Scratch is the programming language we use most often in Lower School. This year, Third and Fourth graders will use Scratch to code animations, maze games, and physical computing projects with Micro:bit and Scratch. In addition, the languages we will use to program robots are based on Scratch.
Using Scratch 3.0 at Home
Scratch Desktop for Third Graders
In Technology class, Third Graders use a downloaded version of Scratch 3.0 called Scratch Desktop. For Third Grade families who want their children to be able to use Scratch at home, Scratch Desktop is available for download at MIT’s Scratch website.
This offline version will work on Macintosh and Windows machines. Later in the school year, I will send instructions home on how students can work on or show parents their projects.
To enjoy Scratch at school and explore it at home, Third Graders do not need to have their own online Scratch accounts.
Scratch Accounts for Fourth Graders
This year Fourth Graders have online student Scratch accounts. To log into their account students can go to scratch.mit.edu. Information on this year’s Scratch Accounts for Fourth Graders is located on this blog’s homepage.
Third Graders are practicing typing with Dance Mat typing.
Fourth Graders have accounts with the web-based typing program Typing Club. Later in the year, Third Graders will also have Typing Club accounts.
To use Typing Club from home, students need to visit,
and sign in with the short username and password they know from school.
For fourth grade students who already have a firm grasp of their hand position, another fun website is Super Hyper Spider Typer.
Third and Fourth Grade students are encouraged to practice typing at home for 10 -15 minutes at least two times a week. Those Fourth Grade students who are typing less than 20 words per minute should practice during the summer before they enter Fifth Grade.
“The practice of democracy is not passed down through the gene pool. It must be taught and learned anew by each generation of citizens.”
— Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Founder of iCivics
iCivics free games help Third and Fourth grade students learn how our democracy works. From Immigration Nation, to Do I have a Right, to Executive Command, to Argument Wars, these well-designed simulations are engaging and full of important lessons about citizenship. These are lessons that are particularly important for our children as they experience tensions rising in their country and their world.
Here are two excellent data visualizations that you can explore with your children: