Scratch, a block-based programming language from MIT Media Lab, is a popular way to help children practice computational thinking. However, teaching with Scratch always left me feeling frustrated. Complicated hidden rules govern when the result of a command becomes visible on screen, and managing student credentials wastes valuable class time. Scratch's gallery of user-generated content is a distraction for students who would rather play games than make them.
Scritch is a modified version of Scratch optimized for teaching. The differences are subtle, but significant. Screen updates are handled in a more straightforward manner, new blocks lower the barrier to entry, a toggleable overlay supports students using X and Y coordinates, and additions to the costume and backdrop picker help excite and inspire young learners. An original, integrated curriculum breaks complicated projects into simpler steps while leaving students to discover the specifics on their own. All development is driven by real-world classroom experience; significant thought and testing underlies each change.
If you use Scritch in your own classroom, please get in touch so I can provide support, such as class codes, teaching strategies, and answer keys.