The national curriculum on programming says:
‘design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling or simulating physical systems; solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts’.
In this weeks ICT seminar, we began looking at computing in Key Stage 1. The curriculum aims to help pupils explore ICT and learn to use it confidently and with purpose to achieve specific outcomes. They start to use ICT to develop their ideas and record their creative work. They become familiar with hardware and software and this is the aim that we focussed on today. The session was built around using Bee Bots and what these can be used for in a lesson, they help children with debugging and programming. I think this technology is great for a classroom as it helps children through the visual aid of the Bee Bot to understand programming and the relationship between sequences of steps and what actually happens in real life.
This activity will help children understand how technology works as you programme steps into the Bee Bot and then something happens; this is the same for all technologies even to the simple technology such as a keyboard.
In our group we named our Bee Bots Toby and Terrence and we decided to make them dance in “Strictly Come Bee Bots”. This involves programming a sequence of movements into each Bee Bot which proved challenging at first because either the Bee Bot went off the table or they bumped into each other, but it proved to be a lot of fun.
This is just what our group decided to do. Many groups decided to act like the Bee Bot was a car and you had to drive it around the roads that they had drawn on their pieces of paper. These are both activities that you could do in a classroom either at Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2 level.
At the end of the session we tried out Scratch Jr as this is another piece of software that children will use in schools. I remember using it at Secondary School but when I went into school for my pre-course placement the children were using it then. It was a cross curricular project between ICT and maths and it was all based on algorithms and getting your scratch character to do a times table. The extension task was to then get the character to ask the user a question which they answered; if answered correctly they received a “Well Done!” message, if not they had to do the game again.
Thanks for reading,