This term grade 2 have been exploring programming in their IT lessons. We started with unplugged activities; unplugged means lessons without using technology. Beginning with unplugged activities was a great way for the children to grasp the concepts of algorithms, code and programming.
The children had to create an algorithm so that they could program the teacher to move and then for the teacher to draw an image. They focused on the algorithm language: forward, backwards, turn left, turn right, colour. They then learned the code that matched the algorithm. After exploring the code, the children explored how they could draw a picture in a graph by programming a friend by only giving them the code. The children took it in turns to be the programmer and the ‘robot’ (the drawer).
At our Grade 2 Expo there was an unplugged IT station where the parents had to write the code to copy an image from a graph. The children enjoyed seeing that it was difficult for some. It made them realise that what they are learning is quite advanced and in line with today’s technology.
The unplugged activities led us easily into using the Bee-Bots which have similar code buttons. The children have enjoyed programming the Bee-Bot to move from point A to point B. They will continue to program the Bee-Bots however they will have restrictions. For example, they must move from A to B in a certain amount of moves or they will have obstructions in the Bee-Bots way so they must be more careful and more precise with their programming.
The children are thoroughly enjoying using the Bee-Bots and the lessons are always full of laughter, positivity and good cheer. They are amazed that by pushing a few code buttons the Bee-Bot will do what they ‘tell’ or better yet, program it to do.
We look forward to becoming great programmers of the Bee-Bots.