Scratch is a programming environment developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that supports students to easily learn important programming concepts through interactive art, exciting stories, simulations, and through developing simple computer games. Programming with Scratch is as simple as snapping Lego blocks together. Students develop and then share their work online. Check out some amazing projects on the Scratch website. You can download and then install Scratch 1.4 on your computer. The following introductory video explains more about Scratch.
Teachers or parents can engage and get new ideas on ScratchEd, an active online community where educators share stories, find resources and can ask questions. The Scratch curriculum guide is a very helpful resource for introducing creative computing with Scratch.
I use Scratch to teach programming in a grade 8/9 class. Working in an online environment allows me to incorporate aspects of digital citizenship into my curriculum. Check out my ScratchIT class website.
Currently Scratch is moving on to Scratch 2.0. This new Beta version enhances creativity and collaboration in Scratch on the web and has improved features. Check out the following video to learn more.