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University of Chicago: Teaching Coding in Grades 5-8 with Scratch Encore

This course introduces teachers and other educators to the basics of teaching programming with Scratch to students in grades 5-8 using Scratch Encore, a culturally responsive, intermediate computer science curriculum. Each week, participants are introduced to key computer science concepts (e.g., loops, synchronization), and then apply those concepts as they complete programming assignments in Scratch. Helpful pedagogical practices and teaching strategies are introduced throughout the course.

Teaching Coding in Grades 5-8 with Scratch Encore
6 weeks
2–4 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
Optional upgrade available

About this course

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This course is designed for elementary and middle-school teachers or parents with no assumption of prior background in either coding or the Scratch programming environment. The course has three main goals: Teach Scratch, teach pedagogical approaches to teaching coding with Scratch, and get teachers intimately familiar with the curriculum Scratch Encore.

During this course, participants will transition between learning Scratch as a learner, going through the Scratch Encore curriculum. This curriculum begins with elementary concepts such as the Scratch development environment, sequence, events, and basic loops. It then moves to intermediate topics that allow programmers to coordinate more complicated actions (intermediate loops and synchronization).

At the same time, we provide explicit instruction on how to run a classroom using Scratch (e.g. entering your students into your classrooms, setting up studios, and grading assignments) as well as pedagogical approaches to teaching Scratch.

By the end of the course, participants should be able to confidently teach Scratch using either Scratch Encore or a different curriculum, or to work on independent projects with their students or children.

At a glance

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated skills: Pedagogy, Cultural Responsiveness, Computer Science, Programming Environments, Teaching, Development Environment, Scratch Programming

What you'll learn

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By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Program in Scratch

  • Demonstrate an understanding of focal computer science content (e.g., event driven programming, iterative and conditional loops, one-way synchronization, and two-way synchronization, decomposition by sequence)

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the underlying pedagogy and learning strategies used in the Scratch Encore curriculum

  • Take what you’ve learned back to your classroom and confidently teach coding using the Scratch Encore curriculum

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