Our 3rd grade programmers are studying computer science through the lens of storytelling this year. During their literacy classes they are learning about narrative non-fiction, and will eventually author their own stories with the help of some mentor texts. This is an exciting opportunity for a technology integration since we can use Scratch to program an interactive story. We used one of the grade’s mentor texts Ish by Peter Reynolds to have students create their own “clickable collage” using content from the story. It’s a great way to give context and meaning to a coding lesson.
You can download my lesson plan and student activity sheet from the ScratchEd website and see links to sample projects too. Here’s my completed model clickable collage for you to enjoy. I show it to students and then challenge them to make one of their own custom design using the images from the book.
4th graders are continuing their exploration of computer programming through music. In the video below they are demonstrating prototype experimental musical instruments that are drawn in graphite pencil, connected via MaKey MaKey, and coded with Scratch. Drawings, code, and music are all student-generated.
Today we started prototyping experimental instruments in 4th grade. We code the musical notes with Scratch and connect conductive materials via MaKey MaKey. Fruit, marshmallows, spoons, and high fives were all put to the test!
We’re starting a new integrated unit on experimental music in the 4th grade. I’m excited to be collaborating with the Science, Music, and Art teachers to explore sound and music through all these disciplines. For my part, I’ll be teaching students to make electronic music by coding with sound in Scratch. We’ll also dive into programming with sensors to make unusual DIY electronic instruments.
My first activity is called “Boom, Snap, Clap”, a simple percussion program based on the kids song/dance that I frequently overhear them reciting.
The final part of my guest blog series for Edutopia is an advanced Scratch programming lesson that helps middle and high school students explore that mathematics of recursion and fractals. Read it here: edut.to/1qvRkPF
image credit: Edutopia.org
My guest blog series for Edutopia continues with an intermediate Scratch programming lesson where students in grades 5+ can learn how to create code for drawing and naming polygons. Math, Art and Coding collide! Read it here: edut.to/1rY43J6 or you can watch the video tutorial.
image credit: Edutopia.org
Part one of my new guest blog series for Edutopia is up on their website. It’s a beginner’s tutorial on coding in the classroom with Scratch. Programming a computer is simply telling it what to do, and tools like Scratch make it easy for elementary students to explore Math and even Art through coding. Read it here: edut.to/1oECSoq or you can watch the video tutorial.