So this is my second year of the on the job training for coding so to speak. I have restarted my coding club for the new academic year and have chosen my resources very carefully!
Last year I purchased 6 brand new raspberry pi 3 computers with 7" screens thinking that this would possibly solve all my computer problems regarding the teaching of coding. But they lacked practicality. That's not to say we didn't have a great time hacking Minecraft endlessly. Plus I learnt about just how much I didn't know.
This year I have gone back to basics with my coding skills. I dusted off the 6 blue bee bots I had purchased and thought about teaching the fundamentals before I ever got into python coding. Needless to say the beebots worked brilliantly and the bluetooth, although a bit of faff, worked fantastic with the iPads.
|Attaching pens to the sides of beebots to draw letters wasn't easy but end up exploring repeating patterns and repeating codes|
|All children soon found a way to emulate each others coding|
|I then challenged them to connect two together|
|Maze and bee bot racing|
|Using obstacles in mazes|
|Cups for obstacles allowed movement to see where they went wrong|
|I love masking tape|
Once I felt we had got everything we could out of the beebot learning I moved on Scratchjr. Now I knew my club had already taught my self built unit the year before but I felt that this app had so much more that wasn't explored.
Here is the list of what we went through,
- sprites and formal vocablulary.
- clockwise and anticlockwise
- editing and sprite creation
- bloc coding
- variables (touched upon)
- control pads
We created evasion games and maze games with different levels to much success. The people at MIT have really thought how to place a step between the use of bee bots and scratch 2 block coding. I have to say I've learnt such a lot myself. Just playing around gets your mind into the logical way of thinking that is required and how you might problem solve to find a solution. My only small complaint would be the lack of variables which means I can't create a score of any sort but I understand the breadth they create which may be over complicated.
|Maze Level 1|
|Maze level 2|
|Maze level 3|
|The final background when every level was complete|
Here's my evasion game!
If you are not a born coder then go to the numerous video walk throughs on Youtube and look like an expert in front of your kids.