Scratch Makes Programming Elementary!
Scratch is a drag and drop programming software where students can create almost anything! This was a free download for years but is now available to use online. It is a wonderful website to support STEAM because students can be creative while developing logic and problem solving skills .Students can create their own interactive games, stories, interactive greeting cards, and so much more. The HELP features are amazing. The site has great examples and starter projects to get your students using the site quickly. There are Scratch cards with step by step easy to follow instructions, tutorial videos, getting started guides, and plenty of examples. Students can collaborate with others and receive feedback on the programs they create. They can even remix programs on the site. If you want kids to be able to use their creativity, problem solving, and collaborative skills and apply it to almost any subject area, Scratch is the place to visit!
How I Use It
I have used it for students to retell stories by creating the setting in Scratch and animating a part of the story. I have also used it for students to create animated messages for various topics such as recycling, bullying, etc. Students can integrate sound and music into the projects in addition to their own artwork and pictures. We used it in math to have students learn to create a program to draw a square and other geometric shapes. In doing so, they learn about the X and Y axis and angles and why we have to make a 90 degree turn to make the program draw a square. The students enjoy learning math in this interactive way. If you explore the online Scratch projects, you will probably find many other ideas you can use.