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Use it with children as young as first grade or as old as college
How I Use It
One of the great things about Scratch is how accessible it is to any age group or skill level. I have used it with children as young as first grade, yet college students and programmers have also created incredible and inspiring content. I first offered Scratch as an after school class for elementary students, during which they designed their own games. After seeing it’s success, I integrated it into my technology curriculum and worked with the science teacher to have 5th graders present their solar system research via Scratch. In the past, students had made a pamphlet describing their planet. Using the same rubric for information, they now were able to create an interactive presentation about the planet, guiding users through a tour of the solar system. They not only gained basic computer programming skills, but they were able to show their knowledge of the topic in a fun and creative way. There are also great supports for Scratch, including an educator community, where you can exchange ideas and get help from other teachers.
Created by the MIT Media Lab, Scratch is a free and opensource tool that allows students to learn introductory computer programming. Placing a command block and action block together, students can have their character walking across the screen just seconds after opening the program for the first time. By continuing to drag and drop these color coded blocks, they can create codes for games, interactive art, or stories. As soon as they create a code, students can test it to see if it worked or go back and try a different set of instructions. Kids will love it for the gaming element, creativity component, and ease of use. Teachers can incorporate it into the curriculum by having students create projects based around their studies. From creating a quiz game, to an interactive demonstration on how electricity works, to presenting a creative writing piece, there is great learning potential to be had with Scratch.