I am so lucky to work in a math department of teachers who are risk takers and are always willing to try new things. This year, our department started the year off with the “All About Me” Project in Scratch. Our school has placed a big emphasis on creating classroom community throughout the school year, and this project gets students to learn a lot about their classmates in just a few short class periods. At the same time, students are learning to code using Scratch so that we can use it as a platform throughout the school year.
In the project I gave my students very few requirements. They needed:
-At least four pictures that described themselves
-At least four descriptions that went along with those pictures
-They needed to use blocks from the events tab, motion, sounds, and looks categories
I began by showing my students the All About Me Project that I created about myself. This was how I introduced myself to them this school year. It gave them a quick preview of me, while at the same time showing them some basic expectations for the project.
Next, I helped students get started by making sure they could all login and then by creating one of their Sprites together as a class. This was plenty help in order to prompt them to get started.
What I always find to be amazing year after year with Scratch, is the way you can differentiate with it. I have students do many different things, stick to the four required pictures:
Create a fully animated presentation:
Or even create full animated games that cycle you through their pictures as you complete the levels of their Mario game:
After two class periods, students were finishing up their projects. I found that a gallery walk is the best way to get students up and moving around while learning about their classmates in a short amount of time. This takes away the pressure of presenting in front of the class, but also allows students to showcase their hard work! Here is a picture of a gallery walk that took place in my coworker @andyjessglad7’s classroom. Look how well the students were listening to each other!
For grading, I typically do not place a ton of points on this project as students are intrinsically motivated to complete it already, as they enjoy using Scratch, but if you are looking for a grading guideline here is a rubric my colleague Molly Linn used. Students were clear about the expectations of the project and could use it as a self check before turning it in or sharing with their peers.