When you going to start to learn about programming (computational thinking) and to code with young learners, you have to break it down to make it understandable for them.
Here is how I use to do, when I´m working with programming with young leaners. The goal is to understand how a code is structured, what it communicates and how to influence it. But most of all it is a great opportunity to challenge the kids logical thinking.
1. Start by creating arrows of any physical material such as paper that you laminate or wood pieces. Let the kids be involved in this process. It´s an excellent opportunity to practice prepositions and craftwork.
2. After that you make up a path that the kids have to get through. They can only do this by using the different commands (arrows) that you created.
3. This activity can be developed further by letting the kids build their own path in Lego. And then let their friends try to get through the path with a Lego figure by drawing the commands that are needed on a paper.
4. In order to challenge the children to work together and to solve problems, you can connect an iPad to a projector, and work with one of the many programming apps that is available. My favorite one is lightbot -hour of Code and Swift Playground. Let them together to solve the task of taking the robot or figure through the various paths in the game. This is also a great rhetoric challenge. They must listen, argue and explain why their solution is the best.
5. By now, the children have a pretty clear picture of how the code works, challenge the children further by letting them try to program robots. Here they can also build different paths of physical materials that the robot can navigate through. Here again they train themselves to cooperate and to communicate.
6. The next step is to start exploring a maker kit, like Makey Makey. Here the kids practice their creativity and their logical thinking. One tip is to search after makey makey or makerspace on youtube to get inspiration for what you can create.
The combination of modern technology, physical material, the interaction between kids and between kids and teachers is a great way of making a joyful learning environment.
Finally the music project I started one year ago is finish. It has been soo delightful to receive all the bits of the music pussle and finally edit all togehter to one musical piece. 5 school, 5 countries, 3 language comes together and tell the important message about how our world can be a better place. Thanks to all the schools that made this happend.
- Gems Academy, Etoy, Switzerland
- The Murri School, Brisbane, Australia
- The American School Foundation, Mexico Ciy
- Escola Da Vila, Brazil
You rock! Please like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Globalsongproject/810097009071031
Here is the music video
I am on my way to London and using the airplane wifi for the first time. Now days you are connected all the time, is that really good I wonder?
I was supposed to take a short nap, but know I’m blogging, making tweet and going thru other social media channels.
When I talk to teacher about ICT I always talk about “less is more”. That it’s better to use it right then often. I think that important also when it’s comes to our accesbillity. Do we have to be connected and reachable all the time?
I will take my nap…… Over and out
I have made a dice of styrofoam and on that I have put QR codes, so it becomes a QR dice that I use in different way in my teaching. The first thing a did was to use it in kindergarten when we had gymnastics, every QRcode had a link to a instructional film that showed the movement that the kids was going to do.
I also use this in my literacy class and here I use different task linked to QR codes, it can be rhetoric task like “make a short speak about this picture” or “try to make us buy these broken classes”. I can also use this dice when we have a short test about what we have learn and link questions to the QR codes.
I use Google apps and Google document to link my task to the QR codes and it works well.
About two years ago, I came upon a game with iPad and Skype that I called “find me”. It was after I several days in a week playing hide and seek with the kids that I felt that this would be capable of integrating with modern technology.
What you need is two iPads and at least two children. One run and hide and when that child found his or her hiding place, he/she rings up the other child. When they see each other, the child that´s been hiding then gives clues by filming their environment. Then it’s just up to the other one to go out and look.
The reason I write about this now, is that for one month, I met some of the children that I did this with two years ago.
They asked if we could do this again. They also told me that they played this game at home in the neighborhood with their smartphones.
So now we have resumed this game and see how it evolves.
Often when I reflect on my most successful lessons or activities in preschool so has creativity been the protagonist. That’s when I as a teacher dared to go beyond my comfort zone and dared to try something new or when any child shared a ide’ or discovery.
The important thing is that the climate is permissive so both educators, students and children dare to throw out and dare to try. Sometimes I think we’re all a little comfortable and treads to walk the same ground, it makes you feel you can and mastered.
Unless we educators dare to be creative, how should our students and children dare to be?