Introducing Scratch with a Vocabulary Quiz Game

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At the beginning of the school year I explain to my students that we will be integrating computer science into the 6th grade science curriculum. I explain to them the importance of being introduced to CS while they are in middle school and the career possibilities that await them. I explain to them how coding will help with their problem solving skills which is a VERY important skill for any scientist to develop.

Once we have covered most of the vocabulary in our first unit about the Scientific Method, I introduce the Scratch vocabulary project. Last year after Directing at an iDTech camp I became really interested in Scratch – this led me to finding the Scratch education website. The website has improved very much over the past year and I was able to find a lesson for a scratch vocabulary quiz game. I instantly fell in love with introducing Scratch by using this lesson plan. See Lesson Here Although the lesson does a good job with screen shots and explanations, I know ALL of my students would not be able to do his without screenshots to help guide them.

Every time I try something new I try to always do the assignment myself first, although I can’t catch ALL the issues my students might face I can catch most of them. As I was going through the lesson I took screenshots of each step and then I also used arrows and text to help the students who might be lost. I have also found these screenshot instructions to GREATLY help my ELD and Special Education students. See Screenshot Presentation Here After I guide the students through the first question I release them to work on their own/ with their table partners. Before I release them I introduce them to the Tip menu – this is a great resource for your more advanced students. I tell them if they finish early they can explore this menu and add cool features to their game. Once my students turn their projects in I create a Scratch studio where all students share their projects, this allows all students to play one another’s games to help them study for the test. See Studio Here

Issues: 

This year scratch makes parents approve their accounts – I don’t remember this happening last year during the project. the big issue I ran into was when the project was over if parents had ignored the email then I was not able to view their projects when they shared them on Google Classroom. I HIGHLY recommend making it the homework assignment on Day 1 to have parents approve the Scratch account, this will save you a headache later on. I will leave you with the video I played for my students at the beginning of the project to get them excited about learning how to code on Scratch.

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