As we arrived at St. James Primary School this morning, we were greeted by a crowd of children. After passing out the XO computers, the kids began working on their Scratch projects. Many kids quickly jumped into building and creating a small game describing three sprites of their choosing. One thing that I noticed while working with the kids was that many kids could not think of sentences or motions for the sprites to follow by themselves and often required our guidance. This is a different mentally than many American schools where kids are eager to continue, and have plenty of ideas to develop projects.
Following the first class, we decided we could teach the kids more about scratch by simply requiring one sentence of text, giving the kids more time to develop the motions and sounds the sprites make. In my second class, this led to many kids finishing before the class was over and losing interest in scratch. I think that by still requiring text in addition to other activities could interest the kids and keep their focus.
My favorite teaching moment is hard to pick out, but one of my most memorable moments was today in our second class. I was showing a group of boys how to code a sprite to follow your mouse, with my help they were able to code multiple sprites to follow their mouse. After completing this simple task, one boy looked up at me and beaming from ear to ear. He was so happy that he was able to achieve the task, and soon began laughing as the sprite moved across the screen. This boy’s laugh was so cute and made it feel like I was making a difference. Whether that difference is that this boy grows up to become a coder, or simply smiles in that moment, I helped he achieve that.
After teaching today, we went to a beach near our villa and enjoyed the beautiful water and white sand. All of the girls rented jet skis and had lots of fun driving them across the waves. We had pizza night for dinner, and then we went to see the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Following the movie, we celebrated Emma’s 16th birthday with cake as we planned the lesson for teaching tomorrow.