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Vocabulary words in this glossary include both general computer science terms and language specific terms such as those used in Scratch. Many of the Scratch terms contain links to more information on the Scratch website. (For additional Scratch specific terms check out

  • abstraction - Pulling out specific differences to make one solution work for multiple problems.
  • actor - A term used to refer to sprites and the role they playas they interact with one another on the stage.
  • algorithm - A list of steps to finish a task. A set of instructions that can be performed with or without a computer. For example, the collection of steps to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is an algorithm.
  • animation - Project that animates something
  • answer — A value which holds what has been input into the Ask block
  • binary - A way of representing information using only two options.
  • boolean - A term used to represent data that has either of two values, true or false.
  • blocks - Blocks make up scripts, which make a project work
  • boolean block - A conditional block that reports a statement to be true or false
  • broadcast - A message that is sent through the Scratch program, activating When I Receive () blocks
  • bug - An error in a program that prevents the program from running as expected.
  • C Block - A block that fits stack blocks inside it
  • code - One or more commands or algorithm(s) designed to be carried out by a computer. See Program.
  • command - An instruction for the computer. Many commands put together make up algorithms and computer programs.
  • computational thinking - Mental processes and strategies that include: decomposition, pattern matching, abstraction, algorithms (decomposing problems into smaller, more manageable problems, finding repeating patterns, abstracting specific differences to make one solution work for multiple problems, and creating step-by-step algorithms).
  • computer science - A field in which people use the power of computers to solve big problems.
  • conditionals - Statements that only run under certain conditions or situations.
  • control Block - A block that either starts a script or keeps a script running. See Also: Trigger Block
  • crowdsourcing - Getting help from a large group of people to finish something faster.
  • data - Quantities, characters, or symbols that are the inputs and outputs of computer programs. Data is often collected, stored, modified, and processed when a program is executed.
  • debugging - Finding and fixing errors in programs.
  • decompose - Break a problem down into smaller pieces. addresses.
  • digital citizen - Someone who acts safely, responsibly, and respectfully online.
  • digital footprint - The information about someone on the Internet.
  • >direction - Where a sprite is pointing
  • event - An action that causes something to happen.
  • event-handler - An action or event that is being constantly monitored for by the computer. When you write code for the computer to perform after that an action occurs, that code, the event-handler, will run every time the action is performed without having to put the commands inside of a loop. Many event-handlers are human-initiated. For example: an event handler might respond when the user clicks the mouse by making the bird flap its wings. "When the mouse is clicked" is an event-handler.
  • forever - A function in Scratch that repeats a set of code forever, done by the Forever block.
  • function - A piece of code that you can easily call over and over again. Functions are sometimes called ‘procedures.’ A function definition is a segment of code that includes the steps performed in the function. A function call is the code segment, typically within the main logic of the program, which invokes the function.
  • gobo - A popular Scratch mascot
  • green flag - Sometimes simply called the 'flag,' this is what starts most projects' scripts running
  • hat block - A block that starts any event-driven script in Scratch.
  • incremental development - The strategy of building a program one small step at a time rather than doing everything at once.
  • iteration - A repetitive action or command typically created with programming loops.
  • list - Called an 'array' in most programming languages, this holds lots of strings
  • list block - A block which controls a list
  • looks block - A block which controls how a sprite or the stage looks
  • loop - The action of doing something over and over again.
  • motion block - A block which controls a sprite's movement
  • operator block - A block that performs math functions and string handling
  • pen block - A block which controls the pen
  • persistence - Trying again and again, even when something is very hard.
  • program - A program is an algorithm that has been coded into something that can be run by a machine.
  • remix - A project created by downloading, modifying, and re-uploading another project
  • run program - To have the computer execute the commands you've written in your
  • scripting area - The area on the right side of the Scratch create screen where code can be written. Both sprites and the stage contain a scripting area.
  • sensing block - A block that detects something, from a sound from a microphone to whether a sprite is touching a certain color
  • sound block - A block which controls either a MIDI Instrument or sound
  • sprite - An object in Scratch which performs functions controlled by scripts
  • sprite list - The area of the Scratch create screen where icons for each of the sprites in the program are "stored" for easy selection of different sprites. Located below the stage.
  • stage - The background of a project, performs functions through scripting. Present at the right hand side of the Scratch create screen.
  • string - A series of keyboard characters, which can be help in reporter blocks, variables or lists
  • studio - A place where users can place multiple projects into an accessible group
  • variable - A placeholder for a piece of information that can change.
glossary.txt · Last modified: 2015/03/04 14:06 (external edit)