Little Coders…Take Two!

First up, my apologies for missing two weeks of Sunday blogs. Life has been busy as usual and my role of Nanny ranks higher than daily business. My hubby and I had the pleasure of entertaining and caring for our lovely grandson, let me tell you that this was like a full week at work! My hat goes off to all the parents of a two year old, what a challenge it is to keep up with them 24/7. Having said it was hard work, it was also such a joy, we stomped through puddles, explored the local walk bridge over the river (both on and under), tramped through the Jarrah forest and across the paddocks. Every stick, stone, flower,  insect, animal, bird or bird noise held fascination. He questions everything and expects answers, and with gentle hands explores nature. He is a true scientist in the making.

Now to coding…

My Year 1/2 class has been loving the Ozobot Envelope City activity, over two lessons we have managed to complete the challenge. The change in their knowledge has been fantastic, most of the class now understands the purpose and use of the colour codes (we only used the basic ones). They managed to work in groups with only one group struggling with sharing/turn taking, and even this group completed the task. All students did incorporate the codes allocated to their envelop house into their roads and we all learnt about ‘direction matters’ with colour codes! We discussed why some worked and why some didn’t, we fixed errors or detoured around them. The difference in their application, construction and care between our first make a town activity and this one is vast.

For example:

This was our first ‘Make a Town’ activity attempt, just learning about what colours the sensors read and how the Ozobot reads the coloured lines. What makes a good road? Thin lines? Thick lines? Corners, loops, sharp turns, etc?

2016-08-02 13.56.27Make a town

This is the Envelope City activity…using code with purpose!

Envelope city 2Envelope Challenge 1Envelope city 3

Envelope city 4

After we completed the challenge I let them add more coded roads to their towns, this gave them more tries to get it right. We then went to town decorating our envelope buildings/houses and added all the essentials of a town environment, trees, flowers, fences, parks, etc. After all learning needs to be fun!

We then had a pop quiz, just to check if they had memorised any of the codes. A big ask, as remember we had only had two lessons. I just used my display colour code cards and just held them up with my fingers covering the titles. Then I asked for students to tell me what they were, the response was great. Many had learned them and responded with the correct answer, if they hadn’t I got them to check their mini cards in the envelope houses. All in all, I was very happy with the outcome…learning objective achieved 🙂

Little Coders…try and try again!

The one thing about little coders are they never let you down. They’re always full of beans and excited to be part of your class. This week my little coders (Yr. 1/2) were super keen and had a double dose of coding! They experienced a great robot and coding incursion by Gecko Steps and getting hands on with Ozobots in our DT class.

I was kinda proud when the Gecko Steps presenter asked the class “What do you think these things are? (pointing to holes on front of the robot)” and quick as a flash two students replied with “Sensors! Eyes to see with!”

In the last three lessons, we have looked at robots in real life, learnt about the components of the the Ozobots, discovered that sensors are a bit like your eyes (sensitive) and learn’t about how to draw colour code tracks for our robots. We have begun to learn the basic Ozobot colour code symbols. What we did wrong when drawing these and how to fix them, if we make a mistake?

To stretch their knowledge further and give them a chance to demonstrate what they know, I have designed a fun Ozobot cityscape lesson. I am hoping this will give them more time to absorb and remember the various codes, plus get them problem solving and finding solutions.

The inspiration for the task came from, gotta love that name. Kate Pickle (at least I think that’s her name) has a cute envelop city activity  which looks like loads of fun. My version has student’s coding the roads of their city for Ozobot traffic. Picking up code cards, as they make their way from building to building and problem solving how to use each code to reach their destination.

If you would like a copy of the lesson download it from here Envelope City Challenge 1 Mentioned in the lesson plan is a set of OZOBOT COLOUR CODES cards which I created. You need the cards to complete the lesson. The cards needed to be printed in colour and laminated. They are very useful for teaching any of the Ozobot lessons.

Have a great week everyone 🙂


First blog post!

Welcome everyone to the blog. At this stage what I hope to do is post a weekly blog, why only weekly? Well, like most of you I am busy working. At the moment I am working four and a half days, teaching Yr.1-10, so life is a little crazy. I am learning new skills across a range of subject areas, including furthering my Digital Technologies knowledge. This semester I am currently teaching coding to Yr. 1/2, Yr. 5/6, Yr. 7/8 and Yr. 9/10.

Last semester I focused on using OZOBOT robots and learning how to code by colour and block coding. We coded with textas and paper, iPads and computers. My Yr. 9/10 class explored augmented reality and how we can use it in a real world environment.

This semester some classes are learning about robots and are coding with the OZOBOT for the first time. My Yr. 7/8 class are beginning the journey in using and creating with script code. We are using Microsoft Small Basic, a very simple start that is user friendly with a series of lessons available online to help get them started. I like Small Basic because it is FREE, always a bonus, and because of its simplicity. I didn’t want to scare students off with complex script writing. We have also been looking at the history of gaming and gaming consoles. Students are playing and writing reports on a game (pre 1999). It has been fun with me having serious flashbacks to my childhood…Pong anyone? The students have had previous experience block coding and creating games with Scratch. As we become more familiar with Small Basic script coding we will create our own retro style game.

On my learning agenda is 3D printing. I hope to teach myself Tinker cad and get our newly purchased 3D printer up and running. My first project is looking at printing ‘print blocks’ to use in both my Textiles and Graphic Design classes. I am hoping that this may reduce the time frame required when creating lino print blocks, and perhaps the quality of the prints onto fabric or paper. I will let you know how it goes. Any advice would be very appreciated, so please do share what you have tried, what worked or what didn’t.