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
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.