Mathematical concepts in Scratch
My Year 4-6 students began exploring Scratch and I discovered it was necessary to incorporate discussion/explanation of some mathematical concepts.
(I have included links to students work that has been posted on the Scratch site.)
1. The first group of lessons was “Animate your name in Scratch”
This activity provided many opportunities to link in with Mathematics
a. Angles and speed
Using the angle and speed blocks to make letters spin.
This student persevered and experimented with the speed and degree of turning until the letter H returned to its correct position at the end of the animation and synchronized with the other letters.
Using the change size by…. block to enlarge or decrease the size of a sprite.
Flipping sprites to face different directions.
Using the x,y co-ordinates to have the letters move up/down, left/right or to specific points on the screen.
This student used x, y coordinates to make the O in his name move to specific points on the screen and used the angle, wait and direction blocks to have the letter U spin and return to its original position. He used a “change size by 10” block to enlarge the G and a “change size by -10” block to decrease the size of the G
This student used x,y coordinates to have letters move all over the screen and then spell his name by the end of the animation – some tweaking of the use of angles is still needed.
2. The next group of lessons was “Telling a story in Scratch” with the characters moving about the screen to specific points extending the use of the x,y coordinates and changing direction etc.
Things for students had to consider:
* Co-ordinates the sprites start at when the animation begins
* Where the sprites are in relation to each other eg. direction they are facing etc.
* Co-ordinates sprite needs to move or glide to during the story.
This student used the x,y coordinates and glide block to have her sprites climb up and the down out of a tree.
These students also used x, y coordinates to make the characters move to specific points on the screen and so interact with each other.
Australian Curriculum Mathematics
Compare angles and classify them as equal to, greater than or less than a right angle (ACMMG089)
Estimate, measure and compare angles using degrees. (Construct angles using a protractor) (ACMMG112)
Use a grid reference system to describe locations. Describe routes using landmarks and directional language (ACMMG113)
Describe translations, reflections and rotations of two-dimensional shapes. Identify line and rotational symmetries (ACMMG114)
Apply the enlargement transformation to familiar two dimensional shapes and explore the properties of the resulting image compared with the original (ACMMG115)
Introduce the Cartesian coordinate system using all four quadrants (ACMMG143)
Investigate, with and without digital technologies, angles on a straight line, angles at a point and vertically opposite angles. Use results to find unknown angles (ACMMG141)
Investigate combinations of translations, reflections and rotations, with and without the use of digital technologies (ACMMG142)
Australian Curriculum Digital Technologies (Year 3-4)
Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010)
Australian Curriculum Digital Technologies Year 5-6
Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps, branching, and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP019)
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