Scratch is a great tool for students to tell stories, prove comprehension, practice language skills and . . . well, be creative. Here’s an important skill to master:
Figuring out how to make things move is pretty easy. Often, though, they look like they’re sliding or gliding. How do you make them seem animated? Most sprites in Scratch have costumes. By using the “next costume” block with a “repeat” block, you can make them appear to be running, jumping, walking, heck, even dabbing.
Important Tip: if you don’t put a “wait” block in there, the costume will change repeatedly without you (or your viewer) seeing it. To Scratch, it’s changing over and over instantly – to us, it’s just the same costume the whole time.
Another Tip: if your sprite doesn’t have a second costume that makes it appear to move . . . make one! Duplicate the 1st costume and edit it to make a 2nd one!
Scratch, developed by a group at MIT, has a tremendous reputation as a computer science learning & creation tool. But, I believe it is under-appreciated as a tool for the content areas.
It is a great way for students to show their mastery of content standards, while honing their computer science skills and practicing the 4 C’s. It’s also a great way for educators to create content for their students to interact with.
This summer, I hope to make some examples of how Scratch can be used in content areas. For now, here’s a little taste:
In a training webinar for the PEAR (Partnerships in Education and Resilience) Institute’s DoS (Dimensions of Success) Observation Tool, the facilitators discussed how the 3rd of their 4 domains – STEM Knowledge and Practices – was based on the STEM Practices outlined by the NGSS‘ (Next Generation Science Standards) “A Science Framework for K-12 Science Education.” I think that these 8 practices are fantastic and that schools should place a focus on integrating into the curriculum maps for all content areas, not just science. Here they are: Continue reading STEM Practices