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Scratch 1.4: Beginner’s Guide

Beginner's Guide
Michael Badger

Learn to program while creating interactive stories, games, and multimedia projects using Scratch
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Book Details

ISBN 139781847196767
Paperback264 pages

About This Book

  • Create interactive stories, games, and multimedia projects that you can reuse in your own classroom
  • Learn computer programming basics – no computer science degree required
  • Connect with the Scratch community for inspiration, advice, and collaboration
  • Provides hands-on projects that help you learn by experiment and play

Who This Book Is For

Scratch is a teaching language, so it's ideal for people who want to learn how to program or teach others how to program. Educators and parents will learn how to program using Scratch, so they can use Scratch to teach the latest learning skills to their students and children.

No previous computer programming knowledge is required. You only need to know how to perform basic tasks on a computer and this book will teach the rest. You can then use it as a platform to learn more advanced programming languages.

Parents, stuck with a child who wants to play video games all night? Make a new rule. He can only play a video game if he programs the game first.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Welcome to Scratch!
What is Scratch?
Programming concepts
Scratch anatomy
Learning Scratch
Chapter 2: Installation
Install Scratch
Confirm Java install
Customize your Scratch installation
Redistribute Scratch freely
Chapter 3: Start Scratching
The interface at a glance
Set the cat in motion
Add sprites to the stage
Time for action – spin sprite spin
Sometimes we need inspiration
Browse the Scratch community
Chapter 4: Graphics and Slideshows
Happy birthday wishes
Time for action – give me an "M"
Time for action – give me another "M"
Time for action – set first M straight
Time for action – give mom flowers
Build a photo slideshow
Chapter 5: Storytelling
Barnyard humor
Chapter 6: Arcade Games
Troll pong
Chapter 7: Games of Fortune
Do you have a question?
Chapter 8: Math and Finance
Double it or lump sum?
Time for action – draw the x and y axis of the grid
Time for action – label newAmount
Time for action – calculate interest on lump sum
Next steps
Chapter 9: Share!
Share with the Scratch community
Host your Scratch projects
Chapter 10: Real-world stimuli
Import webcam pictures
PicoBoard—what is it?
Install the PicoBoard
Capture sound input
Click for the next slide
Step into the light, please
Control motion with the slider
Create circuits
Watch all sensor values
LEGO WeDo support

What You Will Learn

  • Design user interfaces, including sequence, characters, and controls.
  • Think critically and make decisions – based on need, program limitations and knowledge level.
  • Get to know the concepts of scratch programming such as loops, conditional statements, variables, arrays, Boolean logic, dynamic interaction, coordination, synchronization, threads, and event handling, and apply it later to other programming languages.
  • Develop a barnyard humor that let's you shine as a storyteller.
  • Debug problems in your design and code.
  • Revise your projects to fix problems and add functionality.
  • Collaborate with the Scratch community by remixing and sharing projects so that you can learn from each other.
  • Communicate with peers and students about the details of your projects.
  • Capture sound, light, touch, and resistance via an external PicoBoard and use it as input for your Scratch projects.

Chapter 1 Introduction to Scratch – This chapter provides an overview of Scratch, its features, and how it can help you teach 21st century learning skills to your children and students.

Chapter 2 Install Scratch – In this chapter, we look at the installation procedure on each operating system and even learn how to run Scratch from your USB flash drive. We also make sure your web browser can view Java applets, which is the technology Scratch uses to publish projects on the Web.

Chapter 3 Start Scratching – In this chapter, we will explore the Scratch interface and create some simple scripts that demonstrate how easily we can build a project. This is a high-speed tour of Scratch that gets us tinkering and thinking about what's possible.

Chapter 4 Graphics and Slideshows – In this chapter, we will create an animated birthday card and a slideshow of our favorite photos.

Chapter 5 Language and Text – In this chapter, we horse around and develop a barnyard joke book that lets us narrate multiple scenes. There's no need to hold the applause.

Chapter 6 Arcade Games – In this chapter, we take a classic pong game and give it a little personality by adding a troll, switching levels, and keeping score.

Chapter 7 Games of Fortune – In this chapter, we combine what we know about variables with lists, also known as arrays. We use the lists to store information about our fortunes, and use random numbers to retrieve the data.

Chapter 8 Math and Finance – In this chapter, we use mathematical formulas and graphs to help answer the question, "Would you rather have a dollar that doubles every day or a lump sum of money?" The answer may surprise you.

Chapter 9 Share your Work – In this chapter, share your project with the Scratch community and learn how to promote it to you friends and fans.

Chapter 10 Connect a PicoBoard – In this chapter, the PicoBoard connects an external sensor board to our computer and delivers real-world stimuli as input to Scratch projects.

Appendix A Scratch Resources – This Appendix provides a select list of Scratch resources on the Web.

In Detail

If you have the imaginative power to design complex multimedia projects but can't adapt to programming languages, then Scratch 1.4: Beginner's Guide is the book for you. Imagine how good you'll feel when you drag-and-drop your way to interactive games, stories, graphic artwork, computer animations, and much more using Scratch even if you have never programmed before.

This book provides teachers, parents, and new programmers with a guided tour of Scratch's features by creating projects that can be shared, remixed, and improved upon in your own lesson plans. Soon you will be creating games, stories, and animations by snapping blocks of "code" together.

When you program you solve problems. In order to solve problems, you think, take action, and reflect upon your efforts. Scratch teaches you to program using a fun, accessible environment that's as easy as dragging and dropping blocks from one part of the screen to another.

In this book you will program games, stories, and animations using hands-on examples that get you thinking and tinkering. For each project, you start with a series of steps to build something. Then you pause to put our actions into context so that you can relate our code to the actions on Scratch's stage. Throughout each chapter, you'll encounter challenges that encourage you to experiment and learn.

One of the things you're really going to love is that, as you begin working through the examples in the book, you won't be able to stop your imagination and the ideas will stream as fast as you can think of them. Write them down. You'll quickly realize there are a lot of young minds in your home, classroom, or community group that could benefit from Scratch's friendly face. Teach them, please.


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