Let’s dive into deeper learning: Batteries, Bulbs, Writing, and Scratch

Updated: Mar 29

This week a team of CODERS from Missouri State University went to visit Mallory Elementary and Skyline School, in Dallas County. This time the lesson was focused on Circuits and Scratch. Fun was, as usual, part of the day with these students and teachers.

Students are always excited to see the team arrive to the classroom to work with them. Now they get to tie all the lessons together. Students have learned Scratch, a coding program. They have also learned about circuits, and they have been writing about their own learning consistently. Now, the specific objective was to have students design their own circuit and make it work using the Scratch program.

CODERS visited third, fourth, fifth and eighth grade. Younger students had the opportunity to work on their sprites on Scratch. They needed to create the wires, the batteries, and the bulbs. The goal was to turn the light bulb on. Creativity was certainly taken very seriously. Students wanted to ensure their sprites were creative enough for their own high standards. They took their time, and class flew by as they put their artist skills to work. Students had the chance to manipulate a giant coding puzzle with their hands before they entered the codes into the program. This was hands-on and fun for them. In addition, teachers have benefited from teaching and learning Scratch. For instance, Ms. Wolf stated, “Scratch is not an extra thing you have on your plate, it is a tool to integrate learning and make it interesting and relevant for our students”. Teachers and CODERS are continuously learning about students’ learning how to code.

Older students decided to create videos on how a circuit was made using Scratch. Some of them recorded themselves explaining, others used music, others used clip art, but all enjoyed the process. Some students reported in their reflective writing they had enjoyed mainly three aspects of this lesson. The first one was to have the time for this project. They also indicated they liked working with their peers, and lastly, they gained extra knowledge and ideas from seeing other’s projects as student presented them to their classmates.

As it has become a tradition, students asked when CODERS were returning, and they committed to enhance their projects and add another level of difficulty to their circuits by making parallel circuits on Scratch.

Selfies, smiles, and sense of pride in their work was evident towards the end of the lesson. CODERS and teachers will continue to encourage an integrative approach to learning, where sciences, languages, and art are not taught separately, but as an inherent part of each other as they are in life.