Session 4

posted 17 May 2010, 12:52 by tim meek   [ updated 2 Jun 2010, 13:49 ]
Thanks to Microsoft, who have kindly donated some Xbox controllers to us, and the installation of Kodu onto some more of the school's laptops, pupils could, this week, have their own laptop and Xbox controller :o)

Because of organisational factors (expanding group size, shift from paired working to independent working), this session became one of consolidation and catch-up (to try and get all pupils to the same stage of working).

Session highlights:

- each pupil was setup on a laptop with an Xbox controller.

- we celebrated the fantastic letters three of the group had written, and the amazing response from Andrew Sithers of Microsoft.

- time was spent recapping the narrative focus from last week (the initial complication).

- pupils revisited the story points they'd programed into Kodu and checked for clarity, accuracy of sentence formation/spelling/grammar etc The focus was to re-read their work to ensure there was fluidity and continuity between the story points when experienced by the 'reader' when playing the Kodu file in 'Play Mode'.

- coding foci: purpose made help sheets were made to help children master some new Kodu code conventions ...
   1. Follow a path - pupils built paths and programed wisps to follow the paths. This gave the illusion/effect of fireworks flying around the entrance to their movie Premiere - remember the project theme for the Kodu work is Premiere Stories.

  2. When on Land <type> - this is quite a useful conditional. In the context of Premiere Stories, pupils coded some robot object to move towards the main character when it is navigated through the Story Premiere (in game mode) until it met Land <type> upon which they programed it to <freeze>, creating the illusion/effect that there were people/fans on the red carpet that moved towards the main character (when they saw it) but stopped at the red carpet because they weren't allowed to walk upon it.

- Scene building
- pupils were keen to revisit their scenes and enhance them e.g reshape the ground (smoothen, tidy up); raise columns of land and re-colour to look like sky scrapers (city scene)

- mini game - with a laptop and Xbox controller each, pupils made great progress with all of the tasks they were set (expanding the coding tasks naturally as they explored and experimented with the Kodu coding environment). With regards the aim of the mini game aspect of this project, the pupils are still familiarising and learning about the game making potential of Kodu. I'm looking forward to getting to the point where we have studied the narrative plot structure enough (and got further through the story/film) to be able to hone in their mini games to make them more related to the focus story. The current exploratory learning (coding) is all good ground work though :o)

Key lesson notes and files are attached below.

Kodude Reflection:

"This week we made some fireworks. We told it to do 'Always follow path'... we made the effect with a path and a few wisps.

We went back and looked at our work and changed it and checked for capital letters and full stops."