The fifth graders first experience with Scratch was a huge success!  After spending about three weeks learning the ins and outs of the Scratch Paint Editor (and the new Scratch 2.0 website) the students have finally finished their dots.  It is a wonder to behold.  With over 100 students, I can say with almost 100% certainty that no two dots look a lot.  But don't take my word for it.  You can view the dots at the Scratch Studio.  By Monday, I will have uploaded all of the dots into the program.  But for now, here is a sneak preview.  Enjoy! 
Computer science, is not only about computers.  It is about a special way of looking at the world - it is about exploration, creativity and computational thinking.  Consequently, I will be exposing the fifth graders to computers through a variety of different modalities. 

Recently I came across a book that I thought would help me do just that.  The book, Laruen Ipsum.  Today we started reading this whimsical novel in computer science class. 

Laurie is lost in Userland. She knows where she is, or where she's going, but maybe not at the same time. The only way out is through Jargon-infested swamps, gates guarded by perfect logic, and the perils of breakfast time at the Philosopher's Diner. With just her wits and the help of a lizard who thinks he's a dinosaur, Laurie has to find her own way home.

Lauren Ipsum is a children's novel about fundamentals of computer science and critical thinking, written for ages 8 and up. It has been featured in many publications including Wired, GOOD Magazine, NPR Radio, School Library Journal, and on CBC Radio's Spark with Nora Young.

I will be spending the last 5-10 minutes of class sharing this delightful novel with your children.  Feel free to read along!

We continued our celebration of International Dot Day with a reading of the book "The Dot". For anyone who has been afraid to express themselves - from a child in art class to an adult whose fear has shut down a long-held dream, Peter Reynold's book "The Dot" is there to remind us ALL to "Make your mark, and see where it takes you."

Students will be creating their own dots (in Scratch) to be included in the World Museums Dot Day Project.

Students were asked to share Scratch with their parents.


After reading and discussing the book, students viewed 
The World Museums Dot Project 2012 (below)
Ability to produce something new through imaginative skill, 
whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device, or a new artistic object or form. 
The term generally refers to a richness of ideas and originality of thinking.
We began the school year exploring the idea of creativity.  Then each student designed a "word cloud" using wordle.