Having played Pawns, students have had practice with thinking "if...then..." - a key mode for problem solving, and computer programming.
This week the class was introduced to Scratch. a visual programming language developed by MIT.
"Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process of design."
Scratch is free of charge, go to this page. It is available for Mac OSX and Windows. Find out what you can do with Scratch on this page, and use this Reference Guide for help.
Screen shot of a Scratch window
You can share your creations in an on-line community.