Scratch is a high-level block-based visual programming language and website targeted primarily at children 8-16 as an educational tool for coding. Users of the site can create projects on the web using a block-like interface. It represents a free programming language, software (both virtual and in the form of a downloadable application), an online community where young people create stories, games, and animations, etc. The website is at https://scratch.mit.edu/ and the application can be downloaded from https://scratch.mit.edu/download
The Scratch interface is divided into three main sections: a staging area, a block palette, and a coding area to place and arrange the blocks into scripts that can be run by pressing the green flag or clicking on the code itself. Users may also create their own code blocks and they will appear in “My Blocks”.
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If you have never ever programmed in Scratch before, don’t worry, I am here to help you get started. The first few steps are detailed below
1) What is coding
2) Introduction to the interface. Look at the areas for scripts, costumes and sounds, etc.
3) We start to look at the “Looks” menu. This is used to change colours
4) We can then look at mouse control using some simple scripts
5) We start looking at combining “Control” and “Events” scripts
6) We start looking at loops (forever, repeat)
7) We look at sprites and the costumes menu
Scratch is very good at developing particular skills, such as
– It introduces children to the basics of coding
– It enables creative expression through visual storytelling
– It provides a supportive, frustration-free environment to learn coding building blocks
– It inspires kids to bring their imagination to life