(notes by Susan)

In attendance: Christa, Mary, Jane, Katey, Susan, Donna, Russell

Squeak Day 6 for kids. Day 8 for adults. Here’s to keeping just ahead of the kids! I thoroughly enjoyed joining the group for the lesson. My goal is to be available at least once a week and more often if my day job permits or if someone can’t make it.

The increase in the skills of the kids was quite noticeable after being away for two lessons. I am sure it is harder for Christa, Jane and Mary to see this but I did! We began with a share session. I would say that about 8-10 students did the challenge homework of drawing a window and something looking out of it. Can’t emphasize enough about making each object its own sketch. A quick pre-class discussion led us to hold off on world startOver scripts and take a bit of time creating a potential storybook scene. Our goal was to make a complete scene in a storybook page and make it quickly! Each teacher took a minute to draw an item (kids with laptops spun around and watching). We did a “ping pong” approach and let the kids watch one teacher draw one item and then quickly draw it themselves. We did this for a house (naming the sketch), some grass (reviewing duplicating, resizing and recoloring to get various shades of green and sized of grass), a flower, a bug. Each time we stopped and let the kids work and timed them with Christa’s timer. In a short time we had very proud, engaged kids and relaxed adults. We used the webcam to show some of the kids creations on the big screen. Christa took a few short videos to save and show later.

We now have sketches that we can use for the race script and will introduce random during this piece. Teachers discussed using next week to review scripting and start the storybooks. We talked about using the three days during week of June 30 to teach animation.

Since I was not assigned a group I was able to move around and clean up some potential problems. I found many double books open. I noticed that kids were moving sketches up to a corner of a page to get them out of the way (the world page) instead of right clicking and putting it in the trash. A common problem was the page header of the storybook. I kept getting displaced or duplicated until we weren’t sure what was what. I found that if you try to turn the page of the storybook header and nothing happens that it is safe to use the halo to delete it. I think that teachers ought to “get themselves into trouble” and model getting out so that the kids know that the first solution is not to shutdown or start over on a new page.

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