Becoming Innovative Designers

This week we examined ISTE Student Standard 4: Innovative Designer- Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions. To best fit this standard for a Kindergarten classroom I need to answer the following questions.

How can Kindergarten students use digital tools to help solve problems? What digital tools can be used to teach students about a design process?

Why learning to solve problems through a design process is important-

When adding a new subject into our schedules it can seem like a daunting task, however, teaching students to code is an important skill. In the article Adding Coding to the Curriculum by Beth Gardiner from The New York Times, Beth stated “programming is highly creative: Studying it can help to develop problem-solving abilities, as well as equip students for a world transformed by technology”.(Gardiner)

“Kids these days are all stuck to their phones, their tablets, and are constantly using technology, but very few of them are learning how to create it,” said Roxanne Emadi, a strategist at, an advocacy group based in Seattle that is behind the Hour of Code effort. “Even if it’s something simple, like a kid programming a maze or programming a robot, when you can see your work brought to life, that’s where light bulbs go off.” (Gardiner)

Digital Tools for Coding-

While researching for different digital tools that foster in teaching students the design process, I discovered the site  ScratchJr is an introductory programming language that enables young children (ages 5-7) to create their own interactive stories and games. Children snap together graphical programming blocks to make characters move, jump, dance, and sing. Children can modify characters in the paint editor, add their own voices and sounds, even insert photos of themselves — then use the programming blocks to make their characters come to life. With this program students learn how to create and express themselves with the computer, not just to interact with it. In the process, children learn to solve problems and design projects, and they develop sequencing skills that are foundational for later academic success. They also use math and language in a meaningful and motivating context, supporting the development of early-childhood numeracy and literacy.

Using ScratchJr. in the Classroom-

Activities- ScratchJr. comes with a assortment of activities for students to complete through the app. These activities come in a variety of difficulty, which allows for differentiation among students.


  • Block Images-You can print high quality images of the ScratchJr blocks for classroom instruction.
  • Animated Genres-The curriculum will be divided into three modules based on three interactive genres of ScratchJr-based projects. These genres are collage, story, and game. Each of these modules is comprised of two units: 1. A series of lessons that introduce ScratchJr features and programming blocks 2. An opportunity for children to create their own projects by applying concepts learned in module lessons
  • Playground Games-In the eight lessons of this curriculum, children learn how to use ScratchJr as they re-create familiar playground games
  • Reinforcing Literacy and Math- These curricular modules describe ScratchJr projects that reinforce the Common Core Standards

Assessments- These assessments allow for teachers to determine the depth of students’ understanding of the relationship between the programming blocks and their associated behaviors.



Gardiner, B. (2014, March 23). Adding Coding to the Curriculum. Retrieved February 19, 2018, from

ISTE Standards FORSTUDENTS. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2018, from
Scratch – Home. (2017, April). Retrieved February 19, 2018, from

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