Computer Coding (KS2) – Task 8

In today’s session we looked at coding in the KS2 classroom.

Purple Mash

Firstly, we looked into purplemash.com which provided a range of coding resources that could be used in the classroom. Once logged in with a school/university login, you can explore many games within the ‘Tools’ section of the website that reinforce the learning of Computer Coding.

logo

The first one we looked at was ‘2Go’. This is a very simple piece of software that only includes the actions for up, down, left and right. Although there is not much to learn from ‘2Go’ in terms of programming, one advantage is that it shows the path in which the ‘bee’ has taken.

bee

The second tool we looked at was called ‘2Code’. This software provided tutorials to help develop the learning of computer coding. It also had a variety of games, such as, ‘Fun with Fish’ or ‘Snail Race’. In the game ‘Fun with Fish’, it gave you certain tasks to complete, all increasing in difficulty. This game was good fun and I found it very easy to use.

fish.png
The last one we looked at was called ‘Logo’. I believe this was the most useful and informative out of the three apps. It is able to teach children to use commands by using spelling and maths. For example, they must spell ‘forward’ correctly and then decide ‘how many units’ they want the arrow to move by.

logo1.png

It draws on prior math knowledge, such as shape and geometry facts, including the understanding of angles. This was my favourite piece of software because I was able to experiment with different shapes and then I learnt how to use abbreviations in my commands which I also think would be very useful for children to learn.

heart.png

The next thing we were shown on ‘Logo’ was how to create a procedure. A procedure is when you make something in order to use it again. For instance, creating the commands for a square then being able to use this as a short cut or a tool for creating different shapes, like ‘flowers’ (seen below).

 

Hour of Code

The next website we looked at was code.org/learn or ‘Hour of Code’. There is no teaching or tutorials involved but instead the learning is obtained through practice.

I had a go at the ‘Frozen’ inspired Hour of Code. I really enjoyed this software because I believe the children will be more engaged if they are learning with movie or game characters that they adore. (There was also a ‘Minecraft’ version which may interest some children too.)

There were 20 set challenges that the pupil must complete in order to receive a certificate. These challenges became increasingly difficult throughout the task.

frox

I gained knowledge on the benefit of the ‘repeat’ block and how important it is to get the order of commands correct.

The software gave feedback after each challenge allowing the children to see where they went wrong and to receive information that may help them in the next challenge. As you can see (image above), the tasks became harder to complete and required concentration. I believe this level of knowledge needed would be more suited to a KS2 class rather than a KS1.

fox4

I really enjoyed this piece of software because it was easy to learn from it and I liked making my own ‘ice art’ with the ‘Frozen’ characters.

Useful app related to Computer Coding

I discovered an app called Kids’n’Code on the App Store on my iPad. I downloaded it because it looked fun and it was free. I liked the design and layout of the app but I found it hard to begin with because there was not much help with what I was meant to do.

12767203_10206043768473866_635928961_n

I soon figured out how to work the app and I think it would be good to use an an extension task or maybe at ‘Golden Time’ in class to reinforce the learning of Computer Coding in the pupils. I especially liked the fact that it used the language of Coding such as ‘run’ and ‘program’.

Advertisements

KS1 Computing – Bee Bots

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.

IMG_0629

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,

Miriam