How I Use It
I introduce Scratch in the fifth grade curriculum. As a class, we learn about the different pallets and blocks that enable the sprites to move, talk, dance and inter-relate. We also practice downloading public domain content from the Internet to enhance our creations. Once the students master the basics, they are given an assignment in which they animate the letters of their names, with different scripts for each letter. I have also had students work in pairs to create and animate original stories. The students love seeing how their choices affect the sprites and their shared is shared with each other and through links on our technology web page.
Scratch is an introduction to programming that can be used over many grade levels and subject areas. I have found that student interest in gaining mastery is high and that a good deal of collaboration takes place as they share ideas and discover ways to control what happens on the computer screen.
Math skills are integrated as students must determine the coordinates to make the sprites move to specific areas of the screen and perform “tasks” developed by the programmer. The final outcome rewards creativity and reflects the students’ ability to plan and problem-solve. I highly recommend Scratch as an example of using technology to satisfy both technology and curriculum goals.