Presenting mathematical thinking with Scratch

Dan Meyer asked us, “So what’s your idea and how will you turn it into a tool in 2013?”

Well, here’s mine: Use Scratch to present a mathematical problem and students post their solutions by remixing the project. Here’s an example using this question taken from the November, 2012 issue of Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School journal Palette of Problems.

Click on the link below to see what I’m talking about.

Scratch | Project | Train tunnel problem.

train problemwizard sketch

I love the idea of squeezing computer programming or computational thinking into my math class, but frankly it can take up a huge amount of class time. However I think this method won’t require a lot of time because, for beginners, all the student has to do is insert an image of their solution along with an audio file of their explanation. The stage and sprite are already set up! Students will get a taste of programming by opening up the Scratch project, plus if you or they choose to spend more time personalizing the project by all means go for it!

I could also see this as a quasi-Dan Meyer Three-Act Task. The level of abstraction in this problem may not be as deep as Dan’s, however it’s a different way of using media to present and explain mathematical thinking.

I would LOVE for others to create projects and add them to this list. Right now it is a whopping 1!

Please! If you have ideas for how to modify and grow this idea please share.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s