Some samples of ‘Scratch’ projects for use with 2nd – 6th to teach programming.

‘All About Me’

‘An Addition Challenge’

Build A Band: A Kettle of Drums

A Magic Spelling Game

A Story for Halloween – ‘In a Dark, Dark Wood’

A Simple Maze Game: Mouse Quest’

A Maze Game: Polar Bear meets Penguin’

‘Auto Drawing’

Story Telling using Scratch: ‘Excuses for being late for school’

A Slideshow using Scratch: ‘Trees’ by Joyce Kilmer

Images and music used in these are all attributed on the individual projects.

A recent very useful discovery is the huge range of royalty free music

produced by Kevin McLeod on . It is important to observe

copyright and websites like this one are invaluable. The right music can

make all the difference to a piece.

A Short Review: Learning ‘Scratch’ with CPD College Ireland (Online Summer Course)

This summer I did an excellent online summer course

with CPD College, Ireland.

It was called ‘Get your children programming with ‘Scratch”.

There was great substance to the learning and a depth of knowledge.

As as result I feel confident about

teaching Scratch to my students in the future.

At the beginning of the course I could only do the most basic programming:

By the end of the course I could do a lot more.

This is a short animation teaching mnemonics to help with spelling

words with the letter strings -ould and -ight.

Though the time I spent exceeded twenty hours,

I would recommend this course wholeheartedly.

You can see other samples of work done here.

#Symbaloo webmix ‘Learning to Code’: Resources suitable for Junior Infants to Sixth+ approximately.

This year a number of students 

learned how to code.


The youngest students to do this were five.

They enjoyed learning using

‘The Foos’

and Course 1 and 2.


The older students used Course 3 and 4.

They also enjoyed learning using 

exercises on the themes of


Big Hero 6,

Flappy Birds

Angry Birds

and they worked on

Code Combat,

Google’s ‘Made with Code’

and Scratch.

When student learned how to code successfully
then they taught other students how to code.
Through their teaching they showed
they really understood what to do.
When students learn to code they are

problem solving, testing, debugging, predicting

and they are learning how to think.


They experience success

and this is rewarding and motivating.


Here is a Symbaloo webmix of the websites

we used when learning to code.


Hurrah for #DisneyInfinity and

This will be a wonderful incentive

to settle back into school next week.

We REALLY enjoyed coding on

with Anna and Elsa from ‘Frozen’

earlier in the year and now

we get to code with Hiro and Baymax

from Disney’s Big Hero 6.

Schooldays ARE the happiest days of your life!

Click HERE to learn.

For other useful resources from Made With

click here.

#HourOfCode – Class Discovery: Code Combat



Ok so we liked a LOT

and we were sad when we finished Level Three.

Then along came the coding activities

based on the Disney film ‘Frozen’. 

and we were very taken with that.

Well the girls were really.


Then today Teacher showed us Code Combat.

Now we feel there is something for everybody.

Suitable for students between the ages of nine

and thirteen, we are using it to learn Python.


As we play a game, going on missions

being successful and having fun, we are learning.

We think there was probably never a better

or more interesting time to be in school!


We find the work we have already done with

really helps us understand what we are doing.

We are looking forward to doing more!


#HourOfCode: Fans of Disney’s ‘Frozen’ ? Then read on!


The largest learning event in history: The Hour of Code,

is happening during Computer Science Education Week

(December 8th – 14th 2014).

Last year, 15 million students tried coding in this one week.

This year, the aim is to reach 100 million students worldwide!


We live in a world surrounded by technology.

In such a world computer science is important

and coding and programming are becoming life skills.

Websites such as demystify coding

and make it easily accessible and enjoyable.


The clever people at are working

to get more girls involved in computer science

and have devised a lovely series of exercises

to create snowflakes, using the ‘Frozen’ theme.

You can find it here:’s ‘Frozen’

It is suitable for beginners, from 1st/2nd class up!


And for those who aren’t big fans of ‘Frozen’,’s ‘Frozen’ is a warmer alternative.


Try it. We did and it was fun!

#codeweekEU Making Progress with

In the past few weeks we have been working our way through ‘s Courses for Elementary Students. 

We are doing Course Two.

As we build on our skills the things

we can do get more and more interesting.

We can find activities that suit our interests.

Bruno enjoys art and Alex prefers creating games.

Click on the screens to see the games and artwork in action.

Then click ‘run’.

And in this game, after ‘run’, click the screen again! 


Update: #Scratch using

‘Scratch’ and are generating

a lot of excitement among students.

Bruno and Alex from sixth class have

been coding for a VERY short while.

If you click on the link in the tweets on this post,

you will see the digital art being created.

You can also see the code the students wrote.

We look forward to learning much, much more.

Update: #Scratch: – Beyond an Hour of Code

We are back at school a month.

Learning Scratch is really taking off.


Learning to program is proving to be a collaborative task

that involves a lot of thought and problem solving.


We have completed’s ‘An Hour of Code’

and have started’s ‘Beyond an Hour of Code’.


Today we were artists and our activity involved

calculating distances and angles. We had a good time.

It was fun and we were learning.

Learning to Code using ‘Scratch’ – A Progress Report

Scratch Cat
Photo Credit: andresmh via Compfight

Earlier this month I started to learn how to code.

I posted some links then I thought might be useful.

I took advice and decided it would be better

to start with learning ‘Scratch’

as my objective is to be able to

teach coding to my students.

Scratch seems to have excellent possibilities

for the primary classroom.


On Education Posts Message Board,

I got some very useful recommendations

and so started with the Lesson Plans on


A kind young relative took pity on me

and gave me her copy of ‘Scratch2Scratch’

I supplemented this learning

with a variety of videos here and here.


I also spent some time doing

‘An Hour of Code’ on

This first hour is straightforward enough

but it revises some of the basics.

I could also see that students would

enjoy the puzzles presented during the ‘hour’.


I am very taken with the potential

of ‘Scratch’ in the classroom.

However, though I would feel confident

enough now to introduce ‘Scratch’

to class and to stay perhaps

just a step ahead of my students,

for me as a learner, it is early days yet.


UPDATE: Finding Code Club excellent:

both systematic and interesting. 


‘I would like to learn to code’ – Some useful websites

15 on this grid

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: the55 via Compfight

This summer I would like to learn to code

with a view to teaching it in class next year.

I know many students are interested

in coding too.


Here are four websites I think may be useful.

1. Code Monster gives children an introduction to

Javascript programming:

Code Monster from


2. Scratch is a programming language 

created specially for 8-to-16-year-olds.

I like the look of Scratch as it is very visual

and so may suit visual learners.

It made up of bricks that you drag

to the workspace in order to animate sprites.


3. Scratch was built to program, however

you might like to try Tynker 

which was designed to teach programming

through a series of lessons.

Edited to add: you would have to pay

to use Tynker.


4. Then there is Codeacademy.

It offers free coding classes in Javascript

and a number of other programming languages.

It is a friendly website

which has sent me encouraging emails

ever since I joined.


I hope you find this list useful.

If you have any advice for those

of us setting out to learn how to code,

please leave a comment.


Update: How did I get on?

Well you can see how far

I had got in a fortnight here. 

More updates to follow 🙂