Why I love Scratch (And You Should Too!)

Overview:

Description

Scratch is a web-based tool that introduces students to the basic concepts of programming. In Scratch, students can create interactive stories, games, and animation using basic concepts of coding by building instruction blocks. Students can share their completed work with their classmates or the online community and provide feedback on other projects people publish. Scratch, which was created by the MIT Media Lab, builds on students creativity and problem-solving  skills. There exists both a software-based version and a cloud-based version. The cloud-based version is the one most teachers and students will use.

 

Getting Started:

How to Use Scratch

Teaching Ideas:

Create Interactive Story Telling

Use Scratch to create an interactive storyboard. You can assess the students literacy skills by having them create a storyboard with characters, adding dialogue with the option of adding sound.

Science Activity

There is a  creative way to explain the Food Chain. In Scratch as part of a Science lesson, you can have the students come up with differents characters to explain the Food Chain. You can also create a Food Chain as a warm up activity to create an inquiry question as a diagnostic tool. An example: Can you explain what is happening in this video?

Feedback/Digital Citizenship

Use Scratch to teach students about Online Etiquette. How to Give Positive Feedback, and How to Deal with Inappropriate Comments. An example tool can be Coding a Stoplight Strategy to show a comment on a project you like (green), a project you like somewhat (yellow), and a project you are not interested in (red). This demonstrates a balanced feedback.

Helpful Resources:

Scratch Tutorials

You can start off by watching the video tutorial on How to Get Started with Scratch. After viewing this video, you can the Introductory Tutorials and the Paint Editor Tips to work your way up in the world of Coding.

Google CS First

Are you interested in starting up a computer club at your school? Google CS First has created a free program that allows you to expose your students to computer programming through after-school, in-school and summer programs. All the lessons and materials are available online.

Access Details and Cost:

Free Version

There is only a free version available. You can create a Scratch account by Joining Scratch on the main page of the website. Scratch is accessible online at school and at home.

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Author: wjasmith

Elementary School Teacher in Canada. I teach French as a Second Language to Grade 4 and 5 students. I am currently an M.Ed. student in Education Technology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). I am interested in 2nd language learning using technology to develop authentic communication skills.

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