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Letter to Colleagues: Bringing Stories to Life With Scratch.

Dear Ms. Nelcy,

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a professional learning experience with [LUTE-STEM/Scratch at Lehman College]. Throughout this program, I gained valuable insights about Scratch, a block-based coding platform, that I would like to implement in our classroom this coming September. Coding is becoming a crucial skill in today's technological world, and I firmly believe that Scratch can offer our students a fun, creative, and engaging way to learn those coding and problem-solving skills.

I suggest conducting a Scratch activity once or twice a week where students use Scratch to create interactive stories or games based on the lesson's objectives. This activity can be done in a computer lab setting or on a laptop, and it should not take more than 45 minutes to complete.

To implement this activity, students will need access to internet connected computers or tablets with Scratch pre-installed. Scratch is a student-friendly platform, and students can easily bring their ideas to life.

During the activities, students will have the freedom to choose the characters (sprites), settings (backdrops), and events in their stories or games. This tool will allow them to express their creativity and interests and demonstrate their understanding of the lesson objective while learning coding concepts.

Students will be creating an original animated story or game using Scratch, demonstrating their creativity and programming skills.

To introduce this activity, teachers must provide explicit step-by-step directions to the students, guiding them on how to use Scratch and encouraging them to experiment with different sprites,

backdrops, and codes. Teachers will create small group activities to encourage collaboration, providing students with the opportunity to work together and learn from one another.

After completing their projects, we can have students give each other “grows and Glows” using a checklist that assesses specific criteria. This feedback process will foster a growth mindset and encourage students to revise and improve their work while embracing feedback positively.

I believe that with this activity, students will not only benefit from the introduction of coding but also promote important skills such as critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, and communication. By embracing technology in the classroom, we can prepare our students for the digital world they will encounter in the future.

When they have finished this activity, it would be great if we could ask the students to write and talk about how they used one of these Habits of Mind.

In addition, teachers can also use these Habits of Mind to provide students with both written and oral feedback throughout their work process and upon finishing their project.

I would greatly appreciate it if you took this proposal into consideration. I am excited about the potential benefits this activity could bring to our students. I look forward to working with you on this.

Best regards,

G. Burgos

DMU Timestamp: July 31, 2023 21:00

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