About these Tutorials
The next year, I tried this with my grade 8-9 students. The following year, I taught Scratch to grade 7 (11- to 13-year-olds). Every time it was a success.
When I moved to Fredericton, I had the joy of being a supply teacher, but I managed to land a 5-week coverage. I looked at the curriculum and saw one month of MS PowerPoint... with grade 9 students who had been using PPT for at least 3 years. I cringed.
But the staff was fantastic, and when I asked if I could change things, they went out of their way to encourage me. But, I realized that just teaching from what I remembered wouldn't be good enough. So, I created a web site (www.witty.ca) and posted 27 Youtube videos, and got my curriculum down.
My primary purpose in creating the web site was so that students could work at their own pace, especially with student attendance being up-and-down (due to sports, family trips, skipping, etc.). Later, I tried to help other staff teach the same content to their students.
This was both a brilliant success and a terrible failure. I realized that I was "making it look easy" and not understanding how a beginning teacher would deal with this subject matter. So, this guide contains notes for both the teacher, student and any young person interested in learning programming.
For teachers, I assume that you've never programmed before. This may mean that I seem to be "talking down" to you. Please forgive me! I am making this assumption because I've seen many teachers thrown into I.T. courses with the expectation that they will "just figure it out". ("You know how to use PowerPoint, don't you?")
For kids (students), I also assume that you've never programmed before. Sure, you know how to text, email, create a (bad) web site, tag photos on Facebook, and do a ton of other things. But programming is something very specific and involves code! If you can deal with a "for loop" and an "if-else" statement, then this might be too easy for you. Of course, it will still be fun, but also easy.
If you like these tutorials and/or if you are using them, in your classroom, your home or wherever, please let me know! You can reach me at:
All of these instructions, and the original companion videos, were made by me, Graham Rich. You are free to use these resources in your classroom, your lab, your home or wherever you find yourself. In other words, this book and accompanying materials are free to use; free to modify; free to mimic.
My hope is that you will enjoy this book and accompanying materials so much that you will (1) pay for the book and (2) tell all your friends and colleagues! If you are interested in getting a site license for this book and accompanying materials, please contact me.