When teaching coding to kids, you might want them to submit work in ScratchJr for assessment. If you have ScratchJr installed on a Windows device or Chromebook, this can be problematic. This is because the files are stored locally in an internal database. In essence, the files are “stuck” on the local device.
Typically, when students complete an assignment, they hand it into their teacher. This might take the form of a printout, link, or digital file submission. But what can teachers do when there is no obvious option for exporting a ScratchJr project?
There are some solutions. To start, it is best if you can have students consistently use the SAME device throughout the coding unit. TechnoKids recommends that students are assigned a specific device each time they have a ScratchJr lesson. Below are two tips:
- Number the devices: Assign each device a number. Students must use the same device every class.
- Produce a seating chart: If devices are in a fixed location, assign each student a seat within the computer lab or classroom. The student must sit at the same station each class.
How to Track Student Work to Assess Progress During a ScratchJr Coding Unit
Assessment in the primary grades takes many forms. Progress during a coding unit can be measured using observation, portfolios, final ScratchJr projects, student conference, or reflections. For example, in TechnoWhiz TechnoKids provides educators with several ScratchJr self-assessment checklists, game marking sheet, and quizzes. Whereas in TechnoTales TechnoKids offers a ScratchJr story marking sheet and reflection worksheet. These tools provide multiple methods of assessing students’ understanding of coding concepts.
However, how can a teacher use these tools when it is difficult to submit an actual ScratchJr file for marking? Below are a few ideas:
- Tracking Sheet – Walk around the class and view each student’s device. Check that the work is complete. This will help to identify children that might be struggling with task completion.
- Pair and Share – Students share their work and discuss their coding projects. Teachers observe the interactions to determine if students understand coding concepts.
- Coding Conference – Invite students to pick their favorite project to demonstrate during a student conference. Pose questions about the ScratchJr project to gauge learning.
- Computer Monitoring Software – Some schools have management software on all devices. This allows the teacher to monitor every student’s computer screen. This option provides teachers with an opportunity to view ScratchJr projects as students engage in their creation.
How to Capture a Project to Submit Work in ScratchJr
What if you really need a file submitted for a ScratchJr unit? In your teaching situation, neither observation nor discussions are enough. You need something concrete. Here are two ideas:
- Screen Capture – Students can take a picture of the ScratchJr screen and then submit the file to the teacher. There are some shortcomings to this solution. Most notably it can only capture the stage and the code for one sprite. For this reason, it is ideal for simple programs.
- Print Screen and Paste Screenshot – Press the Print Screen button on the keyboard. Open a program such as Windows Paint or Microsoft Word. Paste the image. Now submit this file to the teacher.
- Windows Snipping Tool – If using a Windows device, open the Snipping Tool. Snag the screen. The file can now be printed, emailed, or saved as an image file.
- Video Capture – Students can use a recording device or app to capture the ScratchJr project running. This file can then be shared with the teacher.