A few years ago I created this Scratch game, Stuck in the Middle, for the incoming sixth graders. It’s a four level Pacman-like game that introduces the students to our middle school, but it has a few bugs–mostly dealing with the sensor. I find the problem in level 4, but sometimes the students report experiencing it in other levels.
I am NOT a programmer so I’m tossing it out to anyone who is interested in pointing out my mistakes, and/or cleaning up the scripts, and/or posting a remix.
Another idea with the scripts: Do you see a potential lesson or two fit for middle school? When students have found the problem, I’ve suggested they do their own investigation, but they’d rather play than learn how to debug.
I appreciate any feedback you can give me.
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.
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.