Today we looked at different ways of simple programming. We started off by looking at Purple Mash, the website I reviewed last year. There are three different forms of programming on Purple Mash: 2Go, 2Code and Logo.
2Go is a very simple version of coding, almost like the beebots. I would suggest setting it to use the more advanced settings of arrows so that when you click left/right it programmes the sprite to turn, not move left/right. You have a selection of potential backgrounds and it draws a line to show where it has been. You have to click the arrow and a number to write how far the sprite should travel.
I have already explored 2Code on my blog before and so I won’t write much about it, however it is simply a way of programming by attaching ‘blocks’ of commands together. See my blog from before Christmas to see more about how it works. This can be as simple as moving a fish when clicking, or setting a firework to fire into the sky, explode and make a noise.
Logo is an app on Purple Mash that is much more suited to KS2, using an arrow as the sprite and using Logo language as the commands, e.g. repeat 4 [ fd 5 rt 90] meaning repeat x4 the sequence go forward 5 times and turn right 90 degrees. You can make more complex sequences and programme them to be procedures with titles, as seen below. This ties in well to Maths as you could challenge children to try and make hexagons and other polygons using their knowledge of angles. As you can see below I made hexagons and then attempted to make circles!
We then looked at SuperLogo, a much more mature piece of software to programme. It uses the same commands as Logo on PurpleMash, however to add a procedure you have to add an object from a drop down menu. Here is an image of my procedure ‘Jack’ repeated and turned to make a geometric shape.
On ‘Hour of Code’ children can follow challenges to code things. There are activities that should fill an hour of coding themed around different themes, such as Frozen and Star Wars. As well as simple coding such as putting together commands almost like a jigsaw sequence (shown below in the BB8 image), you can attach commands to buttons, such as when the down arrow button is clicked the sprite goes down 1 (shown in the R2D2 image below).
As you can see you can even add commands to incorporate a points system, when you find a ‘good guy’ you get 100 pts, when you get a ‘bad guy’ you minus 100 pts. Sound is also now incorporated.
The software becomes more advanced by allowing us to add our own creatures, and even when ‘catching creatures’ they can degrade into two other creatures.
After you have completed all the challenges you are given free roam of ALL the commands and events to try and make your own game. This is a fantastic software and below is an example of a selection of codes to make a simple cat and mouse game.
Children also get a certificate when they are finished with the activities.
Thank you for reading and I hope you feel inspired to have a go at coding!!