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 Stephen, were allowed to work on their own projects, but some of them worked on the 8 ball.

The kids loved the 8 ball project. In fact, it made them extremely hyper (or was it the cookies?). They thought it was hilarious to ask questions about their friends and to come up with silly answers. Part of the reason the kids were so boisterous was that many of them knew each other. This created noise, but it also fostered collaboration on the Scratch projects. I did see the kids helping each other a lot.

From my point of view, I liked this project because it was fairly simple and the kids were able to finish it in the time we had. I think it gave them a fair introduction to Scratch that they could process in two hours. And since they had fun, they may be back for more!

I'll post an example project and the directions. The project actually came from the book Scratch Programming for Teens by Jerry Lee Ford, but I adapted it a little for my purposes and also for Scratch 1.4 (it uses the ask and answer feature).

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Comment by pessonh@memphislibrary.org on November 4, 2009 at 2:27pm
Awesome. I totally want to try that. ...the origami fortune teller too, although I don't ever remember calling them that.
Comment by Janet Piehl on October 29, 2009 at 11:40am
Yeah, I found a real magic 8 ball at a garage sale and brought it in. It was a good thing I did, because not everyone knew what it was!
Comment by Cynthia on October 28, 2009 at 5:38pm
This is a cool project! I am totally going to try it in our open lab tomorrow night.
Comment by Sabrina Sutliff-Gross on October 28, 2009 at 3:27pm

Comment by Sabrina Sutliff-Gross on October 28, 2009 at 3:23pm
Did you have a real Magic 8-Ball on hand or were the kids familiar with these toys of my generation? Another nice way to incorporate some hands on activity in the spirit of future telling is by having kids create an origami fortune teller - pre-Scratch work. Remember these? AND apparently they're related to mathematics.:)himmel12.gif
Comment by Sabrina Sutliff-Gross on October 28, 2009 at 3:07pm
I love this idea! Janet, I posted your outline for all on the Documents page here!
Comment by Jen on October 28, 2009 at 2:01pm
That sounds like it was fun! can't wait to see the projects -
Comment by Janet Piehl on October 27, 2009 at 4:52pm
Some of the participants' projects are here:
http://scratch.mit.edu/galleries/view/41809

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