Superhero Transformation

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Here is a good one. I came across this activity while looking for more advanced ways to use Google Drawings to help teach computational thinking. This is called the Superhero Transformation Project. The idea was originally from the High School Maths Project. It could easily be adapted to an upper primary class.

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The project was then taken and adapted Mandi Tolen to include the use of Google Drawings for her students. You can read her blog post here. Using Cartesian Coordinates in this way can is fun and interactive but also it helps students use a context around the graph. Thinking about maths and teaching transformation is one way we move these characters around our grid. This would help students to understand flipping,

Using Cartesian Coordinates in this way can is fun and interactive but also it helps students use a context around the graph. Thinking about how we teach transformation we can move characters around our grid. This would help students to understand the concepts of flipping, translations and rotations. Younger students could use a grid or part of a graph rather than the coordinates.

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Many elements are covered in the curriculum in this activity including writing and digital storytelling. If the students were to take screenshots of their work they can import it into a presentation to retell the events that took place in their superhero story. The students can keep  with the superheroes theme or we can change it to any character we want.

When students create their superhero in Google Drawings they can save it as a png file which would make the background transparent allowing the superhero to be placed more accurately on the graph.

Mandi used this project outline with her students. I have created a Google Drawings Graph for beginners so anyone can make a copy of it. Once you have imported your superhero you can drag them to spot you would like and perform the task as in the story.

 Make a copy of the Google Drawings graph here.

Related Cybersmart Lesson:

Students will be creating their own stories and superheroes online. It is important for them to understand the piracy and plagiarism and their ethical responsibilities online. 

A Creator’s Responsibility

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Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

Years 5 and 6

  • Examine how whole numbers are used to represent all data in digital systems (ACTDIK015)
  • Acquire, store and validate different types of data, and use a range of software to interpret and visualise data to create information (ACTDIP016)
  • Design, modify and follow a sequence of steps (ACTDIP019)
  • Plan, create and communicate ideas and information, including collaboratively online, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols (ACTDIP022)

Years 7 and 8

  • Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English, and trace algorithms to predict output for a given input and to identify errors (ACTDIP029)
  • Evaluate how student solutions and existing information systems meet needs, are innovative (ACTDIP031)
  • Plan and manage projects that create and communicate ideas and information collaboratively online, taking safety and social contexts into account (ACTDIP032)

Mathematics
Sequencing, algorithm, conditional, reasoning, directions, data, graphs, symmetry, patterns, shapes (regular/irregular), interpret,  construct tables using data, grid reference, translations, reflections, rotations, line and rotational symmetry, transformation, Cartesian coordinates, Cartesian plane, positive and negative numbers, order, trial and error

Literary
Navigating, explanation,  instructions, directions, cause and effect, storytelling, imaginative, creative and narrative texts, illustrations to support text, understanding and interpreting coordinates, participate, contribute, develop ideas, clarify, analyse information, imagery

The Arts
Creating, designing, interpretation, apply techniques

General Capabilities
Criteria, reasoning, thinking processes, evaluate, logical thinking, reflect and adjust thinking, collaborate, respond, communicate

 

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Sploder

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Sploder is a game creator where students can explore how to make puzzles or games that others can play. They learn to code by using design by creating environments and levels using different features. This program gets the students really thinking about positions, placement and forward thinking about how the game could work.

Students can be as creative as they want with Sploder creating digital stories that challenge and lead others through a range of levels. Thanks to Anthony Speranza for this resources.

Play on your computer or download it for free from the itunes store.

Get started with this youtube clip.

 

Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

Years 3 and 4

  • Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010)
  • Implement simple digital solutions as visual programs  involving branching (decisions) and user input (ACTDIP011)
  • Plan, create and communicate ideas and information independently and with others, applying agreed ethical and social protocols (ACTDIP013)

Years 5 and 6

  • Implement digital solutions as simple visual program involving  branching,  iteration  (repetition) and user input (ACTDIP020)
  • Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps,branching, and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP019)
  • Plan, create and communicate ideas and information, including collaboratively online, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols (ACTDIP022)

Mathematics
Sequencing, variables, algorithm, conditional, reasoning, directions

Literary
Navigating, explanation,  instructions, directions, cause and effect, story telling

The Arts
Creating, designing

Critical and Creative Thinking
Criteria, investigate, reason, visual models, thinking processes

Science
Variables, patterns, test, trial, error, record, methods, cause and effect

 

GoldieBlox Coding App Launch

 

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Since being introduced to GoldieBlox I have been following the action. Today I came across this new little App. GoldieBlox has grown from a Kickstarter campaign and is now a massive hit in the US. There is a whole marketing campaign around GoldieBlox where stores such as Toys ‘R’ Us and Target are selling building sets aimed to promote and encourage young girls to become involved in STEM.

GoldieBlox: Adventures in Coding follows the coding concept of problem-solving pathways to get from A to B. GoldieBlox helps with learning the fundamental concepts of coding. It has over 20 levels of puzzles. There is the ability, to use the variables, to code your own game. The App is aimed to build confidence and empower girls although boys would love this app as well!

Related Article:

Toymaker GoldieBlox Launches Coding App for Girls as Young as 4

Links to Curriculum:

This Apps is new on the market. Once I have explored it I’ll post the links.

Check back soon 🙂

 

Create A Robot Face

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Unplugged activities are just as good or even better than plugged ones. In this activity the class can learn how a robot responds to emotion. Here they will learn about the importance of rules and how computers follow sets of rules in their output. This activity is about input and output.

In a snapshot:

The teacher uses parts of pictures to create a bigger picture. In this example, it is a Robot Face. They use people to recreate the robot face with the students using the templates provided. The class can either set criteria where a certain movement is made when they make a sound or they can follow the rules set in the instructions. This activity can be taken further through having students use branching to show thinking behind the rules that have been developed.

I really love the flexibility in this idea. It can be used in many forms. By adding different pictures the activity can be transformed into movements by people or animals. This activity can be adapted at to age group.

 

Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

Foundation – Year 2

  • Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)
  • Collect, explore and sort data, and use digital systems to present the data creatively (ACTDIP003)

Years 3 and 4

  • Recognise different types of data and explore how the same data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008)
  • Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010)
  • Implement simple digital solutions as visual programs with algorithms involving branching (decisions) and user input (ACTDIP011)

Years 5 and 6

Mathematics
Sequencing, variables, algorithm, branching, iteration, conditional, reasoning, directions

Literary
Reading, navigating, explanation,  instructions, directions, cause and effect

The Arts
Creating, designing, composition

Critical and Creative Thinking
Criteria, investigate, reason, visual models, thinking processes

Science
Hypothesis, variables, patterns, test, trial, error, record, methods, cause and effect

 

 

PencilCode

Have you seen PencilCodePencilCode is a collaborative programming site for drawing art, playing music, and creating games. It is also a place to experiment with mathematical functions, geometry, graphing, webpages, simulations, and algorithms. Programs are open for everyone to see and copy. This is a way to explore different types of code such as CSS, HTML and javascript. PencilCode is open source to allow flexibility in the way it can be used.

PencilCode guides teachers with their teacher materials page. This page enables  to teachers to look at ways in which they can embrace the use ofPencilCode in their class with their students. It includes online and offline activities.

This programme suits students who want to take their coding further. This is a full functioning programming platform where students can create games, music or joust enjoy some drawing.

PencilCode uses Coffeescript which software engineers use to build complex websites.

 

Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

PencilCode covers all areas of the Digital Technology curriculum for years 5 and up

The following concepts are covered in this program across the curriculum for Years 5 and up

Mathematics
Sequencing, lines, angles, shape, variables, algorithm, branching, iteration, time, calculating, arrays, conditional, reasoning, cartesian coordinates, measurements, directions

Literary
Reading, navigating, explanation,  instructions, directions, cause and effect, predict

The Arts
Creating, designing, composition, manipulating elements and combinations, conceptualise

Critical and Creative Thinking
Criteria, investigate, reason, visual models, thinking processes, propose, strategize

Science
Hypothesis, predict, variables, range of representation, graph, patterns, relationships, test, trial, error, record, methods, cause and effect

Chrome Music Lab

Have you played with Chrome Music Lab yet? IT IS EPIC!!

It’s a fun and great way to explore technology and music with kids. Chrome Music Lab is a collection of experiments that let students of all age, explore how music works. They’re collaborations between musicians and coders, all built with the freely available Web Audio API. These experiments are just a start. Check out each experiment to find open-source code you can use to build or create your own.

You can play with sound, rhythm, melody, and more. Chrome Music Lab is all built for the web, so you can start playing instantly, whether you’re on a tablet, phone, or laptop.

Exploring music can help spark curiosity in all kinds of ways. These experiments will inspire you – whether they give you a new perspective on music, make you more curious about math and science, or even make you think of new ways to teach or code.

 

Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

Foundation – Year 2

Digital Technology

  • Collect, explore and use digital systems to present the data creatively (ACTDIP003)

The Arts/Music

Year 3 and 4

Music

Year 5 and 6

Digital Technology

  • Plan, create and communicate ideas and information, including collaboratively online, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols (ACTDIP022)

The Arts/Music

LEGO

There are many ways to use LEGO to help students understand different elements of code on and offline. The creation of patterns and sequences can help students to problem solve and think logically. LEGO is great because it can be used in multiple ways. Students can enjoy the hands-on experience of exploring their creativity and making their designs. They can use LEGO with robotic where students build and use a program to make their design move. Students can use LEGO to create animations allowing them to discover how to use a series of short steps to achieve an effective outcome.

I personally love Build with Chrome and LEGO Builder (Chromestore App). Both of these programs allow students to build and share their designs beyond the school. Students can even choose a design to copy if they just want to focus on the problem solving around building. Even though these ideas do not include specfic coding using loops and repetition the art of problem solving and creativity still uses the concepts of computational thinking.

On the other hand you could instruct a partner to recreate what you have built using the coding language and algorithms. Have students show their thinking through using branches to show how they created a design. The possibilities are endless!!!

LEGO also have various iPad Apps.

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Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

Foundation – Year 2

  • Recognise and explore patterns in data and represent data as pictures, symbols and diagrams (ACTDIK002)
  • Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)
  • Create and organise ideas and information using information systems independently and with others, and share these with known people in safe online environments (ACTDIP006)

Years 5 and 6

  • Design, modify and follow simple algorithms involving sequences of steps,branching, and iteration (repetition) (ACTDIP019)
  • Plan, create and communicate ideas and information, including collaboratively online, applying agreed ethical, social and technical protocols (ACTDIP022)

Mastermind

Mastermind was invented in the 70’s as a code breaker game. It is another version of the game bulls and cows which is also another code breaker game and great for offline problem solving. It might be hard to find an old school Mastermind gameborad these days, although there might be some in an antique or vintage store. Here is an alternative. It’s online and it’s got multiple ways to play. This gives players great visuals when it comes to thinking about what code looks like. The need to break down and decode at each level and use of sequencing helps to enrich the computational thinking processes.

This game can be played from prep to year 6 on and offline. The online versions has up to 5 colours to work with on the board wih abilitly to choose from 8 colours in the colour spots. This could be adapted for preps using 2 or 3 colours to start with. Having students talk through their thinking and working through these problems will help them to explain what is happening showing a clear understanding of the data they are creating.

Mastermind

 

Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

Foundation – Year 2

  • Recognise and explore patterns in data and represent data as pictures, symbols and diagrams (ACTDIK002)
  • Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)
  • Collect, explore and sort data, and use digital systems to present the data creatively (ACTDIP003)
  • Create and organise ideas and information using information systems independently and with others, and share these with known people in safe online environments (ACTDIP006)

Years 3 and 4

  • Recognise different types of data and explore how the same data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008)

Years 5 and 6

Inside Out with Code

If you are working with students who love the Pixar movie Inside Out, well here is one for you.

In Level 1 in this is resource, students will learn how to use blocks. It’s best that students have some prior knowledge of blocking with code, so it’s most suitable for a follow on activity. This level specifically focuses on sequencing and use of angles to get the Riley to slide down the rail.

In level 2 students will begin to investigate variables and loops. Students will need to get Riley across a room using variables, sequences and loops. Loops help in coding to repeat actions rather than repeat the command over and over again. This saves time!

In level 3 students will be introduced to conditionals which can change the way a command happens when they encounter something in a pathway.

This is challenging but a very engaging resource.

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Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

Years 5 and 6

 

Code.org

Code.org was launched in 2013. It is non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science. Their vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. They believe that computer science should be part of core curriculum, alongside other courses such as biology, chemistry or algebra.

Code.org is a great program for starting code club. It is self-directed and can be managed by a teacher or coach. The website has scripted teacher support lessons and more importantly makes many links to offline as much as online activities. The program focus’ a lot on learning the language that is needed when using code.Code.org initiated and host ‘Hour of Code’ each year, constantly releasing new ideas to get students involved.

This program starts for 5 years old and is suitable for all ages. When working with students at a higher level there are options here to learn about scripts.

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Australian Digital Technologies Curriculum

Foundation – Year 2

  • Recognise and explore digital systems (hardware and software components) for a purpose (ACTDIK001)
  • Recognise and explore patterns in data and represent data as pictures, symbols and diagrams (ACTDIK002)
  • Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)

Years 3 and 4

  • Identify and explore a range of digital systems with peripheral devices for different purposes, and transmit different types of data(ACTDIK007)
  • Recognise different types of data and explore how the same data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008)
  • Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them
  • Implement simple digital solutions as visual programs with algorithms involving branching (decisions) and user input (ACTDIP011)

Years 5 and 6