At EiE®, one of our favorite tools to use for teaching computer science is Scratch. Scratch Week is May 15th – 21st and is a chance to celebrate this great tool and explore all things coding and computer science!
Scratch is a coding language and online community where you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations—and share your creations with others around the world. As young people create and share projects, they learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. Scratch is a project of the Scratch Foundation in collaboration with the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab.
Scratch is a powerful tool and there are many ways to use it. Using it within the EiE curricula, there are a few strategies we have adopted to make Scratch more inclusive for all learners.
- Start with a narrative context.
Many kids benefit from having a motivating reason to use or learn about using a new tool. Is there a real problem in your community that could be solved with Scratch? For example, in EiE’s Computer Science Essentials™ Grade 4 unit, students make games that teach users about their environmental impact.
- Translate the tool.
Scratch can be used in over 70 languages! Click the world icon to change the language. Learners may program using a home language or switch back and forth between languages. Download EiE’s free Coding Block Reference Sheet for Scratch to add more support for multilingual students who are working in Spanish.
- Get creative.
Some students have a misconception that computer science is not a creative field. Scratch is a great antidote for this! Learners have tons of freedom to make choices, from how their project looks to how their program runs.
- If needed, go offline.
The downloadable Scratch App is a great solution if you have an unreliable internet connection or concerns about students being part of the Scratch community.
This Scratch Week build computer science connections with your young learners to build lifelong connections to computer science and coding! Find even more ways to celebrate from our friends at MIT with their Scratch Week Celebration events.
Join us on social media during Scratch Week to contribute to the conversation around how these strategies have worked in your learning environments. Do you have additional strategies to share with the EiE community? Comment below or tag us in a post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram!