Sometimes we labor hard for a modest result. Such was my experience with Week 2 of the Programming With Scratch. I found week 1’s music based project empowering. Week 2’s Drawing with a Computer was considerably harder to get through. I feel like I understand the basic principle well enough – Put a pen on the screen, move, turn, rinse lather, repeat and you have a picture. I also did very well on the homework and quiz questions for the most part. But actually programming a sun and mountains picture was a struggle. It took me time and Google searching to figure out how to change the pen color. Then my mountains were staircases, off the stage entirely or vertical. I kept at it in part because the project required us to use repeat loops in our program.
Although I’m not particular proud of this project except for the fact I completed it, I did get the hang of drawing shapes like squares, triangles and so forth in the homework. Maybe I would have been better off with an abstract design that incorporated these shapes instead of trying to draw a nature scene.
One nice thing about this unit is that my knowledge of junior high geometry came in very handy. Knowing that all the angles in a closed figure MUST equal 360 degrees in Euclidean geometry came in handy in deciding how many times a pen must turn and by how many degrees. And if you get the degrees backwards, you’ll wind up with stars instead of polygons.
Week 3 is variables, something that I think I know reasonably well from other programming efforts. We’ll see how I do.