25 Replies Latest reply on 15-Jul-2018 8:41 PM by lauradeeves

    Module 5 Discussion

    teachontario.team

      What are your thoughts on this experience? Did you struggle? As Seymour Papert wrote in Mindstorms (1980) the notion of intellectual products only being right or wrong is something we must reconsider. Instead, we should determine if student work is fixable.

       

      This mindset might make us less fearful of being wrong, especially when programmers typically never write correct code the first time through.

       

      Post your thoughts in the thread below.

        • Re: Module 5 Discussion
          mattlet2002

          I absolutely liked the option of the virtual simulator.  I think it would very hard to convince my principal to purchase a significant number of the micro:bits.  While I was coding, I tried to figure out the mathematical understanding that students would need to know in order to understand the meaning of each block of code.  It's great to create a 21st century activity where students actual create their own coin, through the micro:bit, to complete this common probability activity.  Students are considered tech savvy, but how many of them actually understand the importance and use of ones and zeros in coding?  We very often neglect the importance of the zero in mathematical thinking.

           

          I definitely struggled with this activity at times, even with the video.  I'm learning to allow students to use resources like Youtube to help them overcome difficulties.  In working with STEM and developing a Makerspace in my Library, the work of Papert is something that I'm coming across on a regular basis.  I like your statement about is the work "fixable"?  A great way to help educators and parents to understand that not everything can be right.  There is learning that happens when things are wrong and we need to reflect to see if it is fixable or not.

           

          I took a peek at Module 6 and I liked the inclusion of the counter.  I have tried to add one to this creation to enhance it but I can't get it to work properly.  It either does not track the results or it doesn't add on when the heads or tail repeat.  I guess I'll need to keep trying.

            • Re: Module 5 Discussion
              stheobald

              Your principal might be surprised at the cost. I won a set of ten. Each micro:bit is about $20.00 and can be purchased in Canada through Fair Chance Learning. Even though we have enough micro:bits now for the whole class I still pair students with one micro:bit.They sat on my shelf for 6 months because I was intimidated by them. Now I tell everyone it is a must in the classroom. Microsoft has also come out with a curriculum. There are also great resources on their webpage.

              Fair Chance Learning | Shop

              Micro:bit Educational Foundation | micro:bit

              (If you click on "I'm a Teacher" and then "Teacher Resources" then Micro:bit 14 Week Curriculum"  you can down load the file or open in OneNote. The first activity seems young but the idea is to introduce the concept that coding has a purpose. I learned along with my students about CS concepts.

                • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                  donnad

                  I love  your post, but I must say that looking at the Microbit Teacher Resources 14 week curriculum, daunting, to say the least. I think there are many teachers out there that teach  the mandatory 6 content curricula to a combined class every day. I would be very hesitant to share that resource with any teacher that doesn't regularly use tech in their classroom, and doesn't have planning/assessing/evaluating of all 6 curricluar down to a fine science. I can just hear the expletives now.

                  Sorry for sounding harsh, but the reality for some of us is doing it all, with less, and in a portable with limited outlets, space, and resources, and with total inclusion (which I am founding out not every board does) and no other personnel support.

                  I must be hangry

                • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                  lauradeeves

                  Depending on your class size, you wouldn't need to purchase many micro-bits.  The students work well in partners because the micro-bits are new, and to problem solve.  There are always challenges.  In my class this year, I had students who just seemed "to get it" (often quicker than I did!), and some that struggled.  I found the students were happy to teach each other.

                • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                  stheobald

                  If the only thing that students develop from Coding is RESILIENCY then we have done our job!

                  Coding gives students the opportunity to build resiliency. I have seen students who at the beginning of the year cry or remove themselves completely from a task when they are unable to do it transform into engaged learners. If students learn to code in an encouraging environment where they have the support of a partner and can reach out to peer "experts" for help when they need it they will soar!

                  With coding every student has the opportunity to be a leader. This is so empowering. When a student has discovered how to do something we make sure to post their name on the board so everyone knows that they are experts in that task. Then students know to go to them if they need help.   We also talk a lot about what the message is that is running through their heads when they start to give up. This tied in especially well this year when Andrea led the class in a Harry Potter novel study that focused on Resiliency and the language and actions that we use to overcome obstacles. In class we talk about ways to  counter act that message (take a break, ask a friend, break your task down, tell yourself you can do it).  Students, especially those students with learning disabilities who have never seen themselves as leaders can now shine!

                  2 of 2 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                    donnad

                    I did not know that you could program the microbit without having a microbit!! That's awesome news. I don't have to worry about having enough devices for each student (or pair of students even), actually I think most of the time that's not a great thing at all. But knowing I could have one of my literacy or numeracy stations as 'Coding a Microbit' (without them physically having the microbit at the time) might actually work. Gonna have to give this more thought but it is promising for sure

                    • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                      room210math

                      A couple of things came to mind when I watched the micro:bit being coded to act as a coin flipper.

                      1) What would I tell my students when they ask why we are doing this? We have used random.org, shodor.org and the coins in the gallery of our SmartBoard to flip coins as part of our study of theoretical probability. I know they'd wonder why we would need to create our own code for this, if the sites already exist to make this possible for us. But then, right at the end of the video, Brian said to think about using this to teach kids how to think algorithmically. That was the key for me. I think that once we've used other sites, that's when I'd set kids to work to create their own coin tossing app. They might also consider games/other contexts in which to use a coin toss - that would be the innovation opportunity.

                       

                      2) Since we've used Scratch already, I wanted to see how to make this happen on this program as well. This way, if it takes time and due process to obtain micro:bits, we could use our Scratch accounts in the interim. I've attached a photo of the code I wrote really quickly to have the Sprite say 'Heads' or 'Tails' and showing the counter of each. Just in that little bit of code, there were variables and conditional statement. After they wrote the code, it would be meaningful to tally the results of each student to further our investigation into chance.

                       

                      Screen Shot 2018-07-07 at 2.42.35 AM.png

                        • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                          donnad

                          I really like that you are using something they know and are familiar with (tossing coins and Scratch) to create a script (is that the correct term?), and then applying that to a new device (microbits). I think that is really important for building connections in their brains.

                          I like Brian's multiplication facts on the microbits. Since I have so many kids that struggle with multiplication fluency, I'm going to do this one for sure. I might start it with addition facts as a large group, and then have them create multiplication one. We'll see what this group is like before I decide. Might just jump right in there.

                          • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                            mattlet2002

                            Thanks for the screenshot!  You can definitely see the similarities between Scratch and micro:bit use of Block Coding.  It's amazing the possibilities that exist when students create their own math manipulatives.

                          • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                            charlandl

                            Because we have access to technology (iPads and laptops) but no coding machines (sphero, legomindstorm, microbit, etc), it's nice to have programs that can still be used (Scratch and now micro:bit).  After watching micro:bit, I see the resemblance to coding with Scratch.  Since coding is not known in my school, when I get my new grade 7 students, they have no knowledge to coding.  Therefore, right now with my knowledge and accessibility, I think that I will keep the similar format this year with using Scratch Jr at the beginning just to get them familiarized with coding, then move on to Scratch.   However, I would like your input on that?

                             

                            Is there really a benefit to showing micro:bit as from what I could see, I can do the same with Scratch?  After looking at Brian's multiplication facts, here is work from students.  I had asked them to do this, but I did not teach any coding skills or help them.

                             

                            https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/222807645/

                             

                            https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/225589337/

                             

                            There are spelling mistakes as this was done in June and no time to embellish / correct it.

                             

                            Again, this was done as a morning routine, when they get in class.  Now, I need to attach coding to the curriculum.

                            1 of 1 people found this helpful
                              • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                                donnad

                                I love this!! Your kids to a great job. Definitely going to show this to our core French teachers too.

                                • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                                  stheobald

                                  I love your students class projects. Great learning.

                                    • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                                      charlandl

                                      From what I had learnt last year, this is the sequence of projects I asked them.

                                      1. Spite has to make a square.

                                      2. Spite has to make a rectangle.

                                      3. Spite has to make a triangle. (with a 90 degree and without)

                                      4. Spite has to make an octogone.

                                      5. Spite has to ask a question (ex: What's your name?). Then had to reply by saying the answer ( Hello Lynn!)

                                      6. Spite has to ask mathematical questions and verify the answer (Links I gave)

                                      7. Produce a game…...but this was never finished

                                       

                                      Students went at their own pace.  Once they accomplished one, they had to show me, share it with me and start with the next project.  When there were new things a student came up with, I would project it on the white board for all to see.  Sometimes to show what I wanted Spite to do, sometimes to show parts of the codes.

                                       

                                  • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                                    donnad

                                    I enjoyed following along with the videos to create the script for Heads & Tails, and for Rock/Paper/Scissors. The last one would have been the perfect segue from the storybook The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors, and our study of probability.

                                    Those two coding activities went fairly well for me as a learner. Although I hit a few stumbling blocks along the way, that's exactly how I felt about them... nothing more than a stumble. No biggie. I went back to the beginning (or the last point of success) and tried again.

                                    However when I tried to follow a script for dance and music from some of the activities on the Microbit site, I got quite a bit more frustrated. I couldn't find the specific parts (sorry, can't recall the correct vocab) they were referring to. I eventually gave up. Might  be because I'm tired, but I can't help but wonder if some kids will feel the same way at times. 

                                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                      • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                                        lauradeeves

                                        It goes great with that book!  I read the book, then held an actual rock, paper, scissors tournament.  Students tallied results and the probability of each.  Then, we had the opportunity to code the micro-bits and held another tournament!  So fun, and so much math talk from the students!

                                      • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                                        mckinnonab

                                        The micro:bit activity definitely proves that resiliency and problem solving skills are important to have in any learning situation.  I can think of 3 students from this past year who seem to "get things easily."  But, as soon as they encountered a situation that was difficult, they shut down. Coding teaches students that it is not the end that is the most important, but how you get there. And, if something doesn't work out, go back to the process you came up with and revise.  The nice thing is that you don't have to go back to the very beginning, just to the spot where the problem arises (critical thinking skills).

                                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                        • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                                          yolantak

                                          I'm no expert on the micro:bit and no matter how many times I've coded to create, I always notice how slow I am at coding. This is something my students echo many times. I'm always so surprised to see most of them give up while coding! I relate coding to practicing an instrument (since I grew up learning how to play the piano). I've always wanted to be able to play a song right away, and despised having to practice long hours and weeks just to be able to perfect a song. I think coding is similar and this is why students need to attempt coding. Students need to work on patience, resilience, confidence etc.. and they need to learn that coding will not be easy - they need to work hard at it!

                                          2 of 2 people found this helpful
                                          • Re: Module 5 Discussion
                                            s_whit

                                            I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of the micro:bit coding via MakeCode.com. I will definitely be playing and experimenting more as the summer unfolds. I tried the first tutorial and modified it to incorporate some of the code written in the coin flip video posted in this module. I didn’t struggle, I think in part because it was a ‘safe’ experience, in that it was for play, experimentation and open-exploration. Over the past two years, I‘ve had to really come to terms with the role fixed mindset has played in shaping my personal and professional life. Growth mindset has helped me a ton with taking risks, trying new things and moving away from negative self talk. Additionally, also listend to a couple of Aspinall TEDX talks (posted on Hour of Curiosity), and I appreciated hearing that Angry Birds creator had 52 apps before developing the app as we know it today... failure isn’t failure if you keep tackling the challenges and learning from them.  #failureisthebeststeppingstonetosuccess!