Session 3, Toys, Turtles and Games!

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Posted by Tracey | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 28, 2013

Session 3

During this session we looked at the Toys, Turtles and games. The National Curriculum has changed ICT to Computing. The evidence that the children need to achieve is vast. The main focus is on actual programming and control of objects. The NC recognises that we are now in a digital world and children need to be computer literate in order to find suitable employment. Bee-Bots have been used for some time and these incorporate simple programming for children. They also incorporate directional language which encourages the children to talk to each other.

As well as looking at small electronic equipment to program, we can also look at the idea of following simple instructions. These simple instructions are also the basis of how programming works. By giving children the ideas that these instructions work the same way as programming will help them to understand the process. These instructions can be, making a sandwich, giving directions around the classroom, finding an object in the playground. This will link into Literacy; writing and Mathematics with coordinates.

This site recommends the Bee-Bots and suggests that they are ‘a perfect starting point to teach control, directional language and programming’.

During the session we looked at various sites; Scratch, 2 do it yourself, purple mash, ideas to inspire, 2 create a story and Lego WeDo. All of these required the children to create creatures, people, houses, rooms, fictional places and then for events to happen to them. This again is a simple form of programming. The children choose and design their ideas and then run the program to show these.

 

Lego WeDo involves making the object with pieces of Lego, which was very time consuming and fiddly. When made the objects did not really seem to do much and the actual programming was also fairly difficult. Children in reception and year 1 would need lots of support when using this product. Lego state that;

‘Working with theme-based activities, younger primary school students are able to build LEGO robotic models with working motors, gears, cams and tilt sensors before programming with the intuitive WeDo robotics software to bring them to life. The WeDo Construction Set enables the students to hook up the robots to their computer via the supplied USBhub allowing them to program the robots actions, sounds and responses’.

 

 Our task for the session was to create a Literacy lesson but incorporate Computing. Our group consisted of Rachael, Kat and I, we chose the story of the 3 Little Pigs and decided to use the Bee-Bots. Using a large plastic sheet with roughly 20 pockets attached, we filled them with random pictures of the story. The idea was for the children to retell the story and use the Bee-Bots to find their way to the matching pictures. The children would work together to help give directional instructions to find the picture.  We collated all our information and added it to the resource bank.

John Naughton (2012) mentions in his column in The Guardian, how he believes ICT in schools needs to be changed. He states that, ‘Starting in primary school, children from all backgrounds and every part of the UK should have the opportunity to: learn some of the key ideas of computer science; understand computational thinking; learn to program; and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of excellence in these activities’.   Little did he realize that by 2014 it would be!

David Crookes (2013) reporter for The Independent, also spoke about the new NC and he feels towards the introduction of programming for children. He states, ‘Even if children do not go on to become programmers later in life, they will have learnt to express logic in a form that can be processed automatically. They will learn how to solve problems and they will understand structure and organisation’.

I have used Bee-bots several times whilst in placement and they have always been well received. I will continue to source new ideas to use within the classroom but aim to look at programming objects to cover the new National Curriculum changes.

 

 

 

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