« Teaching with Scratch
hello, i am diving into scratch and i hope to be ready before september begins, in order to start 1 or 2 courses for kids in my school;
now, my question: i already know scratch is totally helpful in math and physics teaching but i'd like to know if there is any book or web resource where projects regarding these curricula are grouped by age or grades of kids or, better, math (or physics) topics, e.g.:
- algebra projects
- geometry projects
- calculus projects
etc.
more exactely, i mean that you may find hundreds of projects tagged math or physics in the scratch site but they span a very different level of complexity and so i have to check each of them one by one ...
maybe a finer tuned tagging could help in this view, like:
math/geometry
math/basic_arithmetic
math/algebra
and the same for physics
thank you in advance
ps: if my question is not clear, just ask me more details

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I created a gallery for mental math tips and tutorials...

You can tag the projects according to US or UK curriculum.

You can also suggest new projects to be added to gallery.

http://scratch.mit.edu/galleries/view/61224

Nevit Dilmen

I am co-teaching a Physics + Programming + Math unClass this Fall. We had three two-hour weekly meetings so far. We have twelve homeschool kids, ages ten to sixteen, with varying levels of physics, math and programming backgrounds. Here are our tasks:

Week 1

Physics: The scientific method. How many water drops fit on a penny? Hypothesis, observation, data collection.

Programming: Make an applet in Scratch (very open-ended exploration, noisy happy group)

Week 2

Physics: Variables. Pendilum experiments.

Programming: Design a pendilum in Scratch (still open-ended, with a topic though)

Week 3

Physics: Scientific communication. "Silly robot" games (describe making PB&J sandwich in words, with the "robot" doing everything possible wrong; describe your wooden block construction in words from beyond a screen and have a friend reproduce it)

Programming: Make your pendilum take user input with multiple variables.

~*~*~*~*~*

The gallery with a few of the projects is here: http://scratch.mit.edu/galleries/view/58724

~*~*~*~*~*

From Week 2 write-up:

"To recap, we saw examples of several major approaches to programming a pendulum, including direct animation (creating an instance of every event and then going through them in a slide show manner), repetitious code (turn, turn again, turn again), pseudo-random motion (one object following another, which is programmed to move in a certain way), infinite cycles (turn forever), and terminating cycles ("turn given number of times" or "turn until a certain angle is reached"). This is a nice example space to talk about programming methods - we started the discussion a tiny bit, but will continue more next week. Programming approaches parallel the ways people think about the world and make sense of it, but are mediated by one's programming and visualization/storytelling skills."

~*~*~*~*~*

From Week 3 write-up:

This week, the modeling task was to have models take input from the user in the form of variables. Different people used different methods for input, mostly keyboard buttons and mouse clicks, but some experimented with on-screen buttons as well. The homework is to finish what you started, and to upload your applets into our gallery, which you can find at http://scratch.mit.edu/galleries/view/58724 Next week, we will start from looking at everybody's applets, making the master list of everybody's variables, and using it to discuss the idea of LAWS, from the math point of view statements about relationships among variables, in real and virtual worlds. For those of you interested in game design, laws create game mechanics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_mechanics

Please put a note of some sort on the screen of your model, explaining what input it takes (e.g. keys 1-6). These applets are open source, and many people will probably be using them. During the meeting, each author explained his or her model's input in words.

I am very happy with the atmosphere of creativity and cooperation in the group. The models are getting more complex and involved. I can't wait to see everybody's variables. I bet we have a dozen or two different ones among us!

Hello,

let me get into this discussion. A teacher of an afternoon course (7th & 8th grade) gave me some tasks she made for their students. She's very interested in using Scratch in combination with math and physics. I'll give you the first task: The capital is "Programming with Scratch - Illustration and Calculation of Fields"

1. Draw a (thin) line (AB) from point (A, coordinates specification) (horizontal) with a lenght of (5cm)

- THIN is variable, it can also be THICK or DASHED

- horizontal is variable, it can also be vertical or angle of 45 degrees

That's only one task. Later on they have to do calculations on cuboids, prisms and other geometrical problems. The goal should be (teachers opinion) to teach the kids in easy programming AND math.

The problem I figured out is that you can only demonstrate or visualize the problem in Scratch. I think it's hard to teach programming in Scratch AND boring tasks like the one I mentioned above. Either the kids learn to program OR learn and understand why they use appropriate formulas for geometric calculations.

In the Scratch forums and gallaries are a lot of interesting visualizations of math problems. But do they explain the formulas working in the background? Isn't that what's important for math and physics?

What do you think? Any suggestions to combine programming in Scartch and learning math?

Thanks in advance

Thilo

P.S.: I think you can teach tasks like that in afternoon courses only, because teachers have strict curriculum demands (like roberto said).

Thanks for your comments, Fernando.

My proposal is intended to teachers who have strict curriculum demands (e.g. from the Ministry of Education) and cannot spend as much time as they like to activities other than curriculum teaching. Every tool helping in doing this job is welcome.

Your approach is good and i have been using it in my CS activities in after school centers since years ago, where curriculum demands are less compelling and the teacher/educator can decide what to do/not to do on his/her own.

My 2 cents.

Karen (R.), Roberto et al,

I think the following link provides a good start for Strand ,Topic and Subtopic and this may be what we start with rather than the more details of the link that you shared from NCTM. These are basically th same but now have Topic and Subtopic also. I have started extracting these and I will share but we need to see how we can divide the work of tagging projects with these.

Karen (B.) can ScratchEd built something special for this purpose I hope we can discuss this in the workshop you may wish to run it by the team there.

http://www.linkslearning.org/Teachers/1_Math/2_Curriculum_Planning/3_K-8_Math_Content/index.html

OK, I see how you did the story project grouping. Imagine, though, that someone else wants to add to the collection. Then later on the collection gets organized by projects that build from one concept to the next. Then someone wants to insert a project into the middle of the collection because it fits better there. Is that possible in the current set-up?

Karen R.

I would have hoped that the Wiki would stay in ScratchEd and be managed by a editor group we already have a few candidates for this group. They will decide who gets to insert what where. Search and being able to limit it with the Tags that I mentioned would have been so much easier. Even if we had a search that would keep limiting the set of projects that would help. So a teacher like Karen could search for 6-8 then for Geometry then Coordinates.

I suggest for now just to test the water:

1. We divide up the Projects in the Math Gallery and Give them a Quality ranking like Quality A, Quality B for those that can be used in the classroom (there maybe 100+ of these) .

2. Then assign Grade Strand, Topics and Subtopics to these.

Here is another thought about how to approach this project. Most math curriculum design these days starts from a set of standards, in particular the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics. This is the link to their tables of standards for grades 6-8, for example. http://standards.nctm.org/document/chapter6/alg.htm

How about choosing a level like this, putting the table in a wiki, then adding a column to the table that has Scratch project demonstrations, project assignments, or projects that use the concept? Teachers could check the standard they need to teach and see what sorts of projects address it. Problems with this--there are a lot of standards, the language of standards can be dense, projects fit more than one standard ...

Karen R.

Hi Karen (R.),

thank you for the link you highlighted !

I think it fits almost perfectly what i had in mind. More exactely, my proposal may be told as follows:

one (or more than one) algebra class

standards

column version) should report links to Scratch projects that the committee (let's

call it this way, freely change it if you disagree) has identified as fitting

enough to that expectation

downloads a particulat project may also increase (in his/her view) or decrease the

degree of fitness of that project into that expectation; this system should be

carefully moderated by the committee, to prevent a mess of confusing scoring.

Anyway it may be useful to get a realtime feedback by educators using scratch for

math and related subjects.

Your opinions are welcome.

Thank you for your attention.

PS: It would be a plus to add also a scoring system reserved for young users, as

they are a very active partner of Scratch development.

Hi Roberto, I’m afraid I must to give you back your question: tell me one concrete subject that you would like to see transformed in a Scratch project to use in classroom and I’ll give you the project by measure with all the aspects and changes that you consider as improvements. In conclusion: I think that you can require from a tailor a handmade suite that fits you instead of entering in a supermarket to search among the shelfs a suit that is the nearest of your needs.

Oh, I think I understand what you're trying to do. ScratchEd was designed to be flexible across lots of different types of resources, which makes it hard to have that sort of hierarchical specificity.

Two ideas come to mind. I guess you could either: (1) be flexible about the way you imagine the collection being presented (e.g. across resources instead of building one resource up) and use ScratchEd, or (2) use another tool to construct your collection (e.g. like a wiki to generate a taxonomy with as much nesting as you like) and then point to it from ScratchEd.

What do you think? Do you have other ideas?

It's a great project -- let me know how I can help!

I know in theory that the current labels should allow us to make a hierarchy, but it feels complicated and hard to organize. I agree with Behrouz about having topics and subtopics in a list that an educator can easily navigate when browsing. It is the same sort of wish that I have for project galleries. It would be lovely to be able to organize them with nesting folders or links inside links.

For Teachers to find projects in scratch that they can use in their class rooms we need to identify the content and the quality of the project for classroom use. We need to have a roup that is charged with this task and we can start with the Gallery Math Projects that contains most of the math related projects for Content we need a Hierarchy:

Grade (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Strand (Number Sense, Measurement, Geometric Sense, Probability and Statistics, Algebraic Sense)

Topic

Subtopic

For Quality we can use an A, B, C, D, F scale to determine the qulity and classroom usability of the project.

Karen Can this be added to ScratchED or is it somehow in ScratchED already?

You can add Scratch projects (or links to projects and galleries) as resources on ScratchEd. Resources can be described by the site taxonomy (age, content type, curricular area) or folksonomy (community-supplied keywords). Between the two of these you should be able to describe the grade and strand.

As for quality indicators, the idea of resource rating systems was brought up in another thread. For now, comments (and the resource description itself) can be used to describe the quality and usability of the project.

For example, I added a resource about stories. It's a collection of projects that I think are great examples of using Scratch for storytelling.

Hope that helps,

Karen

This is a bug how can we remove these I save once and I got several copies

I've deleted the extra copies. I haven't seen that behavior. Did you click "save" only once and wait for it to reload? What browser were you using?

Yes I only pressed enter and this happened (I think) I did not save that many times for sure. IE 7 in PC (Vista)

It's definitely strange behavior! I'll keep an eye on it -- thanks for the usage information.

Dear all, My goal in Scratch and before that for the last 20 years has been to develop real and virtual games and activities to teach and expose basic math and science (mostly math) to students in K-8

We have started a Team called The Super School Team with ffred, dapontes and mathjp The Numbers Gallery is one of the first Programs. I have also been working with Karen's class. I have grouped some of my work (almost all for teaching elemetry math) into the following galleries I am all for coming up with ways to make these and all math and science projects in Scratch more accessiable to teachers.

Graphing Calculator Series (mostly done for Karen's class then I added other projects that I found)

http://scratch.mit.edu/galleries/view/34684

K-2 http://scratch.mit.edu/galleries/view/39051 3-5 http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/DrSuper/471789

6-8 http://scratch.mit.edu/galleries/view/38250 Quick Math http://scratch.mit.edu/galleries/view/30594

QuicK Science http://scratch.mit.edu/galleries/view/30723

Puzzles http://scratch.mit.edu/galleries/view/33210

Dr. Supers Math and Science Games and Activities http://scratch.mit.edu/galleries/view/23437

I have gone through most of the 600+ projects in Math Projects Gallery http://scratch.mit.edu/galleries/view/6423

We need a few criteria to classify these and identify the ones that can be used in the classroom.

I'm interested in using Scratch to teach elementary math concepts in my classroom. I'll be exploring that this coming year.

Hello,

I am not aware of a resource that does what you ask. You are right on about there needing to be such a thing, so somehow us teachers need to figure out how to make it happen.

I wonder if there is interest in a collective project along these lines through August--if we can recruit several people willing do take an area for searching the scratch site, then agree on a protocal for entering references here. Would you be interested?

Karen R.