An Introduction To Programming in SCRATCH

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Students will explore the features of the SCRATCH programming environement

Big Idea

Students put all of the mathematical practice standards to use when creating computer programs.


15 minutes

I will introduce the Scratch programming environment by showing an intro video.  It provides an overview of the different kinds of projects that can be created - games, presentations, stories, videos, simulations, visual designs, etc. 

Next I will walk students through signing up for a username and a password.  Our students use a variety of computer programs throughout the school day for math intervention and writing.  They have a school generated username and password for all these programs.  Teachers have access to the usernames and passwords.  If you want your students to create their own user names and passwords you may and still have access to their programs.  I assigned them a specific username and password.  This follows are school practice for user names and passwords and it will make it easier for me to view and keep track of their projects.  

If you are assigning the passwords you may choose to do this before the lesson.  I am going to do it during the lesson.

Here is a step by step guide.  The green ovals in the images indicate where to click.

1) Go to the Scratch site.

2) Click join scratch.

3) You will be prompted to enter a username.  Notice that it instructs you not to use your real name.

4) Next you will be asked to enter birth month and year, gender, and an email address in case you forget your password.

5) Click on create.

6) Click tips to see the step-by-step tutorial.

7) Click on one of the step-by-step tutorials.  



10 minutes

Once every student is logged in, they will be presented with a step-by-step tutorial.  I will walk them through the tutorial on the SmartBoard.  The tutorial teaches some of the fundamental concepts of the program while creating an onscreen character the dances/moves in time with the beat of a drum.

Students will have questions or perhaps miss a step so I'll have to be patient and ready to help out without slowing down the pace of the tutorial.  Often the person sitting next to them can get them back on track.


30 minutes

During this section I will give students a chance to explore freely.  I will encourage them to do a few of the other tutorials, but that is an option.  Since this is the first time to really work with the program I just want them to be able to stumble around the program and play with whatever they find interesting. 

Warning:  This often means the room will be full of sound!  It seems the kids immediately want to play with all of the sounds that are built into the program.  I'll have to remember to breathe deeply to relax and allow them to explore.

Though I allow them to freely explore, I will ask them to create a small program and save it.  I will present them with a naming format for their file.  I will avoid using their full name for a file.