How I Use It
Scratch has been my go-to programming language for students in Grades 2-12 for the past decade. Scratch is an online programming environment designed specifically for this age group. I have found it to be a great tool for integrating technology into any and all subject areas. Scratch has been described as having "low floors, high ceilings, and wide walls." It can reach a broad range of students because of its open-ended, student-centered design. Because our students easily forget passwords, and younger students can take a long time to login, it is very helpful for teachers to create student accounts ahead of time. I highly recommend that teachers create studios for class projects to curate them for easier retrieval at a later time. Lastly, I can't recommend highly enough the Scratch Creative Computing Curriculum Guide for beginner teachers who want to introduce coding to their students.
There is a learning curve with this tool, but it is definitely worth the time investment. I recommend students (and teachers!) use the scratch cards and scratch starter projects to get started. It helps to learn some basic blocks before trying to use them to create a school project. In other words, it's helpful to designate time to become familiar with the tool before applying it to curricular content.