In the MSU MAET program, one of my favorite parts of the day were Quickfire Challenges. These were intense, brief challenges to explore tools and concepts quickly without worrying about making mistakes. Most of the time, I come away from the challenge with ideas about how the tool would improve my teaching, but one tool got the best of me- Scratch.

From the Scratch website:

With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.

Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century.

Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.

When I jumped into Scratch at the start of the challenge, I was overwhelmed by all the buttons, options, and flexibility of the system. We had about 45 minutes to animate a graphic addressing our “Why” as educators. I stepped out to meet with an instructor and returned with not enough time to pull anything together and when the session ended, I had nothing to show for it. I moved forward and put Scratch behind me to explore another day.

That day came nine months later when Coronavirus closed school and I found myself with unexpected free time.

Here’s my first Scratch project!

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