How I Use It
MIT has created a great tool for students who are new to programming. They have updated it regularly and include most of the major programming concepts in the project.
My Talented and Gift students can usually figure it out on their own. My lesser able learners need structured lessons and some examples before they can create projects. Some of the special education students never get to creating original projects, but they do learn to read and follow directions.
I find that programming helps all learners get better at reading and following directions. Scratch is a great first language for this.
I've used Scratch with all levels of students. From PreAP Computer Science students who were truly Talented and Gifted, to new English Language Learners. Most of my students have been able to create new programs very quickly. Having structured lessons over the individual programming projects help the rest.
In addition to teaching programming, I have found it very useful to help students who are struggling with math.
Having it on the web means no install time. All of the versions run fast, and are easier to set up. Rarely crash, and give a pleasant user experience.