Posts Tagged ‘Purplemash’

Dance till you drop

We spent a lot of time this week dancing.

We watched videos of Dance Dance Revolution, a game involving a dance mat that most of the adults remembered, but not many of the students. You have to follow directions on screen to move on a floormat, scoring points if you tread on the right square.

We also watched a video of a robot and decided that Dance Dance Revolution was like programming a robot, so we created our own dance programs. In groups we created short routines using simple sets of directions and numbers, then we tried them out to La Vida Loca, before joining them all together into one long dance. Aziz acted as our choreographer helping everyone to follow the steps in each program.

Whilst the commands were the same in each dance – Fd, BK, Lt,Rt, Wait and Repeat – the number of steps or time to pause changed in each routine. These we called “Variables” because they change whilst the actions remain the same. We also introduced a command “Repeat until the music stops,” to make sure the dance lasted as long as the tune.

After that we used Purplemash and completed the Bubbles activity.


As the bubbles drifted up the screen we had to click on them to make them disappear with a ‘pop.’ Some people added more bubbles and made them do other things, either changing direction or making different sounds.

Everyone thought it was a good fun morning.


Drag till we drop coding

Today we started using drag and drop to code. This way you  don’t need to type in the instructions but select the ones you want then join them together to build up the instructions.

We began by using a floormat and giving each other instructions to move around it. We had typed commands that we then added in numbers of steps or turns to. This could prove challenging remembering which way to turn.

Then we used the Angry Birds game in .

Angry birds in studio code

Next we used 2Code in Purplemash. We had to give fish in an on-screen aquarium commands to make them move in the right direction.

fish tank 1

We all got to the point where we could add our own fish then program them to move when they were clicked. You could add as many fish as you wanted to. Nishat wanted to add a lot of fish.

nishat fish tank

She must like clown fish!

Some of them moved automatically. Others had to be clicked on to start them moving. We found you could click one fish and make a different one move.

Sometimes we had to think very hard to work out what to do. But everyone worked hard.

More steps in programming.


Robots are machines that we can tell what to do and that will do that thing again and again and again, whenever we want them to. Rather like washing machines or microwaves. These have programs that perform the same function whenever we set them to do a particular thing. We talked about examples of this in the world around us and thought about traffic lights.

The first challenge this morning was to work out the sequence that traffic lights followed. Students used coloured discs to act out what traffic lights do. We watched a very boring video of a set of traffic lights and realised that the timing of each light varies. We then wrote a program for a set of traffic lights.

Repeat continuously:-

Red on 20 seconds

Red and orange on 2 seconds.

Red and orange off.

Green on 14 seconds.

Green off.

Orange on 4 seconds

Orange off.

We tried following this sequence with a set of three coloured torches, red, orange and green. It was harder to do than it looks.

We then moved on to programming on screen. The program 2Go is part of Purplemash from 2Simple. It has different sets of tools in it that mean programming with it can become more and more challenging.

At first we used buttons to move in a particular direction. Then we added a set of boxes, a flow chart, to program in.

Then we added diagonals . The next challenge was to program a turtle to write a letter from our names using diagonals.

A letter F programmed in 2Go.

‘F’ for Fatima.

Fatima didn’t need to use diagonals for her letter.

To work out the programs we wrote letters on graph paper then worked out the directions and the steps.

A letter N created in 2Go.

‘N’ for Nowrin programmed in 2Go.

Nowrin needed one diagonal. She needed several attempts to get it to be the correct length.

A letter T drawn in 2Go.

Tasmima’s letter T

Tasmima’s letter ‘T’ has four steps in the progam.

A letter W drawn in 2GO

How to program a ‘W’ in 2Go.

Wasima programmed her ‘W’ quite quickly. She was pleased with what she had done.

There were lots of challenges. Nishat needed to use the whole flowchart of 10 steps to create an ‘S.’ Jack did a ‘J’ that filled the screen, and James managed to write his whole name.

Everyone worked hard, but they all enjoyed it.