Minecraft…

The week, the fours had been waiting for…finally it’s MINECRAFT time

Clicking on the picture below takes you to the challenge, just make sure you click on the right option – Minecraft Adventurer

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During this hour of code with Minecraft, the fours learn the basics of computer science. ‘Blockly’ teaches students to drag and drop to write programs and the concepts of commands, if statements and repeat loops.

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it’s time to have a go @ Play Lab

This week the fours were set another challenge on Code Studio’s hour of code.

Click here to explore Play Lab

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Could they conquer Play Lab as well as Flappy Birds???

They took on Play Lab to learn and find out a bit more about coding. Play Lab focuses on setting up a storyline, talking to other characters, directions, movement amongst several characters and finishes with the creation of your own game for friends to play. Awesome way to go about learning how to CODE.

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Can you master Flappy Bird???

Click here to explore Flappy Bird

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Just for FUN the grade fours were put to the test and asked to explore Flappy Bird on Code Studio’s Hour of Code. They had to master ten levels to earn themselves a certificate. Some found it easy, some worked methodically to complete each level and some were just FRUSTRATED…

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Evaluating OUR Learning…

This week the fours took the time to reflect and evaluate their own learning. After spending four weeks learning about coding and applying this in numerous tasks and games it was time to think about what they had learnt, what was difficult and what they were confident with. They were given time to consider their answers thoughtfully.

After answering these questions they had to decide if they were either:

  • a novice – just starting to learn this and I don’t understand it yet…
  • an apprentice – I can do this if I look at an example or get help
  • a practitioner – I can do this on my own without help…
  • or an expert – I can do this on my own and explain how to do it…

It was interesting to read their reflections and see where they think they are with their learning 🙂

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TAKE TWO…

This week it was all about learning from our mistakes and trying to find solutions to them. The grade fours were back creating mazes so they could complete a code for the bee bots to move around the maze. In other words we were debugging…

While they were working they were given a couple of questions to consider…

What did you find the most difficult?

  • coding

How did you try to fix this?

  • coding in small steps
  • changing the walls to suit the bee bots movements
  • fixing the maze so the track is wider
  • making smaller and less complicated mazes

What did you learn about coding?

  • It isn’t as easy as it sounds
  • it doesn’t always work the first time
  • it’s a set of instructions
  • you need to be very precise
  • it takes time to get it right
  • could need to test and retest
  • code in small steps

Success is SWEET 🙂 Well done Aiden, Jyotsna and Josh.

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BeE-bOt MaZeS…

Our second CODING challenge involved bee-bots, cotton buds and a ruler.

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The challenge was to build a maze using cotton buds and program a bee-bot to travel through the maze. Of course there were conditions:

  • the maze needed an entry and exit point
  • only one box of cotton buds (200 tips) could be used
  • the maze had to wide enough to fit a bee-bot through
  • a code had to be written for the bee-bot to get it from the start to the finish of the maze

img_0856We revised what we learnt from the previous week and discussed how precise coding is and how our algorithms needed to be simple and clear. We also talked about testing and retesting to iron out the bugs…

So mazes were restructured and rebuilt, new instructions were added and others deleted, in order to get the bee-bot from one end of the maze to the other.

This created great excitement, discussions and teamwork…

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jAm SaNdWiCh COdInG…

This week the grade fours were introduced to CODING… they were set the following challenge:

‘Create an algorithm (set of instructions) to instruct a robot (Mrs Brough), to make a jam sandwich.’

Sounds easy right?

Not sure all the fours would agree. The robot ‘Mrs Brough’ did not behave exactly like they would have liked. The robot could only follow the instructions that were read out…

The fours soon became aware that you need to be very precise when creating algorithms to convert into code.

They also learnt about fixing BUGS (mistakes) and correcting them until they had a PRECISE set of instructions (algorithms).

There were some very interesting sandwiches, not any that the robot (Mrs Brough) was keen to eat! It was a great visual way to show the fours exactly how CODING works…

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CoDiNg…

Computers are amazing, but they can’t think for themselves (yet!). They require people to give them instructions. Coding is a list of step-by-step instructions that get computers and other machines to do what you want them to do. Coding makes it possible for us to create computer software, games, apps and websites.

Coders, or programmers, are people who write the programmes behind everything we see and do on a computer. When children learn to code, it helps them to develop essential skills such as problem solving, logic and critical thinking. Through coding, children can learn that there’s often more than one way to solve a problem, and that simpler and more efficient solutions are often better. Learning to code encourages children to become creators, not just consumers, of the technology they use.

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Having fun CODING…

Over the past two weeks the grade fours have worked their way through three coding tutorials on three different apps…Kodable, Tynker and Cargo-Bot.  Each one getting a little bit harder, requiring more thinking and problem solving. This week they got to choose the coding app that most suited their ability and continue working their way through the levels. I’m not sure which coding app ended up being the most popular but I can tell you, Ms McLeod has become addicted to Cargo-Bot!

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