Scratch in 1st Grade

Computer Science is the focus in the Computer Lab this quarter for most grades. 1st Grade is now exploring Computer Science with’s Course 1 but before they started this they worked a bit in Scratch. Scratch has typically been used by 2nd grade (near the end of the year) and up but 1st grade has already done some amazing things.

The first project that they attempted was drawing squares and triangles, if they finished the square. This involves math that is not normally taught in 1st grade. Yes, a 1st grader knows what a square and a triangle look like. But, they don’t often talk about turning at a 90 degree angle or a 120 degree angle yet that’s what the conversations were in order to complete this coding task in Scratch.

Once the first project was done, it was time to try some storytelling in Scratch. The story the 1st graders were tasked to tell was a story about them. Students had to pick a background for their project from the library of backgrounds, draw themselves in the Paint Editor in Scratch, record some facts about themselves, and write the code to have their recording play when the project is started. You need to check these out!

Class of 2022 Scratch Studio

Click the image to see 1st Grade’s Scratch All About Me projects

Scratch (& more) in 7th Grade

Shapes in Scratch

7th grade was part of the “let’s draw shapes in Scratch” crowd this year, too! Of course, they got less direction in how to calculate angles, etc. and had to go a bit further than just drawing some shapes. Rather than just designating which keys would draw specific shapes, 7th grade was required to ask the user which shape should be drawn or how many sides a shape should have and then they would draw the shape. The exceptions to this were the circle and some kind of “surprise” shape that they wanted to draw that wouldn’t follow the rules of a typical polygon. 7th also loves to make Scratch projects their own and most of them drew their own backgrounds and/or their own sprites and most used random numbers to generate the colors for the shapes that are drawn.

6 Word Memoirs

To end out the year, 7th grade each created an illustrated a 6 word memoir for their 7th grade year. The images they chose needed to be linked to their source and were to enhance the message of their memoir.

Scratch in 2nd Grade

2nd graders using Scratch? Definitely! After the Hour of Code, 2nd grade loved anything to do with coding so near the end of the year, they did a couple of projects in Scratch.

Just like 3rd, 4th, and 6th grades, 2nd grade also created a Shapes project in Scratch. Because most of the 2nd graders aren’t proficient in multiplication and can’t do division yet, the math part of this project became an estimating task along with knowledge of how many sides the shapes required had. After learning how to draw a square and talking about the degree of angles of turning, 2nd grade got to work programming their sprites to draw a square, a triangle, a circle, and one of a pentagon, hexagon or octagon. They knew that for a square, they had to repeat 4 times because a square has 4 sides and they knew that they would be turning 90 degrees because that’s how many degrees a right-angle has. They also knew that the repeat was the number of sides that the shape they wanted to draw has and they knew that the angle had to change when the repeat value changed. They also knew that if there was still a gap when they were done drawing, then the angle was too small and if the lines for the shape crossed then the angle was too big. Once again, the circle was the toughest. How do you draw something that really has no angles? They figured it out through trial and error. Oh, and they had to add code to let people running their project know how to draw the shapes, too. A couple of the 2nd grade students accidentally saved their next project over their shape project so they don’t have one to see but check out the rest:

As if that wasn’t enough, the final project for the year in 2nd grade was to create an All About Me project in Scratch. The project was supposed to include some kind of background which could be one from the Scratch library or one they drew, a sprite that represented them and that “talked” when the green flag was checked to introduce themselves and how the All About Me project worked. In addition to the main sprite, the project was supposed to include 3-5 additional sprites that would give more information about the student. Oh, and some of the sprites were supposed to do something in addition to “talking”. The end of the year came too fast and some students didn’t finish or barely got started. Here are the 2nd grade All About Me projects that have at least some of the project completed:

We’d love to know what you think about our Scratch projects. Please leave a comment and let us know! If you’re interested in all of the Scratch projects completed by St. Martin’s students this year, you can check them out in our StM 2013-2014 Studio.

Scratch in 3rd Grade

It wasn’t just 4th & 6th grades that got to create and show their knowledge in Scratch. 3rd grade also got involved.

First up for 3rd grade was a Shapes project. The goal of this project was to have Scratch the Cat draw a square, a circle, a triangle, and one of a pentagon, hexagon or octagon. Now, 3rd graders haven’t done much division yet but they can use multiplication to check if the times the loop is repeated multiplied by the angle the sprite turns equals 360. The most difficult shape to draw is a circle because you can’t just tell the sprite to turn at an angle of 360 degrees one time. Check out what the 3rd graders accomplished:

Once they were done drawing shapes, each 3rd grader then worked on an All About Me project in Scratch. The goal of this project was to have a sprite to represent you and then 5 (or more) additional sprites to tell more about you. In addition, at least some of the sprites were supposed to do more than just “say” something about the student. As you will see, the end of the year caught up with us and some students didn’t get this one finished. Check these out to learn more about our 3rd (now 4th) graders:

What did you think of the 3rd grade Scratch projects? Leave a comment and let us know! Check out all Scratch projects from this year in our StM 2013-2014 Studio for all of the projects completed by St. Martin’s students this year.

Scratch in 4th Grade

4th Grade started out their learning in Scratch with a challenging assignment – create something to educate about your mission in Scratch. Each year when 4th grade chooses their missions, they spend time during Computer classes learning about researching online and learning how to use EasyBib to cite their sources for their mission reports. This year in addition to the researching, each 4th grader also created a Mission Project in Scratch. Check them out and let us know what you think!

4th-Alexis-Mission 4th-Ciara-Mission
4th-Hallie-Mission 4th-Isabel-Mission
4th-Mariangel-Mission 4th-Miranda-Mission

Once the Scratch Mission Projects were complete, it was time to explore drawing in Scratch. The assignment was to have a sprite draw a square, a triangle, a circle, and at least one of a pentagon, hexagon, or octagon. If there was time, a “surprise” shape could also be drawn. Here’s what the girls came up with!

Now that the students knew that drawing was also possible in Scratch, they were challenged to create an All About Me project. In this project, the girls were to create a Scratch project to tell about themselves with a sprite to represent them and other sprites to tell more about them. Some of these got pretty creative – check them out!

What did you think of the 4th Grade Scratch projects? Leave a comment to let us know! Curious about what other grades at St. Martin’s did in Scratch this year? Check out all Scratch projects from this year in our StM 2013-2014 Studio.

Scratch in 6th Grade

After an introduction to coding during the Hour of Code, 6th grade spent some time learning and creating projects about Digital Citizenship. They got back to coding with Scratch to end out the year. Each student created three different projects in Scratch:

  1. First up was a shapes drawing project. The assignment was to program a sprite to draw a square, a triangle, a circle, at least one of a pentagon, hexagon, or octagon, and some kind of “surprise” shape. The 6th grades’ Scratch Shape projects are linked below or you can check them out in our StM2013-14 Shapes Studio and see what 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th grades did with the same assignment, too!
  2. Next, 6th grade was presented with a challenge to create a project using only the blocks below:
    How creative did they get? The 6th graders voted and thought Sean’s was the most creative. What do you think? Check out their projects at:

  3. Last, but certainly not least, 6th grade was challenged to create a game. They were given the directive that someone playing the game should know when they win the game and when they lose the game. There are some glitches in a few of the games and many of the students had more they wanted to do but they ran out of time. 6th grade voted for their favorite game and the winner was again Sean. Do you agree? Check out the games and let us know what your favorite is!

If you’re interested in all of the Scratch projects completed by St. Martin’s students this year, you can check them out in our StM 2013-2014 Studio.

What’s “hop”-ning in the lab

Happy Easter from the Computer Lab at St. Martin’s. Kindergarten and 1st Grade drew Easter pictures this week and played some Easter games. Check out Kindergarten’s Easter Eggs!

Some classes continued to work on ongoing projects this week:

  • 2nd & 3rd grades worked on drawing shapes in Scratch
  • 5th grade worked on their storyboards for book trailers
  • 6th grade finished up a Digital Citizenship lesson on giving credit
  • 7th grade finished up a lesson on paraphrasing
  • 8th grade continued to work on their Tech-lympics tutorials

4th grade continued to work on their Mission Project in Scratch with two of the students finishing their Scratch Mission projects this week! We will be sharing these later!

Hour of Code – Days 4 & 5

Wow, the last two days of the Hour of Code were a whirlwind with students trying out lots of different coding options!


Kindergarten & 1st Grade

Kindergarten and 1st Grade continued their adventures with the Kodable app and WOW did they do an awesome job. Almost all students finished the If Fuzz Then Roll (If/Then) section of Smeeborg and some students even finished some levels of the Loopy Lesson section. We even had a few older students ask about being able to use iPads and use Kodable.



1st Grade Kodable

2nd Grade

2nd Grade spent the day programming a robot on Some of the levels get quite tricky and just when you think you have it the robot ends up one square short of getting home! It was great fun to watch the students try to figure out how to fix the problems they had and those who got it were always eager to help others to get it, too! Have your 2nd Grader show you how it works and try to solve level 8 or level 11. Can you get it on your 1st try?

3rd & 4th Grades

3rd and 4th grade students continued solving the mazes in the drag & drop programming option for Hour of Code learning about IF/THEN and repeat loops. As levels got harder, there were some frustrations trying to understand what to do to make it work. After reviewing the videos provided and sometimes with a little hint, students got at least most of the way through all 20 mazes.

5th Grade

5th Grade continued to work on their Interactive Holiday Cards using Scratch. It was fun to watch as sprites began to move and “talk” and spin and make sounds. I’ll be sharing these just as soon as they are complete (next week) so that you can see the results!

7th Grade

7th Grade students continued to work with MIT App Inventor making progress on their Android apps. There were still some issues getting the emulator started which provided some frustrations and a few “bugs” in some apps but progress was made by all. One of the 7th graders even completed all 4 of the apps for Hour of Code! The 7th Grade students will be sharing what they did and their actual apps on their Google Sites next week.

8th Grade

App development was also going strong in 8th Grade using TouchDevelop but this time all but one student was using their computer rather than a device. As 8th Graders finished their first app, most went on to create at least one more app and sometimes 2 or 3 more. When they had enough of app development, some of the 8th graders also tackled the mazes in the drag & drop programming option. 8th Grade will be sharing what they did with the Hour of Code on their Google Sites next week.

So that’s it for the Hour of Code this year … or is it? Some grades will be continuing some coding next week and some grades will be doing more with coding later this school year so stay tuned!


Hour of Code – Day 1

The Hour of Code is a huge worldwide event with over 3.7 million people already participating and over 115 million lines of code written so far and I’m so excited that St. Martin’s is a part of this.

Yes, that was President Obama, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosch, Mark Zuckerburg, Shakira, Angela Bassett, Ashton Kucher and more that you saw in that video.

Today, it was 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 5th Grade & 6th Grade that had a chance to try their hand at some coding and here’s what they have done so far … they’ll have some time later this week and maybe even next week to do some more.

2nd Grade

The 2nd graders spent the day programming Mrs. Sedgwick to get through a maze in the Computer Lab and were introduced to where on Friday they will try to guide a robot through a series of mazes. Some of the 2nd graders had a sneak peek at Hour of Code last week doing some programming with Espresso Coding and Light-bot.

3rd Grade

After watching the video embedded above, 3rd Grade got right to work on with the drag & drop programming option for Hour of Code. This requires that students write drag & drop programs to solve a series of mazes. There is video help from people like Mark Zuckerburg and Bill Gates and students can even look under the hood and see the actual code they wrote!

Hour of Code Day 1: 3rd & 5th

5th Grade

Next up, it was 5th Grade’s turn. They also watched the video linked above and then got to work on creating an interactive holiday card using Scratch. Scratch is a drag and drop visual programming language. I can’t wait to see what their cards end up looking like when they’re done.

6th Grade

The last class of the day was 6th Grade. Before they started on their programming adventure all of Middle School came to the lab for a Skype call with a high school app developer, Stephen Oro. Stephen developed his first app when he was 14 for his high school and currently has his original app and four others in the iTunes App Store. He is currently working more apps including one that will let you program other apps, I’m really excited about this one! A big thank you to Stephen for taking the time to talk to our Middle School students about coding and being an app developer.

Stephen Oro


After the Skype call, 6th Grade started playing with MIT App Inventor which is a free development environment that lets you create apps for Android devices. They didn’t have much time today but will continue working with this on Wednesday and probably into next week also.

That’s it for Day 1 – tomorrow it will be 1st Grade, 8th Grade and 7th Grade learning to code.