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Debugging in Scratch: Resources and Strategies

A collection of resources and strategies for helping your students with bugs they encounter in Scratch.


The ScratchEd Team hosted a #ScratchEdChat on Tuesday, April 11 from 7-8PM EST on the bugs in Scratch that your students are bringing to you. Click here for a complete archive of the chat, and here for a list of common bugs that came up in the chat, and see below for resources that were shared during the chat.

 

Debugging Resources

 

Strategies

  • Read through your code!
  • Have a friend review your code!
  • Say it out loud. When I click the flag, this Sprite will move 2 steps, change costume and say hello for 2 seconds.
  • Thoughtful questions and comments for helping students get unstuck in Scratch
  • Have student share project with the class- talk it through as a group. Helpful for teachers who are learning as well.
  • Use some sort of screen sharing software or project the project for group discussions.
  • Pull apart blocks that aren't working and add them back together one at a time, incrementally testing your code.
  • Set up a bug wall for your students.
 

Discussion Forums

  • Help with Scripts discussion forum on Scratch. This is what we say when people write in with questions/bugs and point them toward the Help with Scripts forum:
  • “It's a good idea to share your project (even though it doesn't work the way you want it to yet). Then go to the "Help with Scripts" forum and click "Post New Topic." Write out your question and paste the link to your project. This way Scratchers can check out your scripts, and suggest ways to solve your problem.”
  • General Questions about Scratch discussion forum on Scratch

Tutorials on Scratch

Useful Tools in the Project Editor

This button (looks like a question mark) allows you to get more information on blocks you are confused by or want more information on. Click the button, and then click on the block you are confused by. It will open the “Tips” window - on the right side of the screen - and will display information on that block.

The “Tips” window, in general, is also a very helpful tool. On the right side of the project editor is a question mark. Click this question mark to open the tips window:

Once open, there are tutorials, how-to’s, and block information.

The backpack. A super useful tool where you can store scripts, sprites, sounds, etc. If you see a really inspiring project, or someone creates a project to help fix a bug for you, you can drag the scripts, sprites, sounds, etc., into your backpack and keep it for yourself. The backpack follows you around to all your projects so you can always have these things with you when editing your project.

 

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