Get ready for ISTELive 21! Launch the site now.
Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Using Scratch and Physical Computing to Support Student Writing

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Snapshot

Helen Beltran  
Maria Garcia  
Ed Zurita  

Students code their own stories using the programming language Scratch and they create posters by connecting them with Makey Makey. Students also improve their mathematical competencies through coding and robotics and advance their storytelling and writing beyond what would be possible with paper and pencil.

Audience: Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Topic: Computer science & computational thinking
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Language arts, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.
  • Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.
Additional detail: Session recorded for video-on-demand

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

In this session, participants will learn how to cultivate a learning experience where students code their own stories using the programming language Scratch and they create posters by connecting them with the Makey Makeys. This session will also highlight how students also improve their Mathematical competencies through Coding/Robotics and advance their storytelling and writing beyond what they would have been able to with paper and pencil.


The session will highlight the following:
Students demonstrate their Storyboarding competencies
Students engage in Coding using Scratch to support the Writing or Mathematics Standards
Students engage in Physical Computing using Makey Makey/Spheros
Students explain how the CT Competencies support their learning by making real wold connections.

Supporting research

Lifelong Kindergarten-Mitch Resnick
Learning Through Play -LEGO Foundation
ISTE: Computational Thinking Competencies
Makey Makey
Sphero Edu-Computer Science Foundations by Sphero is a standards-aligned curriculum designed to be taught in the classroom with our robots. Across 3 courses and 72 lessons, teachers and students will explore STEAM principles through creative coding.

More [+]


Helen Beltran, Los Angeles Unified School District

Helen Beltran is an Elementary school teacher with a formal education in bilingual education, and currently pursuing her master’s in education emphasizing in social justice and critical literacy. As a 5th grade teacher at Hope Street Elementary School she is currently coaching the school’s robotics team which participates in the LAUSD’s robotics league. Mrs. Beltran is diligently looking for opportunities to inspire the young generation to pursue intellectual growth in STEAM based learning through the implementation of the ISTE standards and computer science framework.

Maria Garcia, Hope Street Elementary
Ed Zurita, LAUSD Instructional Technology Initiative
ISTE Certified Educator

Ed Zurita is an ISTE Certified Educator and member of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Division of Instruction Instructional Technology Initiative (ITI) where he helps to lead the district’s 21st century instructional practices through implementation of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards and the district’s Leading with Instruction approach. Mr. Zurita provides professional development, support and training to teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals and other educational staff both in the schools that he serves and throughout the district.

People also viewed

360 Degree Learning With Google Tour Creator
Coding? Who Me? An Introduction to Teaching Coding in the Elementary Classroom
Utilizing Digital Resources to Build Literacy in your Dual Language Program