’15 -’16 General Discussion for Lesson 5.2

Use this thread to discuss your questions and comments about how to run the lesson.

Is there a way to change the image of the turtle so you are drawing or moving a different image than the arrow?


This lesson is taking a few extra days which I am ok with this year. I will say that students WANT to do more than they have been taught at this point. They really would like to have the ability to do conditional programming which is still a ways away. Students are also looking for the code they want else where or guessing what commands might be out there that they want to use which is neat. So far, I have had students create:

  • A Virtual Petting Zoo
  • A music “dictionary”
  • Informational app on famous poets
  • A Maze “game”
  • A quiz to determine if your boyfriend is a vampire or not

I also have asked my students to share their program on twitter and tag someone else in their tweet which has been fun. They are really excited about being able to create something that has meaning to them.

As a teacher, it has been difficult to know what things are “bugs” in the studio environment vs. what are things that I just don’t know yet. For example, one of my students was trying to get a picture in a button and it wasn’t working. It looked right to me so we found a work around to make it work, but I still don’t know if there was a bug somewhere or there was something on our end going on. Any suggestions as to how to determine this? I don’t want to encourage my students to send “bugs” to you when really they are just in the middle of troubleshooting and I cannot figure it out either.

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Hi @kaitie_obryan those apps sound super cool! Is there a hashtag they’re all using that we could follow?

With respect to bugs, if both you and your student are struggling with App Lab in some way and find yourselves having to do a workaround, then we’d like to know about it. Usability issues like that are just as important as “bugs” for us to fix, and we appreciate the feedback!


Hi Katie,

There is no current way to change the image for the turtle as it draws but you could consider doing something similar with a image moving around the screen and a canvas to draw on.


Thanks Dani,

I think that works pretty well for our case. Thank you for the suggestion!

You could take a look at #MVHSlearning which is what our school uses but there are 3-4 recent posts from my students you could take a look at. I noticed that #HourOfCode pops up when they go to Tweet from code studio. It would be cool to have a CSP specific tag for students to use that all code.org CSP teachers could tap into… For the time being I might start using one for my students, MVHSlearning is what my administration uses, so I have been promoting that to get buy-in for the course from admin!

This is my favorite one right now: https://studio.code.org/projects/applab/KUGxVvt3_Ijqa_Q61TQq2w

Me again! Is there a way to delete screens that I don’t want to use?

Hi Kaitie!

In Design Mode, there should be a delete button at the bottom of the properties menu for a screen. To get that to show up you can click the background of the screen (assuming you don’t have an image covering the whole thing…if so you’ll have to resize the image)

I should have seen that! It was one of my stronger students asking so I assumed it was non-trival but next time I will look more into it myself. Thanks!


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Question from one of my kid’s projects: https://studio.code.org/projects/applab/qDyaAKt2VKxu6XIg3TBB4g

When you return to the home screen to draw the other character, it is actually drawn on the screen of the original drawing…no matter which drawing you start with. The code calls for the screen change, so I’m not sure where to go from here (although we tried calling the screen AGAIN in the drawing function.)


Hi Michael

This is a known feature of app lab. Currently the turtle only can be used on one screen. Once it has been used on one screen it stays with that screen for the rest of the program. Later in the course students learn about the canvas commands which you can find in full app lab. These allow you to draw on different screens and have a canvas for each screen. If the student is interested it might be worth taking a look at those commands even though they don’t show up until later in the course.



To try to save time I’m having students do most of this project as homework. Definitely not what I’d prefer! I am in academic lab helping some of them now. They are definitely getting into it!

I wish I had told the class: “The objective of this lesson is to give you practice with the Design view. Start by creating your screens and putting in all your images and buttons. Then do the coding of the buttons.”
Students are creating the images and buttons in the code and that is making things much harder for them. Bugs like having the image recreated the second time you visit a page.

Students are having trouble getting sound files to save and play. Also one student keeps losing images they saved on their desktop and added in design mode. Each day he has had to re add the images. Any ideas on why this is happening?


Could you have the student submit a bug report on that level with a share link for the project they are working on? Then I can have the engineers look at it to see if they can figure out what is going on.



How can a student copy a project from one stage to another? I know they can remix, but we can’t find a way to open that project in the new stage. (Design elements won’t copy.) So a student can work on another version of a project, but within a new stage so they can complete the stage and have the green circle.

Hi @mstahl

Currently there is no way to copy design elements between levels but we are considering the best ways to enable this feature for the future as its a common request. In the meantime a work around could be to let the student work on the project outside of the level and just copy the link to the project into the code area in text mode of the level it goes with.


My student is designing a GameOver button and wanted to add an MP3.
He is having trouble.

Dani –

So, we’re there! …and we still don’t know why we can’t get it to work. We think we’ve set it so that when you hit the button that switches between one of the two drawings, it sets the active canvas to the correct one, but it still won’t draw the second image if the first has been drawn.


Hi Michael,

It looks like you are still using the turle to draw all the pieces of the drawings. Turtle will only ever show up on one screen as it is a special feature of app lab that works differently. I might not have made it clear in my last post that you need to do the drawing itself with canvas elements such as circle and rectangle. Sorry if that was unclear. Check out this toolbox for the different functions that exist. You will want to do the things you are currently doing with turtle with red canvas blocks instead.