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Scratch, RSC & Maths

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SCRATCH +Ready Steady Code is the Magic Mix that makes Coding Simpler and Fun!
Linking SCRATCH to learning Maths is not unique to READY STEADY CODE (RSC) as the project below testifies. The task is to make SCRATCH easy to enjoy by children at school and easy to teach it where the teacher has no background in Computer Science. SCRATCH is enjoyed worldwide through CoderDojo by huge numbers of enthusiastic Cool Kids whose mentors are volunteers. Seamus O’Neill, developed RSC as a CoderDojo mentor who also tutors teachers in Scratch. RSC is the outcome of mentoring kids, teaching teachers, consultation and in-school research over five years. The Eureka moment in the five years development of READY STEADY CODE was after MIT released Scratch 2 in 2013. It was the change from bitmap-only Scratch to vector Scratch. EUREKA! This was a unique and exclusively Irish addition to SCRATCH. If you want to know more, come to the National SCRATCH Conference on June 20th in Trim, Co. Meath.

RSC is about teachers’ confidence and competence with Scratch as much as about children’s enjoyment and empowerment. The key is, short, simple, exciting Scratch projects that are easy to follow and easy to work into a whole-school approach to computational thinking and coding. Teachers will identify with RSC in the way it adds new capacity to Scratch to correlate coding with written maths work like never before. Teachers are trained to be competent and resourceful in teaching maths and they will observe that the constructionist context for computational thinking (basic problem solving) is greatly enhanced with code. The educational pedagogy and learning approach which underpins RSC with time and practice, will see Scratch coding used across the curriculum. See samples at scratch.mit.edu/users/readysteadycode

SCRATCHMATHS.org
ScratchMaths
is a national project in England funded by the Educational Endowment Foundation (EEF). It aimed to establish the impact of learning computer programming on the mathematics performance of pupils at Key Stage 2. Many schools across England are now using  a new Y5/6 computing curriculum based around the free online programming environment Scratch, developed by the MIT Media Lab.

The ScratchMaths project was led by an experienced team based at the UCL Knowledge Lab part of the UCL Institute of Education and was independently evaluated by a team of experts from Sheffield Hallam University. The project began in 2014. See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/scratchmaths


MORE ABOUT READY-STEADY-CODE (RSC)

RSC is a unique way to use SCRATCH in the classroom to do maths and coding at the same time. This is Scratch like you’ve never SCRATCHed before. Fine line vector grid backdrops (example pictured) make it possible to correlate coding with written maths work – and it’s not limited to primary school! At secondary level Scratch with RSC can be used to code linear and quadratic graphs, co-ordinate geometry, trigonometry etc. Ask the experts!

The RSC – Creativity with Scratch fully-resourced CPD Training Course (primary) shows how to add excitement to maths. It covers sums, number work, algebra, shape, angles, area, block graphs, pie graphs etc. as well as create games, animations, interactive stories etc. in SCRATCH.

RSC is a unique and fully-inclusive, whole-school approach to computational thinking and coding in 21 Century schools, which goes beyond STEM.  It is designed to enhance teaching and learning that supports, empowers and enables student-centred learning experiences that are flexible, collaborative, interactive, engaging, challenging and authentic. It is intrinsically and fundamentally linked to student learning outcomes which enhance teaching and learning by developing the student as a creative communicator, a critical thinker and an innovative problem solver.

RSC is about perceiving the world of computational thinking and coding in original, inspired and artistic ways, which nurture imagination, experimentation, exploration, innovation, questioning assumptions and synthesing information, in an environment which values the journey of discovery. It is about more than just learning. It concerns the world of creating and sharing new ideas and passions as students construct their own learning having mastered the basic skills, concepts and learning objectives outlined in each lesson. It is about nurturing and giving wings to the unique genius that is within each and every student.

When the MIT Media Lab released Scratch 2.0 in 2013, it would appear that unknown to themselves they greatly increased the capacity of Scratch as a most effective teaching tool. In jurisdictions where coding is not on the national curriculum, RSC offers a fast-track way of introducing an easy 21st century scaffold to the best maths-teaching technology possible. SCRATCH with Ready Steady Code is the magic mix to making coding simpler and fun! Coding can be introduced into schools as easily as pencil and paper!

We have produced excellent resources which will be included in the Conference pack and they will be a part of the presentations and workshops. Teachers’ books Teach Maths with New Technology (Book 1) and Essential Coding Skills and Graphics (Book 2) will be available to purchase at special discount at the Conference. Children’s books for each year level (ages 8 to 12) will soon be available for schools.