I'm curious to know if any of you are using Scratch in your classrooms. I'm experimenting with it in the computer lab and would love to hear stories/ideas! I read some of the previous posts about it. Any updates?
I've just started using Scratch this year. I had my seventh graders walk through the Getting Started with Scratch PDF from the website. The didn't exactly get it right off the bat. We've been playing around with Logo (HyperLogo and ACSLogo) for the last two years. I ended up creating a little video game with them. We did it together step by step. Now they are excited and working independently on making their own game. I'll place a link here to the projects when I upload them.
I used Scratch this year with my 5th and 6th graders-they loved it. I set up accounts for each student on the Scratch site so they could upload their programs. They loved it and really loved going to the Scratch site and showing their parents the "games " they created. I use Squeak for 4th and 5th Scratch for 5th and 6th, Alice for 7th and 8th does game maker and HTML.
The students needed very little assistance using this language
We've been using Scratch (and Alice) for about 6 weeks. I teach in a gifted program for K-6 and the kids love it. We are still in the explore stage but I'm amazed at my kids ability to intuit how to use it. I asked a month or so ago if anybody here had done any skills checklists, rubrics, etc for Scratch. I need some way to hold my kids accountable for the time they are spending and move them from the "goofing around" stage. I'm getting ready to design an accountabilty check list to prod them when thing get too hard or they get stuck goofing!
I have a link to the videos MIT offers. My kids assignment is listed,, the rubric I graded them on is listed on the site, and document from MIT lwhich supports the programming and structure issues. My kids all uploaded their projects to the site when they were finished.. Hope this helps
Hey, thanks a million for the rubric. That will save me a lot of work. I work with gifted kids and they have wild and ambitious ideas. They think they are going to invent the next Halo 3 or World of Warcraft in a few hours. Their ideas are so grandious that they usually get frustrated before they have accomplished much. Think about a young gifted writer---same thing happens, they envision themselves the next JK Rowling!! With a brain full of ideas and the inability to organize their thoughts on paper they quit in frustration. I really need the tools that may encourage them to move past that frustration point. .
If you liked Scratch you will Love Alice. I like to think of Scratch as 2 D and Alice as 3D. Alice is a nice next step to take after Scratch. This past November they releaseda new version called Storytelling Alice.. It is a bit easier to use than Alice. and works really well for character based stories. Just google Storytelling Alice-regular Alice is available ar www.Alice.org
I read the Sims release as well. I am looking forward to the improved graphic;s.
Have you ever used Squeak? I used that one with the 4th graders it seems to be a pretty nice step after Kid Pix. My Junior HIgh kids like Game maker. that one is at www.yoyogames.com/
I still haven't tried KLIK, or Croquet . Croquet looks similar to Alice but written in Small Talk. I envy you having the gifted kids I bet for some you can give them the program and they can just figure it out!
This year I do not have a group advanced enough to use anim8tor. I am hoping after the kids get a little Sketch up under their belts this year they will be ready for anim8tor next year.
I used anim8tor for the last 4 years. I usually did it along with the medevil history unit and had the kids design Castles. There are so many careers that now use C.A.D. and the programming implecations for engineering are vast. However anim8tor works in a much more similar mode to C.A.D. and rquires some pervious CAD knowledge in being able to swich between the edit mode, and switching between wire frame and all the view options. It does use ANSI drawing standards, and builds a basis for engineering skills to to be built upon. Also having to draw the castles based on phot'os of castles from history in the enhanced the learning in the content area. A nice marriage between content infrmation, applying higher level thinking skills and using technology for engineering and design.
Unfortunately I got assigned to a new building this year and followed a computer teacher who thought her job was to teach MS Office. So I have been doing catch up on missed skills and do not feel comfortable i teachng Anim8tor to kids with zero CAD background. So for this year I will have to make due with Sketchup. Next year with some experience behind their belts we can move on to Anim8tor.
I agree with you, but what I find is the need to push. When things are always easy some kids don't like the feeling they get when things are hard--what happens? They are content to settle for a skill level much lower than what they are capable of. While I agree that messing around re-enforces thinking and problem solving--I need to nudge them past their comfort zone.
Knowledge for knowledge sake is big with gifted kids--they like to know stuff but don't always feel the need to do something with that knowledge. Eventually they are going to need to produce.