The Poetry of Sctach Programming (Numeracy in Primary with NCTE/Lero)

I am delighted to share that I have been invited to attend the Scratch programming and Numeracy in Senior Primary Classes (NCTE/Lero) program on the 29th and 30th of May 2012.

I just LOVE computer programming, it reminds me of watching American 80’s movies where the kids and adults rock out with mad computer games and computers in general. I got my first computer way back in 2008.

Programming is a language, it’s creative, it’s breaking down instructions, it forces you to think for yourself. I often hear pupils wine (both young and old)…..’but teacher….my program won’t work…why won’t it wok..will you fix it?! That is not how one programs, one programs by writing the story behind the image, the instructions behind your thinking outside the box…by questioning, troubleshooting and creating.

‘ Programming is a language! Reading a computer program is like reading a short story or a poem, it is about the process of structuring instructions and thinking. So many people cannot think for themselves….they ask me and my response? ‘Why do you think it is now working? What do you think would happen if you did x/y/z? How did you break down your instructions? How do you think you could break down your instructions more?

This course is being offered to future Scratch tutors and will specialise in numeracy using Scratch. It is being fun by the NCTE and Lero The Irish Software Engineering Research Centre.

Scratch Resources
There are fantastic resources on the website and Scratch.MIT site.

I will report back here to share all that I learn, in the meantime you can read below to see what we will be covering.

Course Objectives

Participants will be enabled to:

  • Use Scratch programming to support the teaching and learning of the primary maths curriculum covering algebra, number, shape and space, measures and data
  • Use Scratch programming to support the development of problem solving skills
  • Develop a numeracy project using Scratch
  • Develop lesson outlines for classroom use of Scratch
  • Describe how Scratch can be used to support other curricular areas
  • Develop an e-Learning action plan describing how they will use Scratch to support numeracy development

Course Content

There are 5 modules in this course.
Module 1: Introduction to Scratch programming, websites and resources available
This module covers the basic concepts of Scratch programming and its uses in the primary classroom in particular to support the skills and content of the mathematics curriculum. Participants start to write their first Scratch programme.

Module 2: Scratch Concepts and classroom application
Some of the mathematical Scratch concepts are introduced, including the use of Scratch operators (“round” to round numbers). Discussion on the use of Scratch programming to support number, place value, shape & space takes place.

Module 3: Putting Scratch Concepts Together
In this module participants commence the development of numeracy focused Scratch projects and lesson activities which incorporate images and sounds. The use of Scratch across the curriculum is explored.

Module 4: Scratch Concepts continued
More on Scratch concepts, how they support the mathematics curriculum and how to demonstrate patterns and sequences in an innovative way using Scratch.

Module 5: Planning for effective use of ICT
Participants finalise and share their project and lesson activities for use in the classroom which focus on numeracy development. The application of Scratch across other curricular areas and how to get started with Scratch in the classroom is discussed. Participants are introduced to the e-Learning Action plan as part of the whole school planning process for e-Learning and create an e-Learning action plan for numeracy development.

 I wrote about Scratch before, if you want more information…read it!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi Cora,

    It is being run by Lero and I did do a Scratch course with Lero and I have taught it already.

    I think this course is aimed at training future Scratch tutors.
    If I was you I have an eye out on for courses and do one of them then let the tutor know that you would like to train others.

    Let me know how you get on.

    beir bua


  2. Cora says:

    Hi Michelle,
    Well done on getting invited.
    I'm wondering how or who I should contact about getting a place on this course.
    I'm a programmer about to sit my finals with Hibernia + would love to become a Scratch tutor.
    Your posts inspired me to include Scratch in my plans for teaching practice with 33 5th + 6th class students (mad – I hear you say!). It went down a treat and hopefully it will inspire them to be open to programming + to learn their Maths! Anyhow, suggestions welcome.
    Keep up the good work.


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