« Teaching with Scratch

- Login to post comments

(I posted this somewhere else, but I think it's better to start a discussion topic....

Hello all Scratch users. I just learned Scratch (briefly) at NECC09, and I need to teach it to my students. They are in high school, but this will be there first exposure to programming of any type, so I think it'll be fun.

Does anyone have a curriculum that I could follow to help the students learn it step by step, and not just "make it work", but learn some of the why's and terminology?

Or suggestions for which projects I should teach/have them learn first, second, etc.

All suggestions are welcome!

THANKS!

I'm thinking of creating a curriculum for a group of students ages from 13-15 to teach Programming concepts using Scratch. The number of hours I'm looking into is about 100 hours stretched across 3 years. Is that too long?

The 100 hours doesn't seem long to me, but I don't have an intuition about the 3 years. When kids are working on designing their own projects, it's amazing how quickly the time flies by!

I have just posted up our revised redware lesson plan at http://scratch.redware.com/lessonplan.html. The plan is suitable for 7-12 year olds learning Scratch over 6-8 sessions. I hope to revise the accompanying videos soon and post onto youtube. Please let me know if you like them or give me any ideas for improvements. They are not as comprehensive as the learnscratch tutorials but leave a lot of room for children to investigate by themsleves whilst ensuring that the basics are understood.

From my experience running several Scratch classes, kids really want to make computer games right away. So resources such as lists of game mechanics with popular game examples really help them brainstorm. What I mostly end up doing is letting kids work on their own ideas most of the time, since that's what they want to do, and then devoting 10-20 minutes out of every hour to showing them a connection of a couple of particular Scratch commands to game mechanics. Connection examples:

As students develop projects, they can have an ongoing collection of these, similar to the format I started, but with examples of their own projects, either on a poster on the wall, or on the web.

I taught a Scratch class this Spring with only six 75-minute meetings, and some students who never programmed before. I did no formal introduction of computer terms, and indeed very little (probably 20 minutes total) discussions overall, other than helping with particular project questions. However, at the end of the class I went through a basic vocabulary list from a Computer Science 101 class, such as "conditional statement" and "infinite cycle". Students were able to make examples for EVERY SINGLE TERM from their own projects and those of classmates. It felt like magic.

One more thing...I was reading Linda's post about how she gets started with Scratch and I realized that I forgot to mention the Scratch cards! I think the cards are a really great way to give students freedom to explore different code excerpts that they can then build up into interesting projects.

Hi Laurie,

There's a lot out there that you might be interested in, but here's some of what I've tried:

There's more available -- both on ScratchEd and soon to be added. I look forward to hearing about what you try!

Hope that helps,

Karen