost a full house. We split up the group--new users on one side of the tables, experienced users on the other side. I gave the new users a basic intro to Scratch, then walked them through making a digital Magic 8 Ball. The experienced Scratchers, guided by… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on October 27, 2009 at 4:51pm — 8 Comments

The Digital Cafe is Open!

Hey everyone, our digital literary magazine is now online!

Lisa, our children's web librarian, and I pulled this together.

As you can see, the theme was food.

Bon appetit!

Added by Janet Piehl on August 31, 2009 at 8:08pm — 3 Comments

Open Studio 8/6

We had our last Scratch program of the summer this last Thursday. It was an open studio. We had 8 kids signed up--I would have liked a few more, but really it was a fine-sized group. I ran the program with our volunteer Stephen. We followed a model that worked in the past--the new users sat together, and the experienced users sat together. Stephen worked with the experienced users on whatever they wanted to do, and I walked the new users through the basics of Scratch. After that, I got them… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on August 11, 2009 at 5:09pm — 2 Comments

Rest of the Digital Literary Magazine

WPL's Digital Literary Magazine is now over. We had our last two sessions and the kids finished their final projects. The theme was food, and the magazine will be called Digital Cafe. The final projects were based on a pretty loose assignment I gave them. They had to include text (speech bubbles or some kind of narration), sound, and animation and also be a story (we defined "story" together). They also had to include at least one element of food.

So...most of the kids finished their… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on August 11, 2009 at 4:54pm — 1 Comment

Digital Literary Magazine Midsession Report from WPL

We've now done four of six sessions of the Digital Literary Magazine. So far so good. The kids are now working on their final projects. I've got my fingers crossed that they'll get them all done, and that the projects will actually resemble stories.

I started out with a formal workshop-type class, where Stephen the volunteer and I taught them Scratch basics. We did a project together, a joke (a variation on Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road). The rest of the DLM is open studio-like.… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on July 20, 2009 at 8:14pm — 1 Comment

Formal Workshop @ WPL

Last week was a really busy one for me. I had my first two-part formal workshop, plus the first Scratch lesson of the Digital Literary Magazine (more on that later). I collaborated on the formal workshop with our volunteer, Stephen. Stephen created a Space Shooter game to teach the kids. I re-created the game and I also wrote up some directions for it. This part was pretty time-consuming. I really didn't have enough off-desk hours to do this, so I ended up doing some of it at home because the… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on July 7, 2009 at 3:32pm — No Comments

Yet Another Open Studio @ WPL

Saturday afternoon I ran my third open studio. I was kind of nervous about this open studio, as the last one only drew one kid, and as of Thursday, we only had three kids signed up. Plus it was scheduled for a Saturday afternoon in May, right before school gets out, a busy time around here. Not promising. Fortunately, we had several sign-ups on Saturday morning, plus a few random drop-ins. We had 7 kids, which was just great. Perhaps some of the Scratch Day publicity carried over.

I… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on June 2, 2009 at 11:53am — No Comments

Scratch Day

We celebrated Scratch Day here this Saturday. In fact, we were the only library (or school or community center or anything else) in Illinois to do so. We had a small crowd in our Youth Program Room. There were 13 kids, which turned out to be a good size because everyone had a computer. First the kids showed off their completed projects on the projector/screen. We saw everything from someone's first simple animation to this one kid's program that looked to be some kind of operating system. After… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on May 18, 2009 at 8:29pm — 1 Comment

another WPL open studio

This one was another learning experience. The open studio was scheduled for Saturday morning, 10-12. We had three kids signed up...and only one showed up! It was me, our teen volunteer Molly, and this one kid. He had been to a couple Scratch workshops before, so he was pretty proficient. However, he was unfamiliar with the Scratch website, so Molly and I showed him how to get started. Then he was off and running. Since he couldn't collaborate with his actual peers, he collaborated with Molly… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on April 4, 2009 at 3:36pm — 2 Comments

First Open Studio @ WPL

Last Monday night I ran my first Scratch program, the first "Open Studio" we've had here at WPL. The plan was to have experienced and new users come and work on whatever Scratch projects they wanted. We had seven actual youth participants, ages 10-14, plus three teen volunteers. I made Scratch cards available, and I used Hillary's idea for challenges (pick an idea from a fishbowl). We divided up the new users between the teen volunteers. I floated between everyone.

It was kind of a… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on March 16, 2009 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Itching to start Scratching

Last week we had our first two Scratch meetings. Brian led them, and our teen volunteer Stephen helped. I was there, too, half observing and half helping out. It was really interesting to see the way the kids reacted to learning the program, especially the first night. They were all enthusiastic (with the possible exception of the poor kid whose mom insisted on staying). Some of them totally wanted to be building crazy World of Warcraft games and went off on their own. Others pretty much… Continue

Added by Janet Piehl on February 11, 2009 at 5:05pm — No Comments

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