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The Projects of The Teacher’s Guide To Scratch Book Series

Each project in the book series is written as both professional development for teachers, but also as a usable classroom project. This allows the reader to get multiple uses out of every page. Learning it themselves they can understand more about how Scratch works, build comfort and familiarity with the platform, and discover computer science (CS) fundamentals. Using it in the classroom the reader can rediscover it as a lesson plan, revealing the CS concepts to their students and providing students with reusable templates and techniques for them to afterwards expand on or make their own version of.

Each project has clear step-by-step instructions tailored to the level of the book. This provides clear instructions for the reader, but also doubles as a clear guide to providing direct instruction in the classroom. This is supported with tips and hints about common problems and issues that can cause bugs in the projects with ways to avoid them, or recognize and recover from them. This ensures teachers aren’t just being handed a project to copy, they are provided with some of the most valuable supports necessary for success – how to overcome the obstacles, get unstuck, and keep coding lessons moving forward.

The books provide a myriad of layered support for teachers. This includes numerous examples of how students could expand on or adapt projects. Each book provides ways to revisit earlier projects with new skills learned to add features or re-imagine them. This provides teachers with excellent examples to challenge advanced students, expand the grade appropriateness of projects, and expand the value of the projects.

Why Use The Books When Projects Are Free?

Yes, we’re giving away all the projects in the books, right here on the website with links to shared projects on Scratch! This is part of why we love and believe in Scratch so much, it’s built around sharing. Free projects are available by the millions. If that’s all you’re after, you’ve already got literally millions of free shared projects out there to choose from. The book series is exactly about why this unbelievable amount of content hasn’t solved our coding education problems. It’s not about free projects, it’s about access to expertise.

Step-by-Step Instruction

The books don’t just give you the projects, they explain them. They give step-by-step instructions, from hand holding you through finding each button or block in the Beginner book, to just guiding the process in the Advanced book. You don’t have to guess where to begin or what to tackle next to provide a sensible route to success for students. It explains what the components are for, and what is trying to be accomplished at each step. You don’t just have the end goal of a finished project, with the books you have a clear map on how to get there.

Learning Outcomes for Planning & Assessment

To help teachers with planning and assessment every book and every project has guidelines for learning outcomes. It gives both forward looking learning goals for each project, learning goal based definitions of the three levels used for the books – Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced, and a learning achievement recap chapter in each book. This helps highlight the value and purpose of the activities and techniques and contextualize them within the reader’s growing body of expertise as well as help connect things to whatever curriculum goals the reader has in their jurisdiction.

Hint & Tips for Better Classroom Experiences

The books are suffused with helpful hints developed from years of teaching coding at every grade level. These range from common mistakes students make, analogies to use to help comprehension of concepts, and an entire chapter dedicated to troubleshooting which can be a valuable resource for any teacher working with Scratch. These hints and tips will help ease the path to coding education, easing teachers around, over or through the many obstacles that can crop up.

Deep Knowledge with Theory Brought To Life

To ensure deep learning the books work to incorporate important computer science concepts in both applied form through the projects, but also with useful clarifications, variations and sidebars to make them as clear and accessible as possible. Readers will be carefully and gradually walked through thinking in CS terms. This includes both Scratch-specific concepts and protocols, as well as the universal concepts involved in programming, design and information theory.

The books provide a both practical and theoretical understanding of computer science tailored to three skill or age bands. By working with the books and not just the projects a reader will be provided what is all too often missing with teaching materials – CONTEXT. We wrote these books not just to provide material, but to transform education. With your help, we know we can.