What can students learn by creating in Scratch?
‘Scratch’ is an online website and offline software that can be used to create simple animations. It has a range of characters (called ‘sprites’) and backgrounds that can be combined in a multitude of ways. The ‘sprite’ performs on a stage, which is based on the Cartesian co-ordinate system, with (0,0) at the centre. The user creates an animation using simple drag-and-drop commands, such as ‘go to (x,y)’; ‘move 100 steps’ or ‘turn 90 degrees’.

Some general, transferrable skills that you can learn with Scratch:
  • Logical and creative thinking
  • Systematic reasoning with instant feedback
  • Communication and collaboration with peers
  • Problem solving
  • Developing patience and persistence
  • Greater sense of control and responsibility for the learning process

Students can learn many maths concepts using Scratch, such as:
  • Cartesian co-ordinate system
  • Identifying, creating and naming angles (acute, right, obtuse, straight and reflex)
  • Identifying, creating and naming polygons
  • How to calculate the perimeter of polygons
  • How to calculate the area of polygons

More Scratch and Coding Resources

How to start SCRATCHING!
  1. Go to the Scratch site at https://scratch.mit.edu/
  2. Join up to the site with your username and password – you need an email address as well. You can only save your work if you join up.
  3. To share your work with others you need to click on the email message from Scratch.
  4. Click on “Create” and give your project a name.
  5. Start with an “Event” tile, then use the “Pen” to choose a color and thickness.
  6. To change the direction of the line you can use the “Motion” tiles to “Turn clockwise by x degrees” or “Turn anticlockwise by x degrees”.
  7. You can also start your drawing at a specific point by choosing “Go to (x,y)” and choose which direction to point in (up, down, left, right

Some tasks for students to create in Scratch
1. Use a "sprite" to draw four different shapes, one in each quadrant of the Cartesian plane.
2. Use a "sprite" to explain a maths concept - how to calculate the perimeter or area of a shape, for example.
3. Use a "sprite" to create an adding or subtracting game, like 'snakes and ladders'.
4. Get more ideas at the DET Great Victorian Coding Challenge 1; Great Victorian Coding Challenge 2 and Great Victorian Coding Challenge 3