How I Use It
I have used Scratch to teach the idea of programming: you must tell the computer every detail of your story, or it will not work. My students create stories, games and projects of choice using Scratch. It is a free download so students can install it on their personal or home computers if desired. There are so many resources, lesson plans and examples that implementing Scratch is very easy. Scratch can be used with or without the online forums and sharing features.
I love Scratch as a teaching tool. It is an excellent way to show kids about how computer programming works without having to learn how to code. It is a great tool for creativity--storytelling, games, interactive scenes. Students can program their creations in the same style a programmer would design a program or app. There are many resources and supports at Scratch.com to help teachers and students. Students can share their work online if desired. One concern would be the open discussion and sharing forums may contain topics inappropriate for young children. It is not necessary to use the online components of Scratch, however.