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 used Scratch with my Grade 2-5 classes. The Grade 5 homeroom teachers were wanting to have the students write a story so we used Scratch's backgrounds and sprites as the basis for the stories. The students then went back to LA class and wrote their stories. Then in computer class, they animated the climax to their story using the characters and settings.
The homeroom teachers liked the idea of using Scratch to help 'spark' the students imagination. The students enjoyed using Scratch a lot. My Grade 2s will even come in to the lab at open lunch and fly around on Scratch. Of course, they're just putting in text and some simple animation, but they find it easy enough to use to do that.
Anyone using Scratch might like Bill Kerr's latest blog post - Teaching fractions through instructional design. Bill is a great teacher from Australia and is well known in the children's programming, children designing games, etc. community.
This post talks about how to teach fractions by letting kids make games and quizzes about fractions using Scratch. He's got a great section about talking to the parents about what he's doing so they get it too.
Bill really goes into the details about why programming is such a valuable learning opportunity for students, and links back to another article of his that goes even deeper into the subject. Educational Software: Designed by Kids for Kids
We use Scratch widely throughout the Sunraysia Mallee Schools network. Students usually use it for game development and animation but it is the higher order thinking that really makes it worthwhile!
I have started a free Moodle course with guest access turned on. http://need2learn.net/course/view.php?id=95 I have been planning to make the course available as a download for those with a Moodle installation. Let me know if you think it would be useful or want to help add to it.
What an excellent course! I definitely think it is useful and the Moodle interface is clean and simple. My districts do not use Moodle for children yet but we are looking into it. I have used Moodle in the past for staff development. What types of areas would you like to add to it? I will be happy to help if I can. Thank you for sharing.
If you sign up for an account on need2learn.net I can add you in as a teacher and then you can edit. I'd like to add more lessons, more quiz questions, anything you think that will help students get into scratch.
I taught an afterschool program using Scratch and Alice in the beginning of the year. I teach in a middle school and had mostly 6th and 7th graders in the class.
The best part was the community that they formed. Students would kind of "shout out" where they were stuck and another student (or me) would help them work it through. It was one of the most satisfying experiences I have had as a teacher.
This summer, I plan on developing some lesson plans within my typical science classes using Scratch and Alice. I am also experimenting with Edusim.