Taylor, M., Harlow, A. & Forret, M. (2010). Using a computer programming environment and an interactive whiteboard to investigate some mathematical thinking. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 8, 561-570.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5072
Scratch is a free graphical programming language designed for children to create their own interactive games, animations, simulations and stories. Scratch provides a virtual space where children use some mathematics ideas in order to build their own animated artefacts. This paper reports on some preliminary findings from a research project where two elementary teachers in an urban New Zealand school introduced Scratch to nine and ten year old children in their classrooms. In each of the classrooms a small number of computers and an interactive whiteboard (IWB) were utilised. This paper uses a case study approach to describe how engagement with Scratch and independent use of the IWB enabled children to work collaboratively to solve design challenges. Initial results indicate that the Scratch program is engaging for children. It created an environment where the children were, by necessity, using problem-solving processes such as goal setting, and generating and testing of ideas. The interactive whiteboard afforded rich opportunities for children to collaborate and share their thinking. Some questions and implications for the learning and teaching of elementary school mathematics are explored at the conclusion of the paper.
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