Scratch is a free, block-based programming environment created by MIT to produce media and teach programming concepts. Using drag-and-drop techniques to join together block icons representing code, students create games, stories, and simulations in which programmable objects called "sprites" move and interact. Scratch's graphic block-based environment provides an excellent platform for introducing computer science concepts such as objects, methods, and conditional statements.
Scratch is available as a free download from http://scratch.mit.edu/pages/download Scratch works on both Windows and Macintosh platforms. Email Mr. Michaud for instructions on how to install Scratch on Linux.
My favorite part of learning Scratch is to see how it fits into the curriculum. I have just started implementing Scratch into my elementary classrooms but it has been exciting to see how the kids embrace the program and learn so quickly.
My first project was with my sister's fourth grade class. The students were studying Minnesota History and created an animiated 4 corners project that shared what they had learned. They were required to have four sprites that were animated and gave information about MN history.
The second project I did was with a small group of 3rd grade students. They were reading "The Green Book" and were learning about figurative language. The students chose four examples of figurative language to animate in SCRATCH. They drew the sprites, gave them different costumes to animate them and then shared the example of figurative language as well.
Click below to see some examples.
My MN History Example
My Green Book Figurative Language Example
4th Grade Students's MN History Examples
3rd Grade Student's Green Book Examples (coming late December 08)