The students of Serendipity school have all caught Scratch Fever! With the help of this cute cat and our own super brainpower, we are learning how to create code that will allow our sprites to sing and dance, to answer questions, to draw pictures and to tell stories (among other things). Scratch also has a component aimed at younger coders called Scratch Jr. There are a few versions of this program, one is called Codable Kids and the other is PBS Kids Scratch JR. They are both available for free on the App store and are captivating to our K/1s. As a preface to more “serious” coding, our younger kids also enjoy Bee Bot and Kodable – both of which introduce coding concepts with an easy to use interface.
Throughout the school we are learning about If…Then statements, loops, conditional loops, creating lists and variables, and digital artistry and design. The students are fascinated with the capabilities of the program and creativity of their own imaginations. Even when things are a bit frustrating, the students are displaying a resiliency of spirit and a real willingness to stick with a project until they feel successful.
Scratch is an evolving visual programming language created by the fine folks at MIT. It is free and easy to use. If you haven’t already, please visit www.scratch.mit.edu and see for yourself how much fun you can have learning to code.