How I Use It
I use Scratch weekly in grades 2-5 and on occasions with grades K and 1. I have used Scratch in many different ways. My students were learning about animal features and their habitat that they lived in. They created their animal on scratch in its environment and than programmed it to move. In the upper grades my students programmed a game to explain and show the process of a water cycle, plant growth, and more. My 4th graders learned about angles and shapes through designing and programming on Scratch. When you are using Scratch, as a teacher you really need to think about what skill are you teaching them. Do you want them to understand the programming or the content? I recommend teaching the programming first through the content. Once you feel they grasp the programming than let them loose to produce a product on a topic.
I think Scratch is an outstanding tool. My students are actively engaged every time we go on Scratch. They are going home and creating their own complex games on Scratch using what they have learned in class, but also through their on research on Scratch. Scratch is great for all levels of learners. There are tons of help videos online about Scratch. Also, one of the great features of Scratch is the ability to Remix. Students who need more support could remix an already made Scratch to help them learn about programming. I highly recommend Scratch to all classroom teachers as a way for student to be engaged and produce a product.