Misconception: Students get frustrated when they try to point their character to the left and it ends up flipped upside down because they don’t understand how changing the direction a sprite faces works in Scratch.

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  • This confusion occurs when using the “point in direction” block in Scratch.
  • If a student only wants the Sprite to face forward or backwards while remaining upright, there is a setting they can use to achieve this.
  • In the user interface under the Sprites pane, students can change their settings for the rotation style of the sprite.
    • The automatic setting, which is an arrow pointing in a circle, causes the sprite to face whatever direction it is pointed while rotating along a circle.
      • From this default setting:
        • “Point in direction 0” causes the cat sprite to appear lying flat on it’s back.
          • This is the spot on the circle that the direction to point in is defined from.
        • “Point in direction 90” causes the cat sprite face to the right.
        • “Point in direction 180” causes the cat sprite to appear lying face down.
        • “Point in direction -90” causes the cat sprite to appear upside down and backwards (facing to the left).
          • Students are confused by this not being upright and to the left.
          • The orientation of upside is a result of rotating along a circle.
    • The straight arrow causes the sprite to only point left or right depending on the direction the sprite is pointed in.
    • The dot causes the sprite to stay in the same upright and right facing orientation no matter what direction it is pointed in.
      Screenshot of User's Interface for Controls Determining the Sprite's Physical Orientation
External Source: 
Interview with Danielle Harlow
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