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Game Design with ScratchJr

Pennsylvania Convention Center, Terrace Ballroom Lobby, Table 3

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STEAM Teacher
South Fayette Township School District
ISTE Certified Educator
As an elementary STEAM teacher, Melissa teaches students the beginnings of computer programming and helps them to design, build, and bring their ideas to life as they use technology. A life-long Maker, Melissa’s elementary STEAM curriculum intertwines art and science and challenges students to think critically while using their imaginations to construct new realities. Melissa leads out-of-school computer programming clubs for upper elementary students, family nights for the community, and STEAM professional development for educators. Melissa is also a member of Agency by Design and is currently working on her doctorate in STEM Education.

Session description

Checkout second grade students' video games created and programmed using ScratchJr. This session explains the students' process, from planning their games to storyboarding, creating and play testing. We'll also share video reflections from students so you can hear about the project from students' perspectives.

Purpose & objective

The purpose of this poster presentation is to showcase second grade students' video games created and programmed using ScratchJr. and to provide resources for attendees to replicate similar projects in their classroom. The projects showcased will provide inspiration for "next level" coding projects that can be completed using the free ScratchJr. app.

By attending this session, participants will gain a deeper understanding of computational thinking practices, increased ideas for how to employ the ScratchJr. app in their elementary classroom, and a greater perspective on how computer science and coding can be connected to various aspects of the elementary curriculum.

After visiting this poster presentation, participants will be inspired by the limitless creative possibilities that Scratch Jr. provides. Participants will be able to examine and play test a variety of projects designed by young students and will be given resources for replicating similar projects with their own students.

My poster presentation will feature a variety of interactive student projects on iPads that participants can work with, and I will also have a variety of engaging student videos (using FlipGrid) so that participants can see students' reflections on their learning.

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The main focal points of my poster session will be:

1. Experiencing students' video games created and programmed with ScratchJr. (projects will be displayed on iPads)
2. Hearing about students' process as they planned, created, tested, and improved their projects
3. Reviewing relevant resources that can help other educators implement similar projects with their students

I will speak with each attendee, but they will also have access to QR codes that lead to students' projects/reflections, and some of my classroom materials (handouts)

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Supporting research

Resnick, M., & Robinson, K. (2018). Lifelong kindergarten: Cultivating creativity through projects, passion, peers, and play. The MIT Press.

Bers, M. U., & Resnick, M. (2016). The Official Scratch Jr Book Help Your Kids Learn to code! No Starch Press.

Murphy Paul, Annie. “The Coding Revolution.” Scientific American Aug. 2016:42-49. Online and Print.

Rondinelli, Bille, Dr., and Aileen M. Owens. “Computational Thinking.” AASA May 2017: 23-27. Print and Online.

Gormley, William T., Jr. Critical Advantage. S.I.: Harvard Education, 2017. Print. (Chapter discussing South Fayette. Chapter 7. Critical Thinking and the Technological Revolution. 157-185)

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Session specifications

Computer science & computational thinking
Grade level:
Skill level:
Attendee devices:
Devices not needed
Subject area:
ISTE Standards:
For Educators:
  • Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.