the class using any medium they
chose. Several chose to use Scratch.
One group imported and edited images in Scratch of current and past
presidents to explain the executive
branch of the government.
Making Lunes Come Alive
I even got second graders to use
Scratch. As part of a collaborative effort between the Spanish teacher, the
classroom teacher, and me, students
wrote three-line poems called lunes
and animated them with the Motion
and Looks tabs in Scratch.
Fifth graders created simple calculators and programmed a sprite to
do their math for them. Although
some found this challenging, all of
LEARNING CONNECTIONS |
Students create animations
the students were able to make their
sprite do one basic math function. It
was exciting to see the technology become a teaching tool.
Creating Literary Characters
The third graders worked on a Scratch
project designed to develop literary
characters, a concept they were working on in class. The students made
puppets depicting characters from a
story, scanned them, and uploaded the
images to Scratch. The students then
created backgrounds and uploaded
another image to interview their puppets. Working alone or in pairs, they
created scripts and recorded the conversations of the puppets to reflect the
stories they had chosen. The students
enjoyed creating these animations,
and they did a wonderful job.
As I reflect back on the projects we
created together using Scratch, I am
keenly aware of how much more powerful this tool will be when it is embedded deeper into the curriculum.
This year we are letting go of the last
of our stand-alone technology classes.
We are evolving into a model of truly
integrated technology. As with all
change, there is a hint of risk but also
an abundance of opportunity for our
program to grow and become stronger. Scratch is one of the tools I will
be using to smooth the transition and
—Michelle Podulka has been teaching for more
than a dozen years in both public and independent school settings. She is currently the technology integration teacher at Abington Friends
School in Pennsylvania. She helps faculty and
students use technology to empower learning.
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Formerly the Journal
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February 2011 | Learning & Leading with Technology 33
33.11 LL385 journal TPad_v2.indd 1 11/11/2010 9:17: 36 AM