Although Victorian Education Week is six weeks away (May 17th to 23rd), I am using some of the school holiday break to play with Scratch, so my Year 7 and 8 Maths classes can participate in the “Crack the Code with Maths” challenge.

Scratch is simple-to-use software, that allows users to create animations using drag-and-drop commands. I hope to use this free program, pre-installed on our government school laptops, as part of our geometry learning this term.

Scratch uses the Cartesian Co-ordinate system to locate ‘sprites’ on a ‘stage’.The screen is a 480 x 360 rectangle, such that: the X position can range from 240 to -240, where 240 is the rightmost a sprite can be and -240 is the leftmost, and the Y position can range from 180 to -180, where 180 is the highest it can be and -180 is the lowest it can be. The centre of the screen, or ‘origin’, is known as (x=0, y=0) or (0,0).

The following links are some examples of what can be achieved with Scratch.

- Drawing geometric shapes (cartesian plane)
- Drawing geometric shapes (choose number of sides and number of shapes)
- Magnifying and minifying (scale factors with associated lesson plans)

**Student tasks: **

- Join the Scratch community, using your school username (eg. gow0049).
- Explore the links above and other geometry-related Scratch projects.
- Create your own Scratch project, drawing a different polygon (closed shape with straight sides) in each of four quadrats.
- Can you create four different triangles? (equilateral acute, isosceles obtuse, scalene right-angled and one other combination of side-length and angle size).
- Can you create four different quadrilaterals?
- Can you create a regular pentagon, hexagon, octagon and nonagon?
- Draw your initials, like these students in 5/6 Clark/Smith Can you translate and reflect your initials so they appear in all four quadrats?