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Reflecting on 7 Days of Getting Unstuck

Written by Alexa Kutler of the ScratchEd Team

As a member of the ScratchEd Team, I have the privilege of seeing Scratch educators from around the world proudly share their students' Scratch projects with one another throughout the school year. This summer, however, Getting Unstuck has given educators a space to play, get stuck, and get unstuck with Scratch themselves—for 21 days.

The course has been running for seven days now and our office is constantly buzzing with excitement and anticipation: What will people make today?! How will they interpret the prompt? What crazy and amazing ideas will show themselves today?!

In honor of the first seven days of the course, I share with you seven beautiful contributions from Scratch educators to the Getting Unstuck experience thus far. 

1. Stories

This week's Getting Unstuck challenges have not included any sort of "narrative imperative". And yet, every day I see projects in which educators are pairing the programming challenge with a story of some sort. Whether it is a game, an animated interaction between characters, or a piece of art, Scratch educators are showing up with incredible stories to share!

Responding to Unstuck Day 5's "flying" challenge, mabaluca programmed and illustrated an amazing rendition of The Aztec's Hummingbird legend. 

Anujuhkamsoo interpreted Day 5's "flying" challenge as petals blowing in the wind. 

2.   Illustrations

Clearly, we have some former Microsoft Paint virtuosos on our hands. The illustrations coming out of Getting Unstuck are simply beautiful. They remind me of the power that visuals have to help code come to life. 
Jcdrobots illustrated some gorgeous flowers for Day 2's "flower" challenge, in addition to a very silly surprise...Play the project yourself and wait for it!

For Day 3's "piano" challenge, Aitan was inspired to draw lions they had seen in a book. They are adorable. Play the project and they will perform for you!


3. Connections

From questions and guidance to moral support, I have loved witnessing all of the many moments of connection taking place between Scratch educators who are sharing in the challenge and excitement of Getting Unstuck. Whether people are commenting directly on a project, or responding to requests for feedback in the Teaching with Scratch Facebook Group, it's awesome to see educators supporting each other in getting unstuck every day!

Educators share thoughts and appreciations in the comments section of Scratch projects.

Educators also take their questions to the Teaching with Scratch Facebook Group, where there is much to celebrate when finally get unstuck!

4.    Reflections

Getting unstuck is often colored by many twists and turns. Reading about the processes that others have gone through as they create their projects, I find myself simultaneously inspired ("Wow! What an interesting way to approach this challenge!"), and curious ("What might I have done with this idea? How might I have approached it differently?").

Educators share thoughts on their inspiration and processes, as well as their lingering questions in the Notes and Credits section.

5.    Remixes

Surfing through projects this week, I have often been reminded of the fact that inspiration can come from anywhere. A poem, a song, a favorite dish— Educators have been remixing all sorts of things this week! 

For Day 6's "random" challenge, kboyceq incorporates quotes from poetry into her project.

For Day 3's challenge, ssbb programmed the "Pastel Pentatonics" choir to sing the pentatonic scale, also providing users with the sheet music for "Oh! Susanna," which can be played using the mouse. Try it out!

6. Invitations

Through interactive projects, educators are inviting others to tinker, imagine, and play with ideas. I would be lying if I said that I haven't spent way too much time this week exploring many of the interactive art projects or trying to get the high score on NoeBranford's jumping game.


For Day 4's "size shifting" challenge, Scratchdomendes invites users to build a city landscape using only a cloneable rectangle, whose size and color can be shifted. 

Mattioli2's Kaleido project for Day 7's "pen" challenge invites the user to generate rainbow designs with a mirror effect.

7.   Persistence

The "aha!" moments of Getting Unstuck are incredibly satisfying. When a project pushes back and bugs start to crawl through your code, there is no telling how long it will take to resolve the situation. Luckily, it seems like many educators have had some great breakthrough moments in their programming this week. If you're reading this thinking, "I'M STILL STUCK," it's ok! Keep going! That's what it's all about.

I leave you with this very peaceful and charming meditation, "Rainy Night in Austin," to reflect on how you will get unstuck for the next 14 days.

Click to open project and hear the soothing rain by ilabformaking.

Remember: It's never too late to sign up for Getting Unstuck. You can learn more about it here

We invite you to share your favorite projects from Getting Unstuck in the comments section!
very good!