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Sunday, July 12, 2015

SCRATCHING

Scratchy, the SCRATCH Cat.
When you make your learning list, it's very interesting how some of the tasks jump to the front of the line throughout the learning process. That's what happened with SCRATCH this morning. I sat down, looked at the list, and SCRATCH was the most appealing task.

Our school invites students to use SCRATCH and SCRATCH, Jr. whenever and however they want. Also, many of our students spend time outside of school scratching with coders near and far. It's a place of delightful and meaningful creation and collaboration, and since it's associated with MIT and Harvard, the growth and development related to SCRATCH is ongoing and progressive. Hence, it's a good investment of time and teaching to understand and use SCRATCH with and for students.

I've worked with SCRATCH a bit and last spring I had the chance to attend SCRATCH Day at the MIT Media Labs. I've enjoyed my work with SCRATCH and now I want to go deeper with this work as I think about the math year ahead.

SCRATCH is a block coding language that teaches students how to code and think mathematically. While students playfully create with SCRATCH, they are learning all about mathematics--it's a win-win activity for playful, collaborative, engaging math learning.

As I explore SCRATCH in the weeks ahead, I'll think about how I am going to integrate SCRATCH into our overall STEAM and math program for our TeamFive fifth graders.  As it stands now, this is the plan.

  • Examine the way I used SCRATCH last year to develop mathematical understanding of place value. (Place Value Bear )
  • Apply similar understanding and SCRATCH creation to the teaching and learning of coordinate grids, an early year focus of the math program. 
  • Read the background information related to math education and SCRATCH.
  • Play with SCRATCH more.
  • Determine enrichment learning paths using SCRATCH.
I recommend embedding SCRATCH into your elementary school learning/teaching program. It will delight students and teach them at the same time. 

If you have any thoughts, posts, or links to share with me as I begin this exploration, I welcome your consult. Thank you.