Use ‘Headless’ Raspberry Pi to Enhance a Display

Year 4 have a great ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ display. It takes up half of their practical area and welcomes visitors in with a variety of 3D objects and things to do. All it lacks is sound, which gave me an idea… What if I could make a machine that would play a ‘random’ sound effect or quotation from …

Frere Jacques Scratch Challenge!

Just a quick idea… I was working with Year 4 this afternoon making music with Scratch, based on an another idea from Phil Bagge here. One child made what sounded like the first four notes of ‘Frere Jacques’. At that point, lots of the children asked if they could make the rest, so we did! It gave a good excuse …

Using Lists to Store Quiz Questions

Here’s another possible extension to Phil Bagge’s excellent ‘Maths Quiz‘ set of lessons (see this post for previous thoughts)… The way I’ve taught children to make a quiz is to make a script for one question then duplicate it, replacing┬áthe question and answer in each block repeatedly with the new ones until their quiz is finished. Although this is a …

Branching Databases with Year 2

Year 2 are currently studying arctic wildlife so this provided a meaningful reason to explore how a branching database works. I’ve used a few branching databases over the years, notably ‘ReTreeval’ and ‘Textease Branch’ – part of the Textease suite. Both programs are a little dated but still functional and I still like the way ‘drag and drop’ way Textease …

Maths Quiz with Repeated Questions and Hints

I’ve been working with year 4 making quizzes in Scratch – an idea from Phil Bagge’s excellent Junior Computer Science planning. Once the basic ‘if / else’ loop is in place, there are various ways the children can adapt their program to make it more interesting. Some children added sound for right and wrong answers, some used broadcasts to change …

Book Review Blogging with Y6

I’m currently working with year 6 children for a morning each week to help to improve their writing through their use of new technology. Each class has its own blog and each child has their own login, which they can use to post writing and to comment on others’ work. I’ll write in more detail about that in a future …

Painting with Sketchbook Express

I was introduced to Autodesk Sketchbook Express the other day by David Hendry from Lex Learn. David has an interest in all things to do with computing and education but is also a local artist specialising in iPad painting. David uses the Dorset landscape as his inspiration and his excellent work can be viewed at www.dorseteyepad.com. I’ve played with a …

Simple ‘Guess the number’ Scratch game

I’m still working with Year 5, investigating how to use Scratch for simple maths problem solving and games. Here’s a simple game that’s good for making practical use of boolean operators, ‘random’ number generator, ‘repeat until’ loops and variables… It works like this…

Simple maths in Scratch

I’m working with Year 5 at the moment, thinking about how to get Scratch to do maths. The progression has been something like this… 1) Get sprite to say the answer to 3*2 etc 2) Get sprite to ask for something to multiply by 2. Eg ‘say [answer]*2’ 3) Set first answer to a variable called ‘firstnumber’ and second answer …

Plotting / translating coordinates in Scratch

I’m currently working with year 6 children for one morning a week to enhance their English and maths learning through ICT. In maths this week we’re revising coordinates and how shapes can be translated. We came up with some ideas about how we could write a program to plot co-ordinates to make a polygon then translate it to a new …