Christmas Jr.

Now that the year is almost over, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, the best way we can, in Robotics.

In this digital era, it is significant to focus our work on the learning of digital skills as well as the traditional methods.
When we combine both ways, the results are better and more rewarding at these ages.
2nd grade students started working with tablets in their pre-school years, for that reason, we can improve their learning by using their technical (already acquired) knowledge. They began taking their first steps using ScratchJr last year, so during these days, we have been working on a new project called Christmas Jr.

Why do we call it Christmas Jr?

For this activity, we have used an online free app named ScratchJr, which is known as one of the most relevant tools to develop new ways of learning. ScratchJr is an introductory programming language with blocks that enables them to create their own stories. Our task as educators is to teach our students, from their early days, the steps that come before programming. Everyday life requires computational thinking if we all want to succeed.
Sometimes, people may think or visualize this concept as computers and machines acting like humans. Far from that, the essence of computational thinking is to think as a computer scientist would when facing a problem.

In the project, the students need to create an animated and programmed story on ScratchJr; “they will be film directors”.
Any good idea demands a personal moment of planning. The pupils need to think about what they want to tell before starting the project. Once they are ready, it is the moment to act like filmmakers and create/draw their first-ever storyboard (film outline in pictures).
They got all the elements ready on their tablets and in their imagination (of course). The only thing they need to do now it’s to look for the best actors and the most suitable backgrounds (settings) and start.

Then, they draw a Christmas story in four comic strips. The storyboard is their script and guide, so they can’t get lost while creating their tale on the app.

Only after drawing, all the students can start programming the story on ScratchJr the best way they can: actions, change colors, draw new elements, add blocks, test…

Once they have finished, we check the story on ScratchJr and compare it to the storyboard previously drawn.

We have to recognize that the results are pretty awesome!!