Mr. Gordon

I teach 9th grade computer science in Scratch and also Javascript at The East Bay Innovation Academy in Oakland, CA. I live in San Leandro with my wife, Sara, and my six cats: Gina, Steve French, Perry, Inky, Dune Buggy, and Jim Neighbor.

I've been a teacher since 2006.

I started programming when I was in 4th grade myself, first in Basic, but in many different programming languages over the years. I was excited when Scratch went online, because it made it easy to integrate programming into my everyday teaching.

I like to develop websites online to use with my students to help them learn. A few examples include:

  •[1] - This is an online role playing game in the form of a spaceship adventure. Students complete math to engage in space battles. The game includes over 200 distinct math activities, that load with different values each time. It keeps track of your learning progress as you play.
  •[2] - This is an online 4-function binary calculator that works like most 4-function calculator, except in binary. It uses actual bit math with boolean arrays underneath for added awesomeness.
  •[3] - This is an online gallery maker for teachers and students working in Scratch. A teacher creates a gallery, and shares the link with her students. Students add their projects to the gallery.

Mr. Gordon's ScratchMath Lessons

I have a book online called Scratchmath[4]. The book contains a set of math modelers that follow a 4th grade math curriculum as the year progresses. When I taught 4th grade, my students would build them weekly, and there are more than thirty in all.

The book is is published under a Creative Commons Attributional License and is free for anyone to read or use.

You can get most of the blank templates for the projects in Mr. Gordon's Scratch Resources Studio.[5]

You can see examples of my students' modelers in the Mr. Gordon's Scratch Lessons Studio.[6]

Mr. Gordon's Math Games

I have a series of math games that help my students to build the lead-up and everyday math skills necessary to be successful. They are all in The Mr. Gordon's Scratch Games Studio[7] and I recommend students play them in this order:

  • The Digit Dodecathlon[8] - This speed game builds students' ability to "count on" to the next place value. This is an essential skill in many place value operations (rounding, subtraction, division).
  • The Order Objective[9] - This speed game practices students' ability to put large numbers in order (comparison, number sense, division).
  • The Sixty Second Sweep[10] - This is a classic paper speed game that helps build multiplication fact knowledge. It is my first math game on Scratch, and my most popular game.
  • Mathhawk's Pyramid[11] - This is a Q*bert clone that has the student typing multiplication products to clear the squares of the pyramid, while avoiding an enemy. The facts are randomized, with "easier" facts coming in the earlier rounds.
  • Tic-Tac-Toe Products[12] - This is another classic math paper game that practices students' multiplication fact knowledge. It requires two players to play on one computer. The game is surprisingly strategic, and students really enjoy it.
  • The Grand Product Prix[13] - This speed game helps to build fact versatility. Students must choose divisible factors 1-9 for a series of increasing products.
  • Divisibility Dash[14] - This is another speed game to help build versatility. Students must select all of the multiples of a series of increasing factors.
  • The Fraction Attraction[15] - In this game, students must estimate a fractional quantity in three different contexts: a pie model, a bar model, and a part model.
  • Coordinate Grid Battleship[16] - This is Classic American Rules Battleship on a coordinate grid. Students play against each other, passing the laptop back and forth.