Introduction to Coding
Stay tuned! More information to come.
Scratch is a programming language and online community where students learn how to code and share their interactive stories, animations, and games with people around the world.
Just like how you would build things physically with LEGO blocks, Scratch uses the block-based metaphor to build programs.
They also use critical skills: (color and changing sprites), problem-solving, mathematical and computational ideas, design process iteratively (repeating a process to achieve a desired goal) and fluency.
Scratch Mission: to “support approaches to coding that engage young people in thinking creatively, reasoning systematically, and working collaboratively — essential skills for everyone in today’s society”.
Affordances of Scratch
- Scratch is used in over 150 countries and is available in over 40 languages. This is great for teachers that are working with bilingual or ESL students!
- Scratch can be used across the various Canadian curricula.
- Scratch is that it is a free program, so people can access and utilize scratch for both personal and academic use.
- The stronger your knowledge base on Scratch, the more effective your STEAM integration.
- Scratch advanced users would benefit from engaging in an active online community which would, in turn, lead to an improvement in their social and academic prowess.
- There are many online tutorials accessible for teachers and students.
Challenges of Scratch
- Scratch cannot be used on mobile devices.
- Users require training to effectively use Scratch’s advanced features. This issue extends to both the teacher and student.
- Students with lower attention spans may be frustrated by the absence of immediate feedback.
- Despite having no inherent cost, Scratch is expensive for classrooms as each student require their own device for usage.
- Scratch is not accessible to those with certain physical impairments.
Using Scratch in Education
With Scratch, students learn to:
- Formulate a problem as they determine how to use the elements in Scratch to construct their story – creating plot, setting, sequencing, and perspective.
- Logically organize and analyze data by creating blocks of code to create and design settings.
- Represent the data (story content) through the movement of sprites—the characters in scratch. The source of sprites can be from Scratch’s extensive library, an online image, a cropped photo, or an original drawing in Paint (an online drawing program within Scratch).
- Use algorithmic thinking as they create code to make sprites move and communicate.
- Identify, analyze, and implement solutions in the ordered steps they created to make the program work as they envision.
- Transfer this problem-solving process to other situations as they tackle more complex animation challenges within Scratch and elsewhere in their lives.
Digital storytelling involves combining digital media (images, voice narration, music, text, or motion) to tell a story. Over the past few years, digital storytelling has become an increasingly popular and effective way for students to meet a range of learning goals in the classroom.
- Create short stories related to a piece of literature.
- Create and/or illustrate a math problem.
- Research and report about a career.
- Research and report about a historic figure, scientist.
- Illustrate a current event.
- Game-based approach to learning.
- Help students to learn through projects.
- Integrate STEM with language arts, social studies, visual arts, computer science and foreign languages.
Scratchers can create autobiographies, family histories, vacation journals, fantasies, and fairy tales that give a new voice to their interests and talents that traditional writing and publishing may not able to provide.
Thus, Scratch can act as an amazing digital storytelling tool.
Curriculum Connections: Primary (Grades 1 – 3)
People and Environments: Global Communities
- B3 – Identify and locate various physical features and selected communities around the world, and describe some aspects of people’s ways of life in those communities.
Number Sense and Numeration
- Relate multiplication of one-digit numbers and division by one-digit divisors to real life situations, using a variety of tools and strategies
Understanding Life Systems
- 1.1 – Assess ways in which plants are important to humans and other living things, taking different points of view into consideration and suggest ways in which humans can protect plants.
Curriculum Connections: Junior (Grades 4 – 6)
Heritage and Identity: Early Societies, 3000 BCE–1500 CE
- A1.2 compare aspects of the daily lives of different groups in an early society (and explain how differences were related to the social organization of that society
Language Arts: Writing
- 2.1 Write longer and more complex texts using a variety of forms
The Arts: Drama
- B1.1 engage actively in drama exploration and role play, with a focus on examining issues and themes in fiction and non-fiction sources from diverse communities, times and places
The Arts: Visual Arts
- D1.3 use elements of design in art works to communicate ideas, messages, and understandings
Stay tuned! Coming soon.