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

 

 

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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)

We’re Going On A Bear Hunt!

This is a fantastic story to help you teach code to early years students. Preps and Kinder students love this one.

The activity focuses on the way data is transmitted to create the product being; sound, image, colour etc. The data has to be transferred. The data can look like symbols, characters, numbers or letters. Ask the students to make a combination either together or individually. For example they might say “3b*)” They can use anything that is represented on a keyboard. Come up with a few and discuss how this could be the code that gets a command from one place to another. Our brains use code. The message is “pick up the glass” and  your brain sends a signal (code) to our hand to pick up the glass (you could demonstrate this).

Now let’s think about sound. After the students are familiar with the story, use coloured post-it notes and replace each sound with a colour. The students can create their sound using any materials they want. When reading the story again the students can replace the sound in the text with their noise they created.

It is important that the students recognise that they have used a signal of a colour to react to the command in the story. This is what a robot does.

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)
  • 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 (ACTDIP006)