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Creative Computer Exploration with Scratch


Introduction

Obscure users planned and taught a class called "Creative Computer Exploration with Scratch", intended to teach elementary school children programming, design, and math in an accessible and engaging way. The lesson plans and notes from these classes are available under several free licenses.

The first three sessions of this class were held as an after-school arts enrichment program at an Arlington, Virginia primary school, Campbell Elementary, from the fall of 2007 to the spring of 2008. RichardBullingtonMcGuire [MAILTO]mailto:rbulling@obscure.org taught the first three sessions of the class and Obscure Organization volunteers helped in the classroom. These lesson plans have also been used in another class in the fall of 2008 Taylor Elementary School in Arlington, taught by Chris Vargas, with parent volunteers from Taylor.

  1. Introduction
  2. Summary
    1. Class Description: Introductory Class
    2. Class Description: Intermediate Class
  3. Call for Volunteers
  4. Schedule
    1. Spring 2008 Term Schedule
    2. Winter 2008 Term Schedule
    3. Fall 2007 Term Schedule
  5. Location
  6. Audience
  7. Class Size
  8. Lesson Plans
    1. Unit Objectives
      1. Introductory Class
      2. Intermediate Class
      3. One Day Intro Workshop
    2. Daily Lesson Plans
    3. Progress Notes
      1. Fall 2007 Term
      2. Winter 2008 Term
      3. Spring 2008 Term
  9. About Campbell
  10. Licensing

Summary

We have two class offerings: an introductory class and an intermediate class.

Class Description: Introductory Class

In this class, students will explore how to create games, animations, stories, and art using Scratch, a computer learning tool that teaches programming skills. Students will draw pictures, add sound and movement, and share their projects with the class.

Children will both examine existing programs and design their own new programs, using a visual programming language that snaps together on screen using graphical blocks. The class will learn about mathematical and computational concepts in a meaningful and motivating context. They will learn about the process of design, and develop key 21st century learning skills in the areas of creative thinking, collaboration, communication, and analysis. Scratch is a product of MIT's Lifelong Kindergarten Project. More information about Scratch is available at:

Class Description: Intermediate Class

In this class, students will build on the skills they learned in the "Introduction to Scratch" class to design and implement larger and more complex computer games, animations, stories, and art. We will work on strategies for collaboration and add sounds and photos we record to our projects. Admissions preference will be given to students who took the Fall or Winter Scratch class.

Call for Volunteers

Obscure islooking for volunteers who can help teach the class in different schools in the 2008-2009 school year. We have a need for a teacher who could do this at both Campbell and Taylor in Arlington, Virginia and we are interested in starting this program in other schools too. If you have computer programming skills, multimedia authoring skills, or education skills, you could make a significant contribution to this project.

It takes a lead teacher, plus one parent volunteer to serve as an aide per 5 students in the class. The class takes about 2 hours including setup and clean up. Each class has 5 sessions.

Schedule

As of Summer 2008, we do not have a firm schedule for future classes.

At Campbell in the 2007-2008 school year, the classes ran from 12:30-1:45 PM on Wednesday afternoons. Volunteers needed to arrive at 12:15 and stay until 2 PM each day.

At Campbell, the class is held in the large computer lab and conference room inside the school library.

Spring 2008 Term Schedule

The dates for the Spring 2008 Arts Alive term were:

The Spring term was be an Intermediate Scratch class, with a new set of lesson plans.

Winter 2008 Term Schedule

The dates for the Winter 2008 Arts Alive term were:

These were all Wednesdays. The class had a one-week hiatus in March for Spring Break; there were no classes on Wed. Mar. 19.

Fall 2007 Term Schedule

The dates for the Fall 2007 Arts Alive term were:

Location

Audience

Grades 3-5, plus younger literate students who have basic computer skills.

Class Size

8-10 children

Lesson Plans

Unit Objectives

Introductory Class
  1. Students will create new programs.

  2. Students will modify existing programs.

  3. Students will apply mathematics to problems.

  4. Students will learn design skills through experimentation.

  5. Students will work together to create new projects.

Intermediate Class
  1. Students will incorporate photos and audio they record into their projects

  2. Students will learn how to use control structures to power scripts

  3. Students will explore how to incorporate sensor data into their projects

  4. Students will plan their projects and then review and revise their plans

  5. Students will practice their presentation skills by showing their projects to the class

One Day Intro Workshop
  1. Students will learn what Scratch can do.

  2. Students will create and modify existing programs.

  3. Students will plan what they would like to build in Scratch.

  4. Students will share their work with each other.

Daily Lesson Plans

Progress Notes

Fall 2007 Term

This was the first time we taught the introductory course.

Winter 2008 Term

This was the second time we taught the introductory course.

Spring 2008 Term

About Campbell

Campbell Elementary is the school that my 6-year old son attends. You can find out more about Campbell and its unique features on this web site:

This seminar meshes particularly well with the Integrated Curriculum that Campbell uses (from an older version of their site):

Licensing

The Scratch lesson plans and supporting materials are dual-licensed under the [WWW]GFDL and the [WWW]Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

Copyright (c) 2008 The Obscure Organization

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Creative Computer Exploration with Scratch is licensed under a [WWW]Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License