A Math unit focusing on addition and subtraction students would traditionally draw on paper math representations (stars, circles, etc.) or use physical items (Lego, coins, etc.) to practice number addition problems. These hands-on activities are still very relevant in young childrens’ learning.
The integration of the Digital Technologies curriculum allows us to also represent number learning through an authentic digitally pleasing way. Using Scratch in the early Primary years gives young children an introduction to becoming Makers and not just simple Users/Consumers of digital technologies. Scratch also gives students an introduction to computational thinking skills and an understanding of the creative skills that relate to digital creation.
In this Scratch activity the students will demonstrate their Math skill learning through a digital animated presentation. Additionally, this activity could include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures through the use of the Maths as storytelling (MAST) approach (Matthews, Cooper & Baturo, 2007). Teachers first get students to create their own story drawings that include students’ creating their own symbols based on how symbols are used in Indigenous situations. The symbols that students create can be photographed and imported into Scratch.
Note: This may work especially well with the guidance of a local Indigenous contact that can help build on the cultural understanding related to storytelling and Indigenous symbols. Also a good starting point for teachers to make local connections is through their city council representatives and related websites.