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?
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.
Our second CODING challenge involved bee-bots, cotton buds and a ruler.
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
We 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…
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…
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.
This is a friendly reminder, that social media based apps are not suitable or on the approved core app list. Please see the table below which details the required age to create an account for. If you currently have these apps, you will need to remove them from your device as they are not aligned with our digital citizenship student contracts.
If you have any questions, please see the Information Literacy Team.
|YouTube Accounts||18 years|
It was back to STEM this week and the challenge was to build a balloon tower over one metre high, using 12 balloons and masking tape. A time limit of 30 minutes was set with 10 extra minutes of thinking, planning and designing time.
There were a few rules to follow:
- only team members can blow up balloons and tie them
- if a balloon pops there are no replacements
- Be careful when using the tape as once it’s stuck you cannot remove it
Here’s a few designs:
This was such a loud, fun team oriented activity. There was lots of discussion, teamwork, measuring, designing, balloon popping and laughter. Most teams met the challenge brief and were successful.
We learnt when building a balloon tower that if you blow the balloons up big they need to placed at the bottom of the structure and the smaller balloons placed towards the top or else the tower begins to lean. You definitely need a base of some sort to add balance. Too much tape makes the balloons pop, can make the tower lean to one side and pulling the tape of the balloons means they do POP!!!
Here’s a LOTS of photos showing just how much FUN the FOURS had with this STEM activity…
The winners for the tallest tower goes to Taylah, Jai, Hebron and Jesse from 4TC. They well and truly met the challenge brief…Congratulations guys on your HUGE effort!
After creating animal data grids the grade fours used the information to make posters. The activity was designed to show the grade fours how it easy it is to put together information if it is laid out clearly in a grid. Hopefully now they will use data grids in the classroom and at home for projects or homework.
This week we have started to use data grids to organise the information we have gathered from the Internet to use in presentations.
Data Grids have four to five columns:
- Question – the questions we are trying to answer
- URL – The websites the information and pictures originally came from
- Copy and Paste – the information copied and pasted straight from the website
- Own Words – our own personal version of the information
- Images – pictures that fit in with the information
The ability to rewrite information in our own words is a research skill and something the grade fours will need to learn to do both in class and at home for projects. It’s hoped that by showing them how to set up a data grid they will use them in the future when they need to copy information from the internet and then rewrite in their own words.
Our topic was favourite lolly or chocolate. To help the fours out they were stepped through the setting up of a data grid using the strip designer app and shown how to refine a search when looking for information and images on the Internet.
They were reminded how important it is to include web references (url’s) for both the information they would be using as well as the images.
It lets us create our own personal comic strips and documents. You can include photos, drawings, text boxes, speech bubbles and stickers. It’s another great presentation app that could be used at home for homework or projects.
These are just some of the skills we will be learning to help create our data grids…
- Creating a new document
- Naming your document
- Creating a grid layout
- Changing paper size to A4
- Changing background colours
- Inserting a photo
- Adding frames
- Changing photo layout to include text
- Editing text – font, colour, size
- saving and printing