ScratchMaths: a great resource for improving mathematical thinking through programming


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This autumn UCL released their full curriculum of year 5-6 teaching materials which use Scratch to teach maths. It’s called ScratchMaths, and we think it’s brilliant.

 

At London CLC we’ve been teaching with Scratch for many years and in that time have taken inspiration from a wide range of different lesson plans and teaching materials designed to help pupils learn about programming. But what makes ScratchMaths different is that instead of children following a prescribed series of steps to achieve a particular outcome it guides them to experiment with individual blocks, develop a deep understanding of what they do, and then use them to create something original.

 

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Scratch is an incredibly powerful tool for helping children to visualise abstract mathematical concepts like angles and coordinates. As well as programming-based challenges, often using simple templates created by the ScratchMaths team, many of the challenges involve reading and interpreting or simplifying an existing piece of code – a great way to address the ‘predict’ and ‘debug’ requirements of the primary computing curriculum. The activities included in the curriculum also reinforce good practice in programming such as using ‘more blocks’ to break down complex problems, naming and labeling effectively, and using initialisation or ‘reset’ scripts to ensure a project consistently produces the same result.

 

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Each investigation is linked to the year 5 and 6 maths curriculum, making it a great way to engage teachers in computing by pairing it with a curriculum area that tends to receive more attention in schools. To download the materials and find out more, visit the ScratchMaths website.

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