Monday, January 31, 2011

Professional Development from Scratch

Maggie Wachtl, a chemistry teacher at MTA, wanted to learn whether she could use Scratch to create manipulatives to enhance learning about Dimensional Analysis. Her students needs to understand for stoichiometry calculations. She has laminated cards to create a manipulative that she'd like to implement in Scratch. In two hours, we moved from an introduction to Scratch to code snippets that get sprites to show a proof-of-concept: inversion of fractions to make reciprocals, sensitivity to the color on which the sprite is drops. She seemed pleased with the start and progress.

I introduced and reinforced the concept that we could get students to share our desire to have them experience differentiated learning. At several points, I said honestly that middle school students could answer some of her questions better than I could. I hope we can quickly move to get both teachers and students to recognize the opportunities in developing projects that the probability spinner that Matt Lunt requested and that Coby, Cole and Charlie are developing.

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