Scratch is a programming language, developed at MIT, and an online community where children can program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation with people from all over the world. Python is a widely used high-level programming language for general-purpose programming
Scratch will enable our students to rapidly prototype their own apps and reason systematically while having fun.
Python provides constructs necessary for coding and learning other programming languages like C++, Java, and C#.
We’ve chosen Scratch because of its broad acceptance and usage in education. Scratch supports the nine types of 21st Century learning: thinking creatively, communicating clearly, analyzing systematically, collaborating effectively, designing iteratively, and learning continuously.
Python programs can construct and execute program fragments on the fly. Usually, real-world properties are decisive: Common Lisp is big (in every sense), and the Scheme world is fragmented between many incompatible versions, where Python has a single, free, compact implementation.
Your child may have easy access to an iPad or tablet but please dedicate a computer, whether a PC or a Mac, to your child so that they can engage first hand in exploring programming. A small investment can go a long way.
If you have more than one child, please allocate a proportionate amount of time to each child.
There is no substitute for a child to have solo hands-on experience with a thing of wonder – a computer!
Our students will be maintaining a design journal. The computer programming curriculum we are using is heavily oriented towards creativity. Please take the time out to review your child’s design journal to see how their ideas are being mapped.
If you are not already a programmer then take a little bit of time and learn Scratch programming yourself! There are some great books you can get to help you up to speed quickly.
Four tracks for a well balanced education in technology
The Wellspring Creative Computing Curriculum will cover four technology tracks. The tracks are Core, Creative, Professional and Computer Science. Each track will introduce the student to a particular type or aspect of technology.
The Core track focuses on developing the Wellspring student’s core competencies in areas such as desktop, web, email, search and blog authoring. This ensures that the student has the proper foundation to not only perform better in other subjects but to bring them up to speed to a standard baseline to build more complex learning.
True to the spirit of the Wellspring general curriculum, the Creative track introduces the student to the more creative possibilities of technologies. Subjects will include 3D modeling, HTML and web design, educational games, iPad art and learning how to use graphic design tools such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
As our students get into the later grades, they will begin to be exposed to more advanced topics. Our Professional track will provide exposure to tools commonly emphasized in business and careers, such Microsoft Office and Google Docs.
Finally, our Computer Science track will introduce our students to more technically involved subjects such as programming in Java, databases, networking, robotics and circuit boards. All in all, we think the four tracks provide a well balanced education in technology and we are extremely excited to see this roll out over the coming years!
The curriculum is Exciting.
Most lessons will have a three part structure. The first part is to ask the student to use their imagination to creatively describe various aspects of an application, for example, to draw out a salt molecule. The second step is to think through what steps need to occur in the application. Finally, the student will build the application and validate their thought process.