Scratch Across the Curriculum

ID: 31727 Type: Roundtable
  1. Shaundra Daily, g8four, United States
  2. Alia Carter, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States

Wednesday, March 9 10:15 AM-11:15 AM Location: Bellmeade

No presider for this session.

Abstract: Scratch is a freely available programming language developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory for youth ages 8 -18. Through interaction with Scratch, students can learn, in part, problem solving, logical processes, artistic or creative development, game design, recursion, and cause and effect. Its utility, however, does not have to be reserved for “computer classes.” In this workshop, participants will be introduced to programming in Scratch through examples developed in math, science, and reading elementary classrooms. Then, through three sets of hands-on activities, participants will create their own Scratch projects and explore how Scratch can be used in their own context. Finally, instructors will support participants in developing their own lesson plans for using Scratch across the curriculum that will be shared in an online site housing resources for teachers.


1) To demonstrate through classroom experiences how computer programming can be integrated in meaningful ways across the curriculum. 2) To provide an extensive introduction to a youth programming language, Scratch, through hands-on activities. 3) To develop preliminary lessons plans for math, science, and reading. 4) To share an online site with resources for educators interested in utilizing Scratch in the classroom.

Topical Outline

1) Introduction - (15 min) Participant will introduce themselves as though it was 2001. They will describe how they eventually came to be participants in workshops at SITE 2011 2) Scratch Introduction (30 min) We will introduce the core ideas underlying Scratch and provide examples from math, science, and writing that have been produced from the classroom. 3) Hands-On Activities Part 1 (25 min) Participants will use a set of 8 Scratch blocks to create an original project. Instructors will collect the projects on a USB drive and project them from a laptop to share and reflect with the group. During presentations, participants will share something they learned while creating the project as well as something that challenged them. Break (10 min) 4) Hands-On Activities Part 2 (45 min) Participants will be guided through an introductory activity called “All about Me” to support entry level fluency with Scratch. Project will consist of four Sprites (programmable objects) each describing something important to the participant. Instructors will collect the projects to share and reflect with the group. During presentations, participants will share something learned while creating the project as well as something that challenged them. 5) Hands-On Activities Part 3 (45 min) During this part of the workshop, participants will think of a lesson they have taught or created in the past for math, science, or reading content. Then, working with a partner, they will brainstorm specific ways that Scratch can be introduced into the lesson. Finally, using one of the ideas they will create a concrete example of the artifact that would result from the lesson and present that Scratch project as well as the idea to the larger group. 6) ScratchEd (20 min) Participants will be introduced to ScratchEd, a website where educators can share their Scratch ideas, experiences, and resources. 7) Wrap-up & Reflection (20 min) Participants will discuss the experiences of the workshop, and their plans for moving forward with what was learned.


10-20 teachers, educators, and researchers interested in integrating computing into the curriculum. No prior programming experience necessary.

Experience Level



Shaundra Bryant Daily, Ph.D. Dr. Daily’s doctoral work with the Affective Computing and Lifelong Kindergarten groups at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab involved designing and implementing technology-infused collaborative learning environments that provide youth an authentic opportunity to learn about themselves, others, and to gain insight into interpersonal dynamics. The Scratch programming environment was the primary tool utilized in this research, and the curriculum she developed to support these activities has been translated into Spanish and Mongolian. Dr. Daily has also conducted numerous professional development sessions for teachers as well as designed and implemented curriculum for students in the classroom. Alia Carter With a background in Chemical Engineering and Biology, Ms. Carter brings with her over five years of research and development experience with universities such as the University of Arizona and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as corporations such as Dial. Having carried out research in areas from lymphology to the role of Adenomatous Polyposis Coli gene in intestinal tumorigenesis, she brings with her a wealth of knowledge in practical scientific practice. Alia currently designs programs for teachers to teach and learn math, science,and writing content; facilitates teacher professional development institutes for integrating computing into the curriculum; and supports teachers in classrooms as they implement new pedagogy.


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