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, mostly first-time Scratchers. They had a ton of questions. I was really scrambling to get them all answered. This experience really made me appreciate our teen helpers! At the same time, I was trying to encourage the kids to help each other. It kind of worked--some of the (older) kids were really helpful, but others weren't too good with the trial and error stuff and didn't really try to work stuff out on their own. Grr! Then, on the second day, the projector setup didn't work. Thankfully, Brian was around to save the day. He let me borrow his laptop, which worked with the projector, and we got on with the show.
The difficulty of the project combined with the lack of a helper and technical problems made this seem like a turkey of a program. On the upside, I think at least two of the participants really took to Scratch. In between sessions, they went home and made their own projects. Despite the problems, we got some kids hooked on Scratch.
Now for my rambling. I've been hearing more about Scratch being taught in schools, not just in Wilmette. Have you heard similar things in your area? Do you know how they're using Scratch? I just saw one of the kids (Sam) from my digital literary magazine. His mom works at a school over in Skokie (suburb just west of Wilmette) and she said that Sam taught the media/technology teacher there Scratch. I love it!